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Cancelled Duke Nukem Game Appears Online

Gearbox Software

Written by 

Tom Chapman

Posted 

9th Aug 2021 12:50

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Light a cigar and put on a pair of shades because a trailer for 3D Realms' cancelled Duke Nukem game has appeared online. Since 1991, the criminally underrated series has brought this blonde-haired bruiser into our lives. While he's still lying dormant, fans can get a look at what could've been.

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Giving us one of the coolest-sounding video game characters of all time, Duke Nukem was peak '90s with his signature quiff and Rambo-esque styling. Although Duke Nukem started as a 2D platformer, later entries moved into 3D and embraced evolving technologies. Sadly, Duke bowed out with a whimper in 2011 with Duke Nukem Forever

What is the cancelled Duke Nukem game?

Now, a trailer for Duke Nukem Begins has bizarrely appeared online. One of the game's animators has released the trailer and explained how Duke Nukem Begins was supposed to be a third-person shooter that would've been Gearbox's first entry into the franchise. Instead, the developer powered ahead with the troubled Forever

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In Duke Nukem Begins, the titular hero is seen wandering an apocalyptic version of Earth that's populated by pig-like grunts. There's all the usual crass humour of a Duke Nukem game, with the womaniser making his way through the end of days. As well as a confirmed co-op option, we see Duke's impressive arsenal in play. Highlights include a freeze ray and a shrink gun that lets him squash his enemies like tiny bugs.

It's interesting that some of the designs stayed the same, with the Octabrain enemy from Begins appearing exactly the same as it did in Duke Nukem Forever. Even though Begins looks like it will never come to pass, the fact both 3D Realms and Gearbox are both owned by the Embracer Group gives hope to the idea the game could live again. 

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What happened to the cancelled Duke Nukem game?

Production on Duke Nukem Begins reportedly started in 2007 and was given the axe in 2009. Considering forever game out in 2011, it's safe to assume both games were being worked on at the same time. Complicated rights issues saw both projects move from 3D Realms to Gearbox, but sadly, Duke Nukem Begins didn't survive the shuffle.

The trailer was shared by animator Gregor Punchatz, who has done model work for the likes of id Software's original DOOM. Punchatz shared the “vertical slice” trailer for his studio Janimation. We previously saw some of Begins during a 2019 sizzle reel, but now, we get to see it in all its gory glory. 

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Discussing what went wrong, Punchatz said, "We poured everything we had into making the most awesome cinematic Janimation had ever created". The aim was for the game to "help us compete with bigger players in the game trailer market at the time". Sadly, the secrecy surrounding the game and its eventual cancellation means Duke Nukem Begins became a forgotten relic. It's something that Punchatz said "crushed us".

The future of Duke Nukem remains up in the air. Aside from the 2016 release of Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour, the franchise has laid in limbo. That being said, there are plans for a live-action movie, and Duke appeared as a cameo in Ready Player One. The series recently saw a strange resurgence when someone recreated Matt Hancock's office in Duke Nukem 3D, however apart from rumours that Gearbox is possible working on a new gameDuke Nukem likes in the gaming graveyard. 

 

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Working Emulator Means You Can Finally Play PS4 Games On PC

Sony | Windows

Written by 

Tom Chapman

Posted 

18th Sep 2021 16:08

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