First post, by Kerr Avon
We loyal Duke Nukem fans have had to put up with a lot of disappointments, not just with Duke Nukem Forever, when it was *finally* released, being a game that couldn't even reach the dizzy heights of mediocrity, but also with the Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour adding so little of any value to the twenty year old classic. There was never a sequel to the fantastic N64-only Duke Nuke: Zero Hour, and we never got the fantastic looking fan-authored remaster of Duke Nukem 3D, Duke Nukem 3D:Reloaded (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6v78cee1rI8). This remaster originally received official permission to continue, but that permission was later withdrawn (which did NOT please Duke Nukem fans, to put it mildly) and the project seems to have been abandoned as a result. I don't think any official reason was ever given for the retraction of permission to work on the mod, but the common belief is that Gearbox were worried that the mod would make their upcoming Duke Nukem Forever look bad.
This is the same Gearbox who later released the appallingly bad Aliens: Colonial Marines, a game so bugged and different from it's early preview videos, that some fans actually tried to sue Gearbox. The same Gearbox who allegedly used money that was given to them by Sega to finance work on Aliens: Colonial Marines, but who instead, it's claimed, spent that money on their own (Gearbox's) Borderlands 2 game, thereby explaining partly or mostly why A:CM turned out so bad (markedly worse even than Duke Nukem Forever). The same Gearbox that is run by Randy Pitchford, who, in an industry where most of the big names aren't known to the public, is disliked enough for people to remember him and post negatively whenever he's mentioned.
But there might be something good and Duke Nukem related on the horizon now; as anyone who followed Duke Nukem Forever's troubled development will remember, it went through several redesigns and earlier videos from 2001 and 2002 showed a much more interesting and varied game. Sadly, most of what looked so good was either lost or reduced to almost nothing in the final game, but now one of the 3D Realms ex-bosses, Frederik Schreiber, has said that he has a 90% complete version of the game from late 2002, and that he'd be prepared not only to release it for free, but to fix any problems with the game free of charge. But there might be an obstacle or two in the way. Have a look at the thread I link to at the bottom of this post, or it you can't be bothered, then here are some excerpts from it, in white:
">-This is the famous "2001" version.
-This was 90% completed. Id say 14-16 hours of gameplay.
-It was way darker and more serious than the final product. It also played partly as an RPG in terms of your goals.
-You basically had Mission Objectives on your HUD you could activate - Like quests. You also had an inventory with ID badges, keycards, etc. Things you would use in the world. Think Deus Ex Duke.
-You meet and save NPCs. Solve puzzles, and try and solve the mystery of what's going on.
-Then you meet the infected EDF who's attacking you. And the story evolves from there.
-But all very dark, cinematic. Lights going out, flickering in the distance. Moster closets etc. all with cinematic music to fit. Screams in the distance etc.
-VERY serious and dark.
-Nothing campy or slapstick at all. It feels like a horror game
-It's always raining, lighting strikes in the distance, rumbling thunder
-The bike is probably the most impressive. !z2_l1 you get the bike and the game turns half open world
-So you can drive out of vegas, and you get a loading screen. Different parts of vegas also has loading screens in between. But you get these missions from NPCs and then solve them (a bit like deus ex)
-Oh.. there's also a subway in vegas you can take to visit different districts in the city.
-It's super fun in multiplayer. 12 maps are pretty much done.
-Specific for Dukematch.
-25 ish levels.
-!z1_l1 to !z5_l7
Other bits of information:
- the 2001 version had a Dance Dance Revolution minigame with a stripper in the game room of the Slick Willy (Strip Club)
- "One of the first levels in the game, when you visit your own office. You see the hands on the keyboard, and can write an email from your own computer in-game. The game crashes as soon as you press "Send" as it tries to connect to an old POP3 server which doesn't exist anymore"
- Every weapon had an alt-fire mode (RPG/Nuke, Shotgun/Slug/Acid)
- Comparisons are made to Half-Life and Deus Ex, you can activate secondary objectives by talking to people in the world and areas are large and open
- the game is much more serious than the final release as evident in the 2001 trailer, there's still humor but it isn't trying to be a comedy game
The biggest issue in drawing attention to this is probably what's associated with Duke Nukem and Duke Nukem Forever and the wide belief that nothing existed of the 2001 version of the game except staged scenes. The franchise has turned in to this weird parody style attempt at comedy under Gearbox. Funny enough the "outdated" jokes and references in the final game were written somewhere between late 2009 and early 2010 by amateur writers with no experience working for free after 3D Realms had released their staff due to a lack of funding. George Broussard (Duke Nukem director/3D Realms co-founder) had no involvement in the game for over a year before it's release and has expressed his dislike for how the character has been portrayed, the games advertised, and the huge focus on what were smaller parts of Duke Nukem 3D (strippers and comedy) under Gearbox. https://i.imgur.com/ss8d5Gq.png
In the fan communities people generally refer to Gearbox Softwares Duke Nukem as "Douche Nukem" and dislike the shift from an 80s/90s action homage under 3D Realms to what now draws comparisons to Family Guy.
I really hope that this will one day (soon!) be released. Yes, it might well never be released. And even if it is, then the "90% done" estimate might prove to be closer to 30% done. Or if it is really 90% done, then it might turn that the missing 10% is the code and data that actually makes the whole thing work, and even if everything does work, the game might still turn out to be rubbish. And Duke Nukem as an RPG/first person shooter with a darker plot and unsettling events might turn out to be very bad in themselves (it's not what we were expecting, given DN3D's satirical science-fiction action-hero setting complete with humour and parodies of popular culture).
But maybe we will get it, maybe it will be made fully playable by Frederik Schreiber (possibly assisted by DN fans and modders), and maybe, just maybe, it will turn out to be the Duke Nukem Forever that we always wanted to have.