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Pitchford: DNF Review Scores Won't Matter

By - Source: CVG | B 28 comments

Duke Nukem Forever will fly off retail shelves despite whatever review scores it earns from all three platforms.

Gearbox Software bossman Randy Pitchford recently acknowledged what most of us already suspected over the years: that review scores won't be relevant to Duke Nukem Forever's success. After all, long-time fans who've waited along the sidelines all this time will undoubtedly go out and purchase the game as soon as it goes retail, whether critics love it or loathe it.

Still, Pitchford isn't sure what the reviewers will think, crossing his fingers for a hopeful perfect ten. "I don't know," he said. "I know what I'm feeling when I play the game - it's fun, and at any given moment I can't wait to see the next moment. Honestly, I don't even know how much reviews matter for this particular game. Because, I mean, what we're looking at is the deepest unresolved tension in the entire history of the video game industry. And it's almost historical."

He also said that he'd be surprised to see the game earn a review score down in the 7s. "Fortunately the game's good, I've played it, it's a great game," he said. "You're going to see a range of scores; I'd be surprised to see anything get down into the '7' range, maybe a couple 10s - you're going to get the range there. It really doesn't matter. Anywhere in that range - it's not going to change the results for what we're actually talking about."

According to Pitchford, what really matters is whether the player will be pulled back into the same unique experience they enjoyed in Duke Nukem 3D. However the problem Duke faces now is a genre flooded with clones based on clones based on clones. Duke Nukem 3D brought a unique style of action and wit to the PC back in 1996, an era when the first person shooter genre was still emerging as a permenant alternative to RTS and RPG gaming. Question is, can Duke Nukem do it again fifteen years later?

"What matters is if you have a good time or not, how much the experience [brings] us back [to Duke's former glory] to those of us that remember, how much it introduces to those who weren't there, and how much it tells us about the next experience we want," he said. "That's what really matters, and the scores - that's probably not going to be very relevant to the outcome of this particular game."

Duke Nukem Forever (finally) arrives on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PC on May 3, 2011.

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  • 0 Hide
    TheDuke , February 23, 2011 11:45 PM
    Don't matter what the reviews say
    I'm sure that it will be fun and I will buy even just for the Duke
  • 1 Hide
    bison88 , February 23, 2011 11:49 PM
    I was thinking the same thing over the past couple of weeks. I don't care what the reviews may say, I'm going to buy it because like most we grew up with Duke and turned a lot of us on to the FPS genre. Plus after so many almost have to. The success is guaranteed, the reviews aren't though. I'm sure some of them will be down to earth and honest, others will be paid supporters, and the others just negative Nancy's. I have a strong feeling the long wait times, law suits, studio changes, etc. are GOING to be used by all those who review it, for good or bad you can't look past the length it took and angry reviewers are definitely going to make more use of that argument.
  • 2 Hide
    joytech22 , February 23, 2011 11:53 PM
    Never played the original and I'm still going to buy this game, it just appeals to me in some way.
  • 0 Hide
    K3vBot6000 , February 23, 2011 11:55 PM
    I remember reading about the game in GamePro, EGM, etc. way back and it is funny to think it will actually exist in a few months. Or perhaps the greatest prank of all time and it turns out it doesn't exist.
  • 0 Hide
    _Cubase_ , February 23, 2011 11:58 PM
    Interesting that what started as the biggest debacle in game release history could end up making this the most popular game of recent times... just goes to show that good things never die!
  • 0 Hide
    icepick314 , February 24, 2011 12:00 AM
    joytech22Never played the original and I'm still going to buy this game, it just appeals to me in some way.

    ditto here...

    hopefully someone would be COOL enough to add the original series to the collector's edition release....
  • 1 Hide
    demonhorde665 , February 24, 2011 12:06 AM
    i never pay attention to review scores any way ..

    golden axe beast rider (360): got terrible reviews , mostly for not doing any thing "new" who cares , i palyed the game and loved every minute of it's old schoolhack and slach didn't caret hat the dialouge sucked dialouge is not what the game was ever about '

    conan the barbarian (360): again a game that got piss poor reviews ,stil didnt care , dialouge sucked , but teh game was about old school hack and slash and like golden axe i enjoyed it for what it did do.

    NWN 2: got terible reviews and was actually buggy as hell at release , stil enjoyed the game and sitl play it onien to this day

    point being , i'm nto one to care about what reviews say , ESPECIALLY when they score a game low for not doing any thing new , dubmest reason tos core a game , low , genres are amde because a bunch of gmaes DON"T do any thing different hence why theya re all considered part of teh same genre, if youa re going to score a game low becasue it does nothign new them you might as well say you don't like that genre .

    that said bring on the duke and i dont care if he doesn't do any thing new.
  • 0 Hide
    joelmartinez , February 24, 2011 12:55 AM
    I always listen to the critics
  • 0 Hide
    jackt , February 24, 2011 1:04 AM
    True !
  • 1 Hide
    jj463rd , February 24, 2011 1:30 AM
    joytech22Never played the original and I'm still going to buy this game, it just appeals to me in some way.

    Well Duke Nukem 3D wasn't the original.The original was a side scrolling game however back in the late DOS era days (windows 95 was common then)Duke Nukem 3D was a must have first person shooter.It was truly incredible and a great way to spend time.
    The graphics were cruder but the game play was superbly excellent better than a lot of modern FPS.
  • 1 Hide
    funnyman06 , February 24, 2011 2:05 AM
    Well back in the day, I either played Duke3D or Doom95. Both were awesome but in Duke you got to see tits. Granted the pixels in those days were the size of your thumb... Duke is a classic, and regardless what the reviews say this should go down in history, just look at Starcraft 2.
  • 1 Hide
    nukemaster , February 24, 2011 2:15 AM
    I am buying it for sure. come on, its duke.
  • 0 Hide
    burnley14 , February 24, 2011 2:40 AM
    Never noticed until just now the woman's hand reaching for Duke's "gun" in the picture . . .
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    megamanx00 , February 24, 2011 2:49 AM
    Some people will give it 10s because it's Duke. Others will give it a 7 because they may not get the appeal of Duke. Finally, others will rank it lower because a game that took so damn long to develop should be so freaking awesome that nothing can live up to that. I certainly agree with the latter, but I'm going to buy it because it's Duke ^_^
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    kikireeki , February 24, 2011 5:00 AM
    I think the outdated visuals will be one of the major shortcomings in DNF.
  • 0 Hide
    apache_lives , February 24, 2011 8:23 AM
    im buying the balls of steel edition :D  :D  :D  :D  :D  :D  :D  :D  :D  :D  :D  :D  :D  :D  :D  :D  :D  :D 
  • 0 Hide
    halcyonnn , February 24, 2011 10:41 AM
    I am just happy the release date isn't April 1st. I would start to wonder then ;) 
  • 0 Hide
    g00fysmiley , February 24, 2011 11:38 AM
    i keep harkening back to the zero punctuation fictitious review done a while back it was pretty damn dunny its over at the if anybody wants to watchit

    I can't wait for ti to be out, got the two pack me and my wife are both lookling forward to kicking some alien ass
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    RobinPanties , February 24, 2011 12:15 PM
    demonhorde665...ESPECIALLY when they score a game low for not doing any thing new , dubmest reason tos core a game , low , genres are amde because a bunch of gmaes DON"T do any thing different ...

    I agree with y'all on almost all of that, but to play devil's advocate, i'll focus on this aspect. I'm not saying a game should lose significant points for new stuff, but a game should score higher if it does innovate. To me, it could be the difference between a 9 and a 10 or soemthing like that... while I often like the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it mentality" My examples of choice would be games like Madden, where some times a year's version is very much the same as the previous year's, only small roster differences, and maybe a few neglible "features"... If games get 10/10 scores without adding something new, then it also can make the developers lazy. When they lose an entire point or something for lack of innovation, it could hurt sales. However, if a company can take Call of Duty 13, change the character models slightly, add 5-10 new maps, add a +1, and get a 10/10 score and sell record amounts of the game, they're less likely to innovate... that's all I would say... most likely though, as this article is intended... pretty much, NONE of this is relevent to Duke Forever... that's a once in a decade/century kinda game, at the moment...
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    HavoCnMe , February 24, 2011 1:13 PM
    Its been a long time coming. Played all the original FPS's: Wolf.3D, Spear of Destiny, Blake Stone, Duke Nukem and the original 2d Duke Nukem (Apogee Days), Dark Forces(wish they would make a new one), Corridor 7,Doom Series, Heretic, Rise of the Triad, ect. Can't wait to see this game.
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