The Week In Review: Duke Nukem Finally?

The rumour that Duke Nukem Forever might arrive at long last raises an interesting question. What thrills us more, the game's release or the thought of it?

Duke Nukem Forever hardly needs an introduction. It's the eternal vaporware sequel to a single game, published in 1996. Its constipated development, a case study in perfect being the enemy of good, is the stuff of legend - or jokes and internet memes. Last year the harsh realities of money, the marketplace and publishing gave this project its most definitive go/no-go news after a dozen years of rumours. The original studio, 3D Realms, at last ran out of money and ran into a lawsuit, and that seemed to finally squelch the annual just-trust-us bullshit that DNF was OTW,

This week, rumour involving people serious about publishing games, and with a serious record of bringing good ones to market, once again revives Duke's credibility. Take-Two Interactive retains the publishing rights to the franchise, whose brand name remains compelling despite 12 years of broken promises. And Gearbox, fresh off its smash hit Borderlands, published by Take-Two, is said to have picked up the game's development. Gearbox chief Randy Pitchford declined comment but said more news might be coming at this year's Penny Arcade Expo in September.

The question remains: This is a name with the star power of Halo or Call of Duty and just one incarnation as a first-person shooter. And in more than 14 years since its release, that genre has developed and deepened dramatically, and themes of grandiose violence and smirking humour are nowhere near as engaging today as then. Why does Duke Nukem Forever remain compelling? Why should it? Could any game under that name possibly justify the waiting?


    I've heard a lot of people complain that Duke as a character isn't funny or relevant anymore. I can kind of see that, but I think people will still flock to Duke's brand of irreverent tongue-in-cheek action, especially in today's 'serious' shooter flooded environment.

      I wasnt even fond of his kind of humor or character back in the day either. The game might have looked slightly better than Doom and the rest of the crowd back then, but I hate the whole "attitude" of Duke.

      Let him die already.. he has had his day.

        You're just saying that because you don't like him.

    I think Duke is awesome. I love his one liners. The gameplay in Duke 3D was great, violent and challenging fun. I welcome a new Duke and is a day one purchase for me.

    I kind of look at it in the same way as Quentin Tarrintino movies.... yeah the it's cheesy and childish but sometimes thats what you need to just cut loose after a big day of work or something.

    Most of what comes out of Dukes mouth are quotes from classic movies like "They Live".

    I never knew that playing as a teen, figured it out over the years...

    I only see one way this game can live up to more than a 6/10 rating if it finally comes out and that is to make it meta.

    Duke's been the butt of so many jokes I just don't think they can play him straight any more. He's like Arnie - you could never star him in a standard action film any more, but make him drop in on another film as a reflection on the old genre can work.

    Duke could be appealing if they take all the development since the original game and acknowledge it. Maybe something like provide Duke with a physics puzzle ala HL2 and have him quip about how he's not here to stack boxes. Then have him nuke the obstacle from space instead.

      I always thought that WAS the idea with Duke, he is taking the piss out of every action star/movie/game that ever was...or was that just me?

    Oh god i want this Duke rumor to be true. Ive heard numerous rumors about other devs taking DNF over, One involved Valve but that fizzled out to nothing but the rumor involving Gearbox has been doing the rounds for some time now but this is the first time an official gaming news site has picked up on it.

    One thing that makes this rumor a litle credible is that Kotaku has a quality standard they need to adhere by and obviously the rumor came from someone in the gaming industry or someone close to gearbox otherwise it would have been another rumor involving DNF and Kotaku wouldnt have posted the rumor.

    I personally dont know about this rumor.

    Does anyone honestly give a shit about Duke Nukem anymore? It's almost like it's from another historical era. It's about as much of a relic as Arnie's hilarious 80s action films are now. Even if a Duke Nukem game comes out, how could it possibly remain relevant today.

      The classics never die. It's a character that I don't personally think I could ever tire of as long as he was put into entertaining scenarios. I don't see myself particularly enjoying "Duke Nukems Kick Ass Kart Racing" for example. (though I did enjoy his appearance in Death Rally.)

      I watch bad 80's action movies all the time (<3 Kurt Russel) and I know a lot of other people do too. I think you would be hard pressed to find many people that disliked, or rather, didn't enjoy Duke3d and much like 80's action movies, all you need to do is release one with bigger and badder explosions, throw in a couple of witty one liners and have the popcorn handy and you've got yourself a success.

    I have but one thing to say on a Duke Nukem Forever release, Hail to the king baby!

    To me, Duke Nukem 3D was (still is) the ultimate (only) 70's / 80's horror movie parody in a computer game. No game before or since harkened back to those days, as have few movies.

    Watch Evil Dead 2: Army of Darkness, then some random horror movies form the same era, then play Duke 3D, then watch Dawn / Shawn of the Dead ... then imagine where DNF could be.

    DNF rumours won't stop fueling the desire for that genre, as long as so few examples of it done right exist.

    i didn't get to play it in the day, so i don't really care for it, and i didn't even like borderlands.

    so... so what.

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