Gearbox Software resurrects Duke Nukem: Forever
Ladies and gentlemen, the Duke has entered the building. Well, sort of. The ‘Duke' here refers to Duke Nukem, Apogee and 3D Realms' action-hero, ladies man and all-round xenocidal maniac who is all set to make a fashionably late appearance sometime in 2011 — nearly 14 years after Duke Nukem: Forever was announced. During this period, DNF has been a game of many hands, going through two developers (four if you count collaborative developers), four publishers and three entire generations of consoles without officially being canned — a feat which no game, film or media release has been able to achieve to date. But things are now looking good for the Duke and his ladies thanks to Gearbox Software which is absolutely determined to liberate the game from developmental limbo and unleash it on the world next year. Famous for its ability to create solid tactical shooters and develop on existing franchises, Gearbox really seem to fit the bill, having given us last year's FPS/RPG-hybrid Borderlands, the Brothers in Arms series and one-time online favourite, Counter-Strike: Condition Zero. Gearbox even showed the world its versatility when it developed the PC version of what is considered the greatest skateboarding video game of all time, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3, in 2002. It's good to see that the Duke is in safe hands... not that he would need to be in safe hands.
Duke Nukem's transition from a side-scrolling action game to the realm of 3D was complete with the release of 1996's controversial Duke Nukem 3D. Aimed at a mature audience, Duke 3D sported gratuitous violence, nudity and profanity, but despite its content, the game would go on to become extremely popular among groups of PC gamers, spawning iterations on other platforms, including the Sega Saturn, Nintendo 64, Sony Playstation, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and more recently, the Xbox 360, on which Duke 3D was released as a downloadable Xbox Live Arcade title. Needless to say, the legions of Duke fans who were quite miffed at 3D Realms' seeming incapability to hand them a sequel in the form of DNF are content, but not too optimistic. Having been forced into scratching their itchy trigger fingers with one humourless generic shooter after another, their lack of optimism is unsurprising given that the Duke's impending return was hanging in the balance for over a decade. But Duke Nukem lives and will be the playable protagonist in Duke Nukem: Forever, a game that returns to the roots that made Duke Nukem 3D awesome. The game is almost done only requiring minor polishing and a demo has been promised once the release date is confirmed, so keep your shotguns crossed.
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