Game news Duke Nukem Forever: 40min of new gameplay for this canceled 2001 version!
Published on 05/12/2022 at 08:54
A game with a cult history despite its more than lukewarm reception, Duke Nukem Forever will have made more than one dream of it. But long before being taken over by Gearbox Software, the title was in the hands of 3D Realms, an iconic studio that has worked on many versions: one of them, dating from 2001, has just resurfaced…
Duke of Boulogne
Among the great Arlésiennes of video games, Duke Nukem Forever holds a place of choice, if not he who gets the gold medal. So to speak, it was announced in 1997 following the mythical Duke Nukem 3D… to be released in 2011: for fourteen years, the development will then have gone through multiple phases, starting from scratch several times until its publisher, Take-Two, does not take the reindeer from 3D Realms to entrust them to Gearbox Software by force of circumstance.
But at the beginning of the 2000s – in 2001 to be exact – and while the design was in full swing, the American studio had already built beautiful drafts of Duke Nukem Forever, perfectly playable and running under Unreal Engine. It was during this same year that videos were presented at E3, proof of the good progress of the work: today, thirty-eight minutes of never-before-seen gameplay from that canceled prototype has just resurfaced. New images to get your teeth into below.
All that for this
The video clearly reflects the Duke Nukem spirit: it shoots, it jacts, there is a string of weapons and still a bit of decadence specific to previous decades. In short, it was a time when the project frankly seemed to be off to a good start and moreover, it was better since it had been in development since 1997, and since 1998 under Unreal Engine.
But because life is full of unexpected events, 3D Realms will finally reboot the gestation the following year, in 2002. The firm finally chose to opt for yet another engine, the Meqon, before we learned in 2007 via a job offer that the yard had finally remained under an engine based on the Unreal Engine. It’s a mess.
After the release of Prey, which also had a chaotic development, 3D Realms finally found itself in trouble enough to shut down in 2009. Enough to push Take-Two to file a complaint against the company for not having been able to respect its contract – a lawsuit that the developers will ultimately win.
Duke Nukem Forever will eventually be handed over to Gearbox Software, the daddies of Borderlands, who manages to finish the game to release it in 2011 on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. A godsend after almost fifteen years of rumors and hopes, but it was actually a cold shower: the game just isn’t good. Trapped in its own cliché, suffering from poor level design and technique, it’s actually a mediocre FPS : on jeuxvideo.com, it received a lukewarm 11/20 while its average on Metacritic is 49% on Xbox 360 (54% on PC and 51% on PS4).
So, if you too were among those whose disappointment was bitter a good decade ago, don’t hesitate to throw yourself on these 38 minutes of collector’s gameplay which will undoubtedly bring back memories of the good old days. It does not eat bread.
Par Max_CagnardJournalist jeuxvideo.com