Developer Gearbox has accused game reviewers of unfairly marking down Duke Nukem Forever, which was finally released in June after over a decade in development.
The game carries a very low 49 per cent average on aggregation site Metacritic (on Xbox 360) and was widely derided for its poor execution, dated gameplay and lack of shooting action.
"We wish the reviews were a little less caustic,” Gearbox co-founder Brian Martel told Eurogamer. We’re not quite sure where some of the anger came from.
"There were things towards the high and things towards the low, but the middle just didn’t get any traction. It’s pretty obvious that people were using it in some ways to kind of use it as a soapbox or whatever."
Martel added that the style of the game was one that "a certain amount of gamers today are not used to", saying: "It was what it was meant to be, which is a more old-school style game in what is today’s technology.”
Prior to the game’s release Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford was so bold as to compare the game to Half-Life 2, saying: "We know the game’s great. Any journalist that decides to try to go to lowball it is gonna be held accountable by the readers. The last time I had a really solid experience like this was Half-Life 2."
And despite the beating DNF has received since its release, it’s an argument that Martel was happy to continue.
"Would Half-Life today be reviewed as highly as it is, you know, even today?” he insisted. As a new IP coming out with the same sort of mechanics Half-Life had.
"I think we all have a nostalgia and love for that particular brand. Obviously Gearbox got its start working on Opposing Force so we love Half-Life. But is the current gamer, would they have the same love for that? It’d be interesting. I think the same kind of thing happened with Duke."