20 years later, Duke Nukem Forever will hurt again as “day one”

Duke Nukem Forever is like the former partner you never get over. Him whom you thought you would never see each other with again (Ayuso guaranteed you), and whom you still meet almost everywhere. You met in 1997 and had a very toxic relationship that lasted until 2011. Then you had a fight, went your separate ways, and you thought your story was over. But you thought wrong. In the middle of 2022 he will send you a picture of your debut, like: “What was that, huh ‘?”. And you, as an idiot, answer. Because when that picture is actually a version of the fucking original game, there is nothing else you need to answer.

Duke Nukem and the end of the saga

In your head, the release date for Duke Nukem Forever always has the same soundtrack. What started as a happy May 3, 2011 (happy because you’re coming from a long weekend), ended with I’m Thinking About This Afternoon by Pereza playing in the background. Because just like Leiva, when you religiously paid for your Collector’s Edition, put the disc in the console and tried the game, you regretted everything. Maybe you should have been on guard when you saw how easy it was to get a Collector’s Edition (they gave them away), but you know love is blind. In any case, you were not the only one who regretted it. Bad for many …

Before your shock therapy with the so-called reality, Gearbox Software already had theirs and also regretted spending time with the Duke. And before Gearxbox, Take-Two Interactive had (and still has) cursed itself for the day it snatched the publishing rights to Duke Nukem Forever. It would be strange if the same did not happen with 3D Realms, i.e. if it did not regret announcing the project in advance, the smoke sold and the perpetual adjustments and delays. When you are put on trial and your baby is taken from you, it is hard not to regret much. But instead of going from the present to the past, let’s go in order, because otherwise it’s a mess.

Duke Nukem Forever: The Story of a Doomed Development

In 1997, George Broussard (character designer) and recently renamed Apogee Software, now converted to 3D Realms (and of which Broussard co-owned), announced Duke Nukem Forever and turned the gaming world upside down. For many, it was like a Cupid crush (or a Duke blow to the stomach). This is where you met. Something cool, dirty, like Duke himself. Nothing like an E3 and an announcement like Twilight Princess. Yours was an exchange of glances in a dingy joint, and nothing else was necessary. Duke Nukem 3D had been a hit, “the best possible sequel to DOOM”, and its sequel quickly became one of the most anticipated games of the turn of the century.

The announcement was made for publication just a year later, in 1998, but the palace is moving slowly and the game ended up being delayed. And arrive late. And arrive late. At first, no one seemed to care. In love, we have become accustomed to forgiving everything in the early stages of a relationship. In addition, in the following years, the team released information relatively normally and made an unforgettable declaration of love to its community. A more beautiful statement than the one we all threw up with at the end of Love Actually (yes, that on the posters). We are referring to this E3 2001 trailer that we saw until our retinas melted. Polygonal violence, chases in all sorts of makeshift vehicles, drive-by shootings, girls, blood and lots of testosterone. The problem with Starfield and Redfall was not that they were delayed, but that they did so without releasing such a trailer. With trailers like this, you forgive everything.

The battle between 3D Realms and Take-Two

The generated hype caught the attention of several publishers, and in 2001, after giving its rights through several hands, Take-Two Interactive became the official distributor of Duke Nukem Forever. As soon as they picked up the line to check what they had taken, the company must have realized that things would take a long time. In the lawsuits that come later, some have called it a desire for perfectionism and others that 3D Realms had sold smoke and deceived the presentations up to that point.

For a while it did not matter, Take-Two complained about the slowness of things, Broussard told them publicly that “they had to shut up” and start over, each time their own way. After all, it was the developer who financed the project himself thanks to what was achieved with its prequels. But when 3D Realms, after a decade of staying in the dark, had to ask Take-Two for extra money (under the implicit threat of canceling the development if they did not give it to him), there were lawsuits.

Duke Nukem and the Search for Eternal Youth

Back in 2009, the game was still in limbo after spending over $ 20 million going from place to place without a clear roadmap. Its cycle of dates and delays was eternal. Rumors of all the graphic improvements that were also the cause. Retouching after retouching, competing with the times, never tries to age visually in an era of full graphic revolution. It was a losing battle. A battle of life and death that ended with 3D Realms firing a large part of its team (among the few who had not gone) and several affected, which revealed the chaos development, and even the game’s script, as revenge. Duke Nukem Forever was the laughing stock of the industry.

Tired of the situation when 3D Realms demanded money from Take-Two Interactive, the company took 3D Realms to court and the result is known by all. A paralyzed development and the legendary studio set against a rock and a hard place. He was forced to look for an external partner, and they got help from Gearbox Software even at the expense of losing the intellectual property of the saga. This one worked for a year with the latest available materials and under the delayed “Duke can’t die” motif. When he realized that it was impossible to save, he thought of nothing better than putting it up for sale right away and stopping everything. A custom that Aliens would inherit: Colonial Marines. A bandage relaxed … but a bandage that was on the heart. If it would have been better not to post anything, I’ll leave it to you.

Duke Nukem Forever 2001 Beta

But now you get this WhatsApp. This “What are the hours, huh?” “. Only, instead of a message, it’s a version of Duke Nukem Forever with the hardware that existed in 2001. A beta that turns out to be surprisingly accurate and with all the chapters of the game present, though some of them do not has any enemies.With virtually all weapons (except chainsaws and ice-cold beam), the ability to use vehicles and even a level editor.It is not a final or complete release, but with the source code in the hands of the community, it will be rare that we do not end up seeing an achievement that makes up for the 23 years.

On the one hand, you celebrate with the community and wonder why the hell this did not happen, just like the rest of the tweets that complete this piece. There was smoke, but in the midst of such a fire one could still breathe. You think of the kid who might have played this version back then (the graphical updates you made yourself did not work either) and you get upset. You are carried away by your love and how much you loved Duke Nukem. But then the usual reappears. George Broussard and Scott Miller, founders of Apogee Software.

Duke Nukem forever


The new match George Broussard and Scott Miller

Scott Miller has written a detailed statement where he comes to confirm everything: the absence of a roadmap, the reboots due to technical problems, the lack of staff and money. He talks about the project as a well that ended up destroying the developer, he talks for the first time about Take-Two as a savior and admits that before Gearbox there was already another studio that they were not just a minute away from leave the development. , Digital Extremes (Warframe). To which Broussard simply replies that Scott is a narcissist whose actions have caused them to lose intellectual property. “I’m not surprised at the depth of his manipulation and narcissism.”

This is where you remember why you broke up when they confused you again with another amazing moment of an exercise in egomania, and then 20 years later, Duke Nukem Forever still hurts you like day one. “There are breaks , which is not overcome.

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