The Duke Nukem Forever E3 build from 2001 is one of the most infamous development hell stories in gaming history. The game was first announced in 1997, and after years of delays and false starts, it finally released in 2011 to a generally negative reception. However, interest in the game’s development endures, and it seems that the die-hard Duke community will finally get their hands on that long-lost E3 build of the game. While it’s unlikely that the game will live up to the hype after all these years, it will be interesting to see what could have been.
The footage, which can be seen here, features Duke in what looks to be an early boss battle against a giant alien queen. It’s a brief clip, but it does give us a good idea of what the game might have looked like if it had been released back in 2001.
Interestingly, the footage also reveals that the E3 2001 build of Duke Nukem Forever was running on the Quake III engine. This is significant because, at the time, 3D Realms was in the process of transitioning to the Unreal Engine. However, due to technical difficulties, the team was forced to abandon that engine and go back to using Quake III. As a result, Duke Nukem Forever ended up being one of the few games ever to be released on two different engines.
It’s always interesting to see leaked footage of cancelled or unreleased games, and in this case it gives us a glimpse into what could have been. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll actually get to play Duke Nukem Forever. Until then, we’ll just have to keep dreaming.
It’s hard to tell much from the footage, but what is shown looks promising. The graphics are solid and the gameplay seems to be fast-paced and intense. However, I’m a bit worried that the game lacks the personality of Duke Nukem 3D. That game was filled with silly humor and over-the-top enemies, and it looks like this new game is taking itself a bit too seriously. I hope that there are still plenty of wacky aliens to blast away, because that’s one of the things that made Duke Nukem 3D so unique and fun. Overall, I’m optimistic about the game, but I hope it doesn’t lose sight of what made the series great in the first place.
Another notable feature in the upcoming Duke Nukem game is the ‘Ego’ meter. This refills upon killing enemies, and seems to function a little differently than the shield-replacement Ego meter in the 2011 version. A few more gameplay clips have appeared on YouTube, showcasing Duke driving a motorcycle through a tunnel as well as the weapons in the game. These new gameplay features have fans of the franchise excited for the release of the game. While no release date has been announced yet, it is clear that development is progressing well and that Duke Nukem fans will have a lot to look forward to in the near future.