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The king is back! "Duke Nukem Forever" has been revived, and is nearing release in a shocking turn of events.  (Source: Kotaku)

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.  (Source: Kotaku)

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.  (Source: Ripten)
"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 [video here] filled with sexual innuendo, violence, and suitably attractive graphics.  And according to Mr. Pitchford the game is nearly finished, and will launch complete with multiplayer.  He states in a recent interview, "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 real 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."


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RE: Anyone but Gearbox!!!
By Alexstarfire on 9/5/2010 2:21:48 PM , Rating: 2
Comparing individual games you're probably right, but PC has far more games than any single console could ever hope for in it's entire lifetime. Counting up total sales on an individual platform would be practically impossible.

Ohh, and there are billions of PCs in the world. Several times larger than all the current-gen consoles combined. Doubt more money is being made on consoles. For any single dev, they probably do make more, but as a whole it's just asinine to think that a smaller market can make more than a much bigger one. It's easy to see that most of the newer games are geared towards consoles though.


RE: Anyone but Gearbox!!!
By nikon133 on 9/5/2010 6:45:38 PM , Rating: 4
How many of those PCs are capable of running modern games, and how many of those capable are actually being used to run games..?

And then, there is another thing: while high-end gaming rigs do offer superior visual experience to consoles, as you start to move down the scale to mid-level market and sacrifice visual details to keep usable frame rates, PC gaming experience levels to console very quickly, and dips below. Is it more effort being made on console games development, better optimisation or something else, I don't know, but PC requires more hardware power than console to give same level of details. Just look at the game like God of War or Gran Turismo 4 on old PS2 - what games could run on PC with 28MB of RAM and 4MB of video RAM..?


RE: Anyone but Gearbox!!!
By Alexstarfire on 9/5/2010 8:20:22 PM , Rating: 1
Congrats on knowing that coding for everything means it'll be less efficient than coding for one set of hardware.

I'm not going to try to argue about whole markets. I don't have the kind of information to make accurate statements. I doubt anyone does. If even a quarter, which is probably a gross underestimate, of those PCs were being used to play games that's still about as much as all the consoles combined. You have to remember that it's not just modern big name games, which is actually probably a rather small portion of the whole market, but also the likes of Farmville. People play Farmville on their phones now-a-days and tons of games like that. Plenty of good flash games that cost money. Well over half of computers out there can run flash games.


RE: Anyone but Gearbox!!!
By rudy on 9/6/2010 2:13:44 PM , Rating: 2
What you say only holds true if you pit a brand new console vs a brand new PC. Not more than 18 months old. By the time a console releases its hardware is alreay 1 year behind PCs. At 2 years mid range PCs are better and 3 years low end PCs are probably better.

If you added the price of your brand new console and PC together you would have been able to just buy a better PC.

Also you are comparing apples to oranges. Acceptable frame rates on a console is 30 fps where as it is 60 on a PC to most people Heck most console noobs don't even have a clue what fps are. Even if they do their garbage controllers do not allow them to move fast enough to play fast games anyway.


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