Arts & Culture / Mosaic / October 28, 2010

Duke is not dead

“Duke Nukem Forever,” a game title that has not seen the light of day since its production began in 1997, is to be released next year. Someone’s gonna have to pay for screwing up Duke’s vacation.

And a long vacation it has been. After thirteen awkward years of failed release dates, “DNF” has earned Wired News’ Vaporware Award for being one of the most shameless cases of procrastination in the video-gaming business—eight times in a row. This year, things are different. The guys at IGN and the Penny Arcade Expo confirmed that Duke is alive and ready to kick alien ass sometime in early 2011.

Loyal Nukem fans have been perspiring over their preorder receipts since ’97, and more than a decade later, they actually got those sweaty palms on a demo at the Penny Arcade Expo, Sept. 3 of this year. This killed a lot of the cynicism that “DNF” has faced, especially with the downsizing of 3D Realms, the studio in charge of the Duke saga until recently. Now that Gearbox as taken over the project in 2010, “DNF” has undergone a revival.

The delays might not be anyone’s fault in particular. Most of the setbacks were related to revitalizing the outdated graphics. Decisions were made to adapt to newer graphic engines, a slow and complicated process that might seem excessive to anyone who hasn’t seen the serious improvements made to the gameplay and look of “DNF” over the years. Gameplay footage from the expo looks great, complete with modern FPS features, an ‘Ego’ meter as Duke’s healthbar and a heaping helping of Duke Nukem goriness. With a multiplayer mode as well, it might all be worth the wait.

Duke will be back spewing one-liners, vaporizing space scum and saving all the babes come 2011. Best of all, it’s going to be up to par with the times.

Stephen Danilovich

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