What is it about Duke Nukem that makes him so special? Simple answer, Duke hasn’t changed. While Duke’s legacy of delays and closed studios has no doubt eclipsed the content of the game itself ( there is even an interactive game release timeline on the disc) Duke Nukem is the same asshole that he’s always been, and people like that. Following Scott’s lead I stopped by the nearest Red Box and payed two dollars to take Duke Nukem home with me for the evening. I had a feeling Duke would be a shitty date, but I decided to take him home with me anyway.
A few weeks ago we put a quick blurb up on the site about Gears of War 3 writer Karen Traviss and how the quality of her writing really is Epic’s secret weapon. Currently the reviews for Gears of War 3 are sitting pretty at 91% Meta-Score ( taken from 52 different reviews). And while those reviews are all quite different they have one thing in common, universal praise for the STORY. All we can say is, we told you so.
The Gears of War franchise has done a whole lot for multiplayer gaming including an incredible cover mechanic, horde mode, and more polish than the Heisman trophy. So why will Gears of War 3 change shooters forever? Two Words… Karen Traviss. Video games have changed a lot over the past decade. Gone are the days of silent (and boring) heroes mindlessly running through a labyrinth while blasting creeps with a “B.F.G.”. Much like the transition from silent film to “talkies”, the average gamer has come to expect more substance from their games, even shooters. If the name Karen Traviss is unfamiliar to you, no worries, we’ve got you covered. Karen is a former journalist and defense corespondent turned science fiction writer. Her novels honestly make you feel as though you’re in the trenches with these soldiers as every bullet whizzes by overhead. On top of writing a salvo of Star Wars books, Karen is also responsible for the Gears of War novels that take place between Gears of War 2 and Gears of War 3. These are not your average “video game books” and really manage to add some incredible depth and emotion to the Gears universe. Lucky for us, the folks at Epic Games decided that Karen would be the best person to bring this new level of realism and immersion to the franchise. That’s right, Karen is the sole author of Gears of War 3: Brothers to the End.
The future of shooters lies not in kill streaks and copy-paste storytelling, but in the strength of narrative. With Karen’s help Epic Games is set to redefine what we come to expect from action shooters. In the same way that Bioware redefined the RPG with Baldur’s Gate, Gears of War 3 will become the new standard in action-storytelling that all future shooters will attempt to emulate. Sure, these are some bold words, but I can tell you one thing; mixing the stories of Karen Traviss with Epic’s stellar gameplay should create a concoction more explosive than a lambent Brumak…you’ll see.