Hades Freezes Over: Duke Nukem Forever Makes Comeback
September 4, 2010 10:20 PM
The king is back! "Duke Nukem Forever" has been revived, and is nearing release in a shocking turn of events.
The demo features a quick taste of the game's combat gameplay, in which the macho-protagonist, Duke Nukem, fights to save his babes from hoards of evil extraterrestrials.
The game features plenty of sexual innuendo just like its predecessors -- the demo concludes with Nukem appearing to be receiving oral pleasure from a pair of females.
"It's time to kick ass and chew bubble gum... and I'm all outta gum."
"Hail to the king baby!", Duke Nukem is back. Some may take Friday's announcement of
Duke Nukem Forever
's resurrection as a sign of the end of times, but it's hard not to feel a bit of excitement that maybe, just maybe, this bad joke could transform into a modern first-person shooter gem.
For today's younger generation of gamers, Duke Nukem may not ring many more bells than Q*bert, but there was a time when the brash talking, hyper-masculine, buzz-cut womanizer Duke headlined one of the best selling first person shooters of its decade (
Duke Nukem 3D
By the year 2009, those who still remembered the games used them more frequently in punchlines than in praise. After all,
Duke Nukem 3D
's sequel, the ironically named
Duke Nukem Forever
, had seen an extraordinarily bizarre development lifecycle with developer 3D Realms
still without a finished title
after 12 years of development, dating back to 1997. Then in mid-2009 Take-Two Interactive, who had purchased publishing rights,
sued cash-strapped 3D Realms
, just as the company was
reportedly finishing up
the long awaited title.
The ensuing legal battle was settled with undisclosed terms in May of this year.
3D Realms retained the rights to the game. And in perhaps the wisest decision it had made concerning the seemingly cursed title, it decided to hand over the development reins to Randy Pitchford's studio Gearbox Software.
Mr. Pitchford was no Nukem newbie. He had been hired in the 1990s to help development
Duke Nukem 3D
. And while he left 3D Realms just as
Duke Nukem Forever
was kicking into full swing, Mr. Pitchford always kept a soft spot for the machismo-machine that made him a software superstar.
On Friday at the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle, Mr. Pitchford let the cat out of the bag showing off a 15-minute live gameplay demo [
] filled with sexual innuendo,
, and suitably attractive graphics. And according to Mr. Pitchford the game is nearly finished, and will launch complete with multiplayer. He states in a
, "It's a large, large game."
If you think Mr. Pitchford might be tempted to tone the game down for today's
more sensitive audience
, think again. It looks to be headed for a solid "M" -- if it catches the ESRB folks on a generous day.
Mr. Pitchford describes the protagonist, remarking, "In Duke's world this is all real shit. These fucking aliens are here and they're fucking our planet up and they're taking our chicks. There's a reason for that, and Duke is the only guy who can stop them. In his universe, that all makes perfect sense. As a result, he is the most important person in his universe. And he knows it. He enjoys it. He franchises it! He's got Duke Burgers opened up all over the country. It's a weird universe, but it works for him. He's the king!"
But the "king" has his work cut out for him if he hopes to win back gamers. After all if there's one thing more deadly than a pack of babe-stealing aliens, it's the risk of remaining a punchline from one more delay.
Despite the risk, Mr. Pitchford is the picture of confidence and exuberance. He says he can understand if some are skeptical, but promises not to disappoint. He states, "I think everybody feels the way I felt when Duke was in trouble in 2009. Yeah, we've been jerked around. But we kind of want him to be triumphant. In Duke's time of need, we almost want to support him. And I'm feeling that kind of love."
As for Nukem, he appears to be feeling the love, too.
The demo concludes with the camera panning out to show that the whole intro experience was just a console game being played by the
Duke Nukem. And Duke has company -- a pair of females, who appear to have been giving old Nukem some oral pleasure. One of them takes a breather and looks up at him to ask, "So how was the game Duke, was it any good?"
He gruffly remarks, "Yeah, but after 12 fucking years . . . it better be."
"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
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