I would’ve bet good money a Duke Nukem Forever preview would never show up on PSXE. See, we only do previews of games that exist.
We won’t bother going over the 13-year period where the aptly named “Did Not Finish” continued to lure and disappoint, over and over and over . Why beat a dead horse? The bottom line is that it’s coming and in fact, Gearbox Software has already released some media and a demo, which was playable at PAX 2010. Believe it or not, this project has come a long way in development ( real development, I mean) and it’s scheduled to release some time next year. We’re basing this information on that demo, along with a fresh teaser trailer; we will not be relating potentially fictitious information and details that have traversed the Internet for over a decade. The trailer that introduced the PAX demo, which has not been made public just yet, featured the Duke we all know and love- one-liner-lovin,’ knockin’ aliens for a loop, and generally being a bad-ass.
The demo actually has you start off by urinating. Yeah, you hit a button to actually do that. Then you wander on out to some EDF guys who are trying to come up with a plan of action, and they ask Duke for some veteran military advice. You can then draw what you like on the whiteboard before you; it doesn’t matter what you draw because when you’re done, one of the EDF soldiers will say, “That’s a great plan! If we had done that, that guy over there would still have his arm…and at least one of his balls.” Perhaps the biggest problem is in the form of a massive one-eyed alien that is – for some strange reason – standing in the center of a football stadium. Duke grabs the Devastator (rocket launcher) and runs through the tunnels to do battle; upon bringing the beast down, there’s only one thing left to do- tear out the huge eye and kick a field goal with it. If that’s not 100% Duke-esque, absolutely nothing is.
Then, the players zipped forward in time and were allowed to sample the 15th level, which actually puts Duke in charge of a big ol’ monster truck. During your ride, you will simply smash any dumb alien who wanders into your path; it didn’t appear as if an ally could drive while you stood in the back and fired away, but who cares? Crush stuff! You don’t have too far to go, anyway; the truck soon runs out of gas and you’re forced to proceed on foot. What follows is a pitched battle in a village, and Duke can run around and find all sorts of nifty weaponry, including the railgun (overpowered sniping from afar) and an entrenched turret gun. There’s even the shrink ray, which turns your ugly, marauding foes into tiny pet-size creatures that scuttle around, obviously freaked at the comparison between their small stature and Duke’s muscular frame. At the end of the demo, an enemy spaceship landed, at which point we’ll just assume more of the same cocky bad-assery followed.
From what we’ve seen, everything looks pretty good. It’s almost surprising to say that. In looking at a few of the screenshots, you’ll notice artwork and environmental shots, along with what appear to be in-game pics. It can’t be Duke without those strippers – “shake it, baby!” – and the aliens are fittingly grotesque. Considering Gearbox’s remarks and this demo, it’s not difficult to envision the final product: an intense FPS blastfest with the shade-wearing hero of yesteryear; a true-blue modern version of what we once had in the good ol’ days. How much of what we’ve seen can be attributed entirely to Gearbox is unknown; who knows how much data from 3D Realms transferred over…? But we won’t focus on that. We’ll just focus on the good-looking, highly entertaining, appropriately cheesed-out production that is Duke Nukem Forever . Cross your fingers.