Original 2001 Build Of Duke Nukem Forever Leaks Online

Original 2001 Build Of Duke Nukem Forever Leaks Online
Image: Duke4

Duke Nukem Forever was a game that took a teensy bit too long to come out, and then paid the price for it.

Originally announced in 1997, Duke Nukem Forever endured a 14-year development process that consisted of several delays, a scrapping of a build showcased at E3 in 2001, a loss of its development team in 2009, a handoff to a new studio, and an array of criticism upon its release in 2011.

It seems that an unreleased version of the infamous title from 2001 has leaked online. According to the Duke Nukem fan site Duke4.netthe leak appeared on 4Chan, posted by a user named “x0r”. You can check out one of many videos of the build in a tweet from Instant Gaming below.

According to Ryan Dinsdale from IGN, the 2001 build “looks more similar to the previous game, 1996’s Duke Nukem 3D, than the Forever we eventually got in 2011,” which makes sense considering this version would be a lot closer to the original announcement date than it would be to the final release date.

George Broussard, the original lead project manager on Duke Nukem Forever, confirmed on Twitter that he believes the leaked 2001 build is genuine. Beyond that, he doesn’t seem interested in discussing it further. After the pain of the game’s extended and troubled development, that’s honestly fair enough.

Further comments from x0r, the 4Chan user handling the leaked build, suggest that “almost every chapter is present in some form,” continuing on by mentioning that “a huge chunk” of the build is playable. The build, similarly to the final release of Duke Nukem Forever, was made in Unreal Engine 1 and is partially what the team behind x0r is using to make the game eventually playable.

That being said, x0r also notes that “there is no complete game,” as it was “never finished”. While they have managed to get a considerable amount of source code, the final product that gets released will probably not be to the extent of the 2011 final product of Duke Nukem Forever. However, the team plans to release not just the editor they’re using, but the full source code of the 2001 build in June.

Who knows if this version of Duke Nukem Forever will trump the 2011 version? Although it’s been a long time coming, this is yet another example of eager fans doing better work preserving video game media than large companies, and it’s pretty neat to be able to see at least a snippet of what the 3D Realms team was originally going for with Duke Nukem Forever.

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