Woke up to a nice Saturday morning and found out from all the online buzz that my dream is well and truly over – Duke Nukem Forever is going to be Duke Nukem For-Never.
Sorry for that joke, but the irony’s hard to avoid. After telling fans of the first-person shooter that the game will be out “when it’s done” in the past 12 years – yes, that’s nearly as old as some of you Counter-strike junkies – 3D Realms said yesterday (United States time) that it is shutting its doors.
Reports say the economy’s downward spiral has forced it to lay off all its staff.
What that means is that the followup to the seminal Duke Nukem 3D, the first shooter to bring us the greatest, funniest and most politically incorrect gameplay in a PC game, is probably shot up in flames as well.
For those too young to know, Duke Nukem 3D was the mid-1990s first-person shooter that out-shot Doom and Quake with its hilarious OTT wit and sarcasm.
The unabashed protagonist – the titular muscle man – likes talking trash to bikini-clad women while saving them from alien scum (or sometimes offering them wads of cash).
Its multi-player game (yeah, you hook up to a pal by dialing direct to his modem for an 1-on-1 duke-out) has such amazing taunts like “you’re an inspiration for birth control” and “what are you, some bottom-feeding, scum-sucking, algae-eater?”
Excellent as they are, Counter-strike, Halo and Gears of War don’t come close to the big Duke’s ‘tude.
Somewhere in my irrational mind, I’m still hoping all this is just a big marketing and publicity stunt from a company known for its crazy ways – after all, its artist did put up a blog post saying “the end is the beginning” along with concept art of the game. But the chances of this being a huge hoax is growing fainter by the day.
So, just enjoy the desktop screens while they last… unless 3D Realms is playing the biggest joke on gamers since, well, forever.
Long live, Duke Nukem 3D. Kick ass and chew bubblegum.
(warning: mature (animated) content)
The one thing I most remember fondly about the Duke Nukem brand is the EGA sidescroller arcade.
Yeah, Duke Nukem was a classic shooter, but this MS-DOS sidescroller by Apogee was also a classic. In the same era as Archon, Alley Cat and other great arcades.
OTT storylines, evil aliens kidnapping our heroes, bikini-clad women, the works. Good times.