Duke Nukem Forever Catch-All

You do realize that by publicly hating this game so vehemently you are effectively doing exactly what it was designed to do, right?

Also, let's not throw "misogynist" around so liberally. That word is incredibly strong.

Sunjammer wrote:

You do realize that by publicly hating this game so vehemently you are effectively doing exactly what it was designed to do, right?

Also, let's not throw "misogynist" around so liberally. That word is incredibly strong.

Tentacle rape is less so?

Sunjammer wrote:

You do realize that by publicly hating this game so vehemently you are effectively doing exactly what it was designed to do, right?

I can pretty much guarantee you that this response is not what 2K and/or Gearbox wanted. I also strongly doubt that 3DRealms designed the game to have reviewers say that it has "no redeeming qualities", or that it is now the gold standard to test how low a score a reviewer is willing to give.

Also, let's not throw "misogynist" around so liberally. That word is incredibly strong.

Then I'm curious to know what your standard for that word is. In one review, the reviewer accidentally killed some of the pregnant women with a pipe bomb, and said that Duke responded by making a joke about abortion.

...or that it is now the gold standard to test how low a score a reviewer is willing to give.

That's a fabrication, and ridiculous hyperbole. There are far worse games. The judgement is less about its mechanical qualities and more about its general boring-ness. Everything else is subjective moralistic gobbledegook.

Then I'm curious to know what your standard for that word is. In one review, the reviewer accidentally killed some of the pregnant women with a pipe bomb, and said that Duke responded by making a joke about abortion.

Ok. The word literally means hatred of women. Hate, in itself, is a very strong word. This is a game where every single individual, protagonist, enemy, bystander, are treated with equal disregard. This game offers up a reality where men are fawning weaklings or ridiculous douchebags, and women are either fawnling weaklings or random configurations of sexual stereotypes. Typically both can be said for either gender. There is no "hate" here, only crudeness. To say this game "hates women" or has any form of gender-political agenda at all is giving it far, far too much credit.

There seems to be this idea out there that Duke is somehow an idealized man, while the women are "reduced". This is hilarious. Duke himself is a bumbling idiot who the actual game script will point out is a "relic from a different time". There's a point where he is introduced to another soldier who "knows how the Duke likes to do things", and the guy is just incredible. He basically one-ups Duke's he-man-bro-ness to a level that's pretty eyebrow-raising. Perhaps a lot of this cultural referencing is too close to home for you guys, but for me, as a Norwegian who grew up with a uniquely exaggerated view of America served up through my childhood by 80s television, playing DNF was a long string of awkward grinning and breaks to show my girlfriend the new ridiculously dumb thing the game was showing me.

I'll admit the Hive bit with the impregnated women was uncomfortable, but there is nothing accidental about killing the women in that level. Duke is totally bummed out by the whole ordeal, and it's practically an Aliens' type "kill-me" moment; These ladies are gonna get it in a bad way regardless. Hell, there are paths you can't move through without killing some women blocking the way. It's pretty uncomfortable, but it's also totally in keeping with the weird half-horror half-comedy angle the game plays. I was actually a lot more disturbed by that level than I ever thought I'd be, but the worst thing I can say about it, compared to the constant murdering of ladies in LA Noire, was that it was out of character to offer up anything genuinely horrifying. I guess killing women in horrible ways is okay if the game is "more serious"? Sort of a tangent, but it makes me think of how uncomfortable some people are with the new Tomb Raider. We've been seeing men get murdered and abused in thousands of creative ways forever, but make the victim a woman and suddenly someone's gotta pay!

I'm just baffled by how vile people think this game is. It's over-long, outdated and often boring. But it's not a woman-hating racist slice of gaming Necronomicon.

Sunjammer wrote:
...or that it is now the gold standard to test how low a score a reviewer is willing to give.

That's a fabrication, and ridiculous hyperbole. There are far worse games. The judgement is less about its mechanical qualities and more about its general boring-ness. Everything else is subjective moralistic gobbledegook.

You made the claim that the game was designed to induce vehement public hate. That's what I was responding to. Whether the reviewers' comments are hyperbole or not, I was only saying that I have very strong doubts that anyone involved with the making of, or publishing of this game wanted the strong negative response that the game is generating in both the press and from gamers.

As for the misogyny, you make some fine points, and appear to have played the game where I've only watched videos and read others' accounts of it, so I'll defer to your experience there. That said, I've seen enough to know that a) at one time I really wanted to buy this game, and b) now I really don't want to buy it. And I feel pretty certain the game wasn't designed to induce that kind of wallet-locking response.

ccesarano wrote:

Are you kidding? Bulletstorm would have been 1000x better if they gave it the Unreal treatment. You wake up on a crashed ship and have to get home. No cut-scenes, no dialog, no nothing. Just gameplay.

That game took itself way too seriously for what it was trying to do in terms of gameplay.

Wha?

A game that had this sequence:

And montage of statements(NSFW LANGUAGE AHOY):

Took itself TOO SERIOUSLY?

Sunjammer wrote:

I'll admit the Hive bit with the impregnated women was uncomfortable, but there is nothing accidental about killing the women in that level. Duke is totally bummed out by the whole ordeal, and it's practically an Aliens' type "kill-me" moment; These ladies are gonna get it in a bad way regardless. Hell, there are paths you can't move through without killing some women blocking the way. It's pretty uncomfortable, but it's also totally in keeping with the weird half-horror half-comedy angle the game plays. I was actually a lot more disturbed by that level than I ever thought I'd be, but the worst thing I can say about it, compared to the constant murdering of ladies in LA Noire, was that it was out of character to offer up anything genuinely horrifying. I guess killing women in horrible ways is okay if the game is "more serious"? .

I think it's the 'jokes' that make the difference. Duke clearly isn't bummed out enough by the whole thing not to make an attempt at humour. Put a callous joke in the 'kill-me' scene from alien or have the detectives commenting on a victims breasts and chuckling to themselves as they examine a body in L.A.Noire and you'd have something equally ill considered and potentially offensive.

cube wrote:
ccesarano wrote:

Are you kidding? Bulletstorm would have been 1000x better if they gave it the Unreal treatment. You wake up on a crashed ship and have to get home. No cut-scenes, no dialog, no nothing. Just gameplay.

That game took itself way too seriously for what it was trying to do in terms of gameplay.

Wha?

A game that had this sequence:

And montage of statements(NSFW LANGUAGE AHOY):

Took itself TOO SERIOUSLY?

YES!

Then again, maybe it would have helped if I just skipped the cut-scenes. God, there was so much talking!

Also, it seems once I give up sticking my foot in my mouth someone else takes the role. Interesting.

All I know is I'm embarrassed to play this game while the rest of my family is around or awake, so I have to use headphones and close my door. In that regard, it's certainly not helping gaming any.

ccesarano wrote:

In truth, that only came to me because I have a friend that got "so sick of women and their sh*t" that he decided to try dating other men. SURPRISE! He liked it, and now he's gay. Oddly enough, with sex out of the equation he gets along with women a lot better than he used to, but most of his friends are still straight guys. Take that as you will.

This sounds like he was gay/bi to begin with and perhaps hadn't moved on it; "If only I can think of a plausible reason to go gay, my friends wouldn't suspect anything!".

Carry on.

SallyNasty wrote:

I wish people wouldn't insinuate that Bulletstorm was a crap game - I loved it. It was a superfun romp that in no way took itself seriously. The way that people use it as a comparison for DNF denigrates Bulletstorm.

GRAYSON HUNT IS A NATIONAL TREASURE, SUSHIDICK!

But then again, who am I to say, this is what Netflix recommends for me:

IMAGE(http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/253988_573092306341_8000152_32641803_1395242_n.jpg)

Hypatian wrote:

False substitution. It would have to be Bill Cosby portraying an awful black stereotype.

But then it wouldn't be funny.

"Just get me a couple of fat-free Jell-O pudding snacks and I can lose the pregnancy weight before you can say hippin' and a hoppin' and a dippin' and baaah-ah-ah-ah, Rudy!"

Bill Cosby impressions are hard to do in text.

Sunjammer wrote:

I'm just baffled by how vile people think this game is. It's over-long, outdated and often boring. But it's not a woman-hating racist slice of gaming Necronomicon.

I guess the question comes down to is misogyny something that can be hidden under the surface beneath a layer of callousness and ignorance, or does it need to be an overt expression of malice towards women? Duke Nukem Forever isn't overtly hating anyone (except for the player) regardless of the tasteless dialogue and situations, so is Duke actually misogynistic or merely sexist? Well, I think I finally have the answer.

Seeing that Duke's idea of heaven is a sleazy, rat-infested strip club with more people in the game room than in the main naked ladies room really hammers home just how sad and pathetic Duke really is. Maybe that's the joke? That everyone worships this guy who is obviously one of the saddest examples of humanity? Maybe you're supposed to cringe at his lame, stolen and misused one-liners and his nonchalance towards all the rape and murder that goes on around him? He's a psychopathic mess who refuses to seek help or grow up and see himself for the loser he has always been, and the rest of the world is all too happy to oblige him in his deluded fantasies. It's showing us what a world of unrepentent sexism and vapid materialistic celebrity worship gets us. Maybe, in that way, this is the least misogynistic game ever made.

This game is single-handedly moving the medium forward into a bold new era of unbridled artistic merit and it's making the world a better place for people of all genders, sexualities, races and religions.

A+

MechaSlinky wrote:

Duke Nukem Forever isn't overtly hating anyone (except for the player) ...

Well, played the game.

Leaving aside the "content" of DNF - it is what it is - the game is honestly the worst FPS game I've played in a long, long time. It *is* the gold standard for poor FPS gameplay, that highlights all the worst aspects

There's no real feedback over whether you've hit your target or not.
The levels are enormously linear. Common unfortunately in modern FPS games, but still terrible.
The graphics are awful - not in an artsy way, but just in a "we made these textures ten years ago" kind of way. Worse, there's a wierd crossover where some textures are clearly higher res, and others are really bad.
"Aiming" just zooms the view a little bit, doesn't use iron sights or anything
The "minigame" sections are clumsy, boring, and generally are just drawn out too long.
It's awful.

As to the "content"... well, it's about what I expected it to be. Yes, it's enormously over the top, and yes, it's offensive. To be honest, it should be. There's no message, there's no hate, it's just satirical. It's SO over the top it's making fun of the whole Action Hero genre, making fun of itself. I absolutely understand how people could be offended, but really... you shouldn't be surprised. I don't mean to justify it, it *is* offensive, but... well, it is what it is.

Played the Duke Burger level yesterday. I actually liked it a little bit. There were actually a few enemies to shoot, and jumping around the kitchen as mini-Duke was kind of fun in an old-school way. It's almost like this part of the game was an early concept of what could have eventually been a fun level from a different, slightly better game. There was even a female character wearing clothes who didn't make a comment about sticking Duke up her vagina. She made a Firefly reference. She said she hopes Lightning Bug doesn't get cancelled. That made me sad. Sadly, the Duke Burger level took less time to get through than pretty much any other part of the game so far.

Switchbreak wrote:
ccesarano wrote:

Misogyny is more likely to make you gay than it is to make you a womanizer

I don't have any idea how to respond to this without taking the thread on a large and unpleasant derail. Maybe I can talk for a bit about why objectification is misogynistic instead.

Objectification removes personhood, and defines the value of another human being wholly in terms of their use to you. It is a form of subjugation, and applied systemically it is incredibly harmful. To say that a person objectifiying women doesn't wish them harm is just saying that he's ignorant of his effect on the world - he is doing harm all the same, and chances are if he weren't somehow unaware of that he still wouldn't care.

As for this game, I'll say this: I don't mind campy exploitation in games. I just think that when a game hits the point where it is including scenes of rape/torture/murder, it shouldn't also creepily sexualize those women at the same time, and then doubly shouldn't play the whole scene off as a punch-lineless joke, as if it is hilarious in and of itself. That goes way beyond problematic issues of male gaze. When it's placed on top of a marketing campaign that goes out of its way to portray women as non-human objects, I can't help but see a pattern of hatred there.

I don't like to talk poorly of other posts, but to be honest some of the surgical attempts to relegate misogyny to the extremes and in this to attempt to derail the level of cutting criticism against it's usage of women... it's been depressing only in feeling disconnected from some people's ideas on what it means to use images and themes such as objectification. Switch, very well put. This feel a more valuable push forward to the discussion, rather than trying to delineate whether Duke hates women or just has no respect for them.

Just my opinion, of course, but was really happy to see Switch take the conversation away from the more trivial seeming weights and scales of just how much Duke is disconnected from humanity.

I could be misunderstanding you, but it sounds like you get the impression that there are those of us trying to defend Duke. I can only really speak for myself, of course, but if I were to hazard a guess I'd say that no one here is defending Duke, just questioning whether the terms "misogyny" and the like that are being thrown around all over the internet are truly warranted or not. Some may feel that perhaps that's going just a tad too far into the realm of hyperbole, some may feel it's perfectly justified, and some may still be on the fence about the whole thing. On the one hand, misogyny is pretty extreme by its very nature. It's hatred of women. Not ignorance or misunderstanding or apathy, but hatred. On the other hand, as Switch illustrated, doing harm because one thinks so little of the ones harm is being done to is so close to the same thing as to basically be the same thing. Duke isn't, "I don't know any better." Duke is, "I don't care to do better."

At least for me, that's what the heart of the issue was as I half-drunkenly stumbled into a metaphorical bee hive. Is there a line between sexism and misogyny, and if so, where is it drawn and how blurry is it? I don't know, seemed to me like a more interesting place to take the thread rather than simply piling onto the game for a few days and then forgetting about it, even if the latter would've been more comfortable for everyone involved.

I'm so tempted to go out and rent it to just try it out, but I mustn't.

MechaSlinky wrote:

I could be misunderstanding you, but it sounds like you get the impression that there are those of us trying to defend Duke. I can only really speak for myself, of course, but if I were to hazard a guess I'd say that no one here is defending Duke, just questioning whether the terms "misogyny" and the like that are being thrown around all over the internet are truly warranted or not. Some may feel that perhaps that's going just a tad too far into the realm of hyperbole, some may feel it's perfectly justified, and some may still be on the fence about the whole thing. On the one hand, misogyny is pretty extreme by its very nature. It's hatred of women. Not ignorance or misunderstanding or apathy, but hatred. On the other hand, as Switch illustrated, doing harm because one thinks so little of the ones harm is being done to is so close to the same thing as to basically be the same thing. Duke isn't, "I don't know any better." Duke is, "I don't care to do better."

At least for me, that's what the heart of the issue was as I half-drunkenly stumbled into a metaphorical bee hive. Is there a line between sexism and misogyny, and if so, where is it drawn and how blurry is it? I don't know, seemed to me like a more interesting place to take the thread rather than simply piling onto the game for a few days and then forgetting about it, even if the latter would've been more comfortable for everyone involved.

Duke is really kind of a fratboy-dudebro. And misogynistic one at that.

I mentioned some of the sexism vs. misogyny vs. stuff going on in the thread to my girlfriend while we were a cookin' up the dinner (she was sort of angrily jabbing a knife around at the time, having had a grade-A craptastic weekend). She had some comments (I forwarded her some of the content in the thread - the Norwegian in question was Sunjammer-lammy) and she responded! I thought it was interesting, so here 'tis.

--
Bwah! *Surprised, but pleased* That really is a balanced POV; especially as the guy points out that he's Norwegian, and so the completely overblown stereotypes really resonate with him. Well, 'resonate' is a bad word choice perhaps, but you know what I mean, I suppose.. it's obvious, because it should be, that you aren't supposed to take this crap seriously.

Anyway. Err. Let me see if I can recapture the thread of the rant...

Misogyny vs. sexism, from the point of view of an actual, bona-fide female, one who was born in the South, no less, and as such considers herself to be, if not an authority on the subject, then at least better informed than average.

Sexism: My Great-Uncle was never married; when he made out his will he left his entire estate to his nephew, the only male in the next generation. That nephew - my Dad - said, 'Uncle, I don't need your money, leave it to my kids.' There are three of us, my two older brothers and me, the little girl. My brothers got $200,000 each and I got a piano, and that is f*cking sexism.

My Uncle liked women just fine, and he was fond of me - I clearly remember playing the piano, playing that piano, for him. He thought this was extremely sweet, and he was proud to say, to my Dad, in front of me (I was to take this as a compliment), 'When I die, give her that piano.' Sweet. Sexist. Not at all misogynist.

A sexist knows, to a nicety, the role that a woman should play. Being that a shocking number of women agree with him, he has plenty of them to talk to. A misogynist also has a very clearly defined role for women, and plenty of vitriol for any time that they don't conform to it. Yes, the two have a superficial similarity, but believe me, there is a big difference between, 'Let me do that, a lady shouldn't have to do that' and 'You stupid bitch, you had no business trying to do this.' I'm using extremes of language to make the point more clear, but it's not about tone, it's the attitude. Love vs. hate. A sexist is ready and oh-so-willing to love any woman who sees the world his way, the world where he is an Awesomely Desirable Male (remember that I said that plenty of them do.) A misogynist hates any woman who doesn't see the world his way, the one where he is right and superior, and women inferior in every way.
--

Puce, tell your woman to get back in the kitchen. This is a conversation for men.

AUs_TBirD wrote:

Puce, tell your woman to get back in the kitchen. This is a conversation for men.

;)

I gave it a shot. Thankfully my room at the hospital has Wi-Fi access so I was able to make this post.

Puce Moose's Female Companion wrote:

OH GOD RADIATION POISONING ARGH!!!

Awesome stuff. Thanks for sharing, Puce Moosem.

So, Take Two is defending the uh... "style" of Duke Nukem Forever by saying it appeals to a certain audience and that other audiences shouldn't buy it. They compare it to how people should not buy Red Dead Revolver for their little kid.

Except, that seems to imply that Duke Nukem Forever is for people with a juvenile sense of humor, right? If that's the case, they probably should have tried to avoid that M-rating.

LobsterMobster wrote:

So, Take Two is defending the uh... "style" of Duke Nukem Forever by saying it appeals to a certain audience and that other audiences shouldn't buy it. They compare it to how people should not buy Red Dead Revolver for their little kid.

Except, that seems to imply that Duke Nukem Forever is for people with a juvenile sense of humor, right? If that's the case, they probably should have tried to avoid that M-rating.

My impression was they confuse offensive with mature. Misogyny is apparently for adults only.

I still working my way through this game. I see more people trying to take up arms against something that in the end is just stupid. The devs aren't trying to make a point here, they were never trying to say it's ok in real world scenarios. They simply made a stupid game.(from more than one angle)

I just can't make myself get all upset over it. If people have a problem with it then they shouldn't partake of the product. I don't care for all of the torture porn type movies that have been made over the past several years. Therefore I simply didn't watch them. Problem solved. They don't exist in my world because I simply didn't partake, and therefore had no reason to complain about them.

Just because this is a game and we play games doesn't mean it has to be played so it can be despised. It seems more to be on the bandwagon than to actually be anything else.

To be clear, there are obviously ridiculous things in this game. I am not defending them or saying they are the choices I would have made. I find this game fascinating from the point of view that all of these things had to have someone look at them and say, "Yes, that's exactly what I want to happen. Keep working on it." From both a point talking about gameplay and a point that discusses content that is simply fascinating to me.

MechaSlinky wrote:

I could be misunderstanding you, but it sounds like you get the impression that there are those of us trying to defend Duke. I can only really speak for myself, of course, but if I were to hazard a guess I'd say that no one here is defending Duke, just questioning whether the terms "misogyny" and the like that are being thrown around all over the internet are truly warranted or not. Some may feel that perhaps that's going just a tad too far into the realm of hyperbole, some may feel it's perfectly justified, and some may still be on the fence about the whole thing. On the one hand, misogyny is pretty extreme by its very nature. It's hatred of women. Not ignorance or misunderstanding or apathy, but hatred. On the other hand, as Switch illustrated, doing harm because one thinks so little of the ones harm is being done to is so close to the same thing as to basically be the same thing. Duke isn't, "I don't know any better." Duke is, "I don't care to do better."

At least for me, that's what the heart of the issue was as I half-drunkenly stumbled into a metaphorical bee hive. Is there a line between sexism and misogyny, and if so, where is it drawn and how blurry is it? I don't know, seemed to me like a more interesting place to take the thread rather than simply piling onto the game for a few days and then forgetting about it, even if the latter would've been more comfortable for everyone involved.

In some ways I still feel if you’re constructing a sandcastle out of water. Now, it’s just my opinion—feel free to look at the saying under my name to the left to determine how valuable that is. Still, your post—the one quoted above—is well written and I do not believe it is just in the service of justifying any one game, act, etc.

To greater serve the discussion of the meaning of “misogyny,” I think hatred is sometimes an over-valued and under-considered word. I do not believe that it has to be an active burning, a constant drive to cut off the head and conquer that which crosses you. It can equally be the full nullification of potential for the other party. Dehumanization does not live in a place of love.

lancejt wrote:

To be clear, there are obviously ridiculous things in this game. I am not defending them or saying they are the choices I would have made. I find this game fascinating from the point of view that all of these things had to have someone look at them and say, "Yes, that's exactly what I want to happen. Keep working on it." From both a point talking about gameplay and a point that discusses content that is simply fascinating to me.

I think it's more like someone took a look at them and said, "...That's really what we've got? *looks at watch and sighs heavily* Ship it. I KNOW, just ship it, this game's been in development long enough to be a teenager."

I just finished playing through this game a second time, and I have some comments:

Regarding the aforementioned "abortion joke." I have not updated Duke Nukem since buying it on the PS3. I played the game through twice start to finish on normal, and performed a mercy killing on every captured woman in the hive. Not once did I hear Duke Nukem say anything but "Damn" or "It's better this way" or "she wasn't really human anymore." I don't know if they writer who said duke made an abortion joke has a different build than I do or what, but that's my experience.

Regarding the alleged misogyny of this game, I don't get the fuss. It's got elements that are no different from a billion (hyperbole alert) games on the market-- gratuitous nudity is no stranger to games. And all of it is largely concentrated into two levels: the hive and the strip club. Other games have strip clubs, and other games have gratuitous nudity all the way through (I'm thinking Bayonetta, which has been defended on these very forums as being somehow empowering to women because she's using her sexuality as a weapon or something.)

The difference seems to be that Duke Nukem doesn't make any sop to art or story like a game like, say, the European version of The Witcher (a game a lot of people around here went out of their way to import presumably for reasons having nothing to do with the fact that the European version isn't so uptight about the boobies.). I actually have less of a problem with the nudity in DNF than I do in other games. It's satire, it's always been satire. It's just now instead of being satire of the 1980's action hero, it's a satire of the game industry in general. Overmuscled jerk kills a bunch of stuff and looks at some boobs. How does that description not apply to God of War? Or The Witcher, if you play as a jerk.

As for the gameplay, how is DNF any less linear than Half Life 2 or Bioshock? The gameplay reminds me a lot of Half Life 2 in fact-- you enter an area, kill a bunch of stuff, enter another area, move some weights to solve a cantilever puzzle, then go kill some more dudes and then fight a boss that's only killable with the harder to find weapons. Also, I found most of the boss fights to be most enjoyable and satisfying.

In short, I don't think DNF deserves the haterade. It's not a $60 game for me, but at $40 it hit a sweet spot that few games do-- the game that makes me want to start a new game as soon as the credits finish.

Oh, and one more thing: not one single bug did I encounter in two plays. That's more than I can say for most games of this console generation.

Also, with regards to the final boss battle

Spoiler:

I well and truly love that Duke Nukem threatens to rip out the Cycloid's eye and piss on his brain at the start of the fight when all he has is his m1911, and then the player is allowed to follow through on the threat once the boss is dead. That is so Duke.

I was grinning ear to ear.

(Haven't played DNF yet) I'm not going to make friends by saying it, but regarding the 'adult themes' and gameplay, I think a lot of people like to get on their high-horse about it. Something that comes back into my mind thinking about this is the "Know your bias" article, and I think there's a lot of bias to go around in how people approach games before they've even started, and as the article notes, this isn't always a bad thing.

It's kind of curious comparing reactions to games that shouldn't be alike, with for example The Witcher with sterile man-slut Geralt, where I think if you reversed the genders to sterile woman-slut acting the same way reactions would have been very different. In some ways it shows our bias, but in others I think some games use that bias which is likely in the player as a tool for whatever they're trying to say.

DNF is in a tough spot, with it's troubled development it picked up a lot of emotional baggage for the people who would eventually play it, and it wasn't exactly timely as DN3D was. With that, I don't think DNF really had it's best mighty boot forwards, and unless you can mentally come to it with a clear open mind, I think it will suffer.