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Footage Of Cancelled Duke Nukem Game Looks Hellishly Bad

Footage Of Cancelled Duke Nukem Game Looks Hellishly Bad

Legal troubles meant this game never saw the light of day.

Imogen Donovan

Imogen Donovan

Oh, boy. The trailer for a cancelled Duke Nukem game from Gearbox Software - titled Duke Nukem Begins - has been shared onto the Internet. It is not good.

Let's cut to the chase: Duke Nukem Forever was the result of a chaotic development between four different studios over 14 years, and when it eventually released, reviewers called it dated, tedious, overly linear, and offensive. Eesh. It's almost as if Duke Nukem is a product of its time and simply doesn't fit into where the industry and those who make it up are today. Hey, what do I know, though? The series is older than I am and I should treat my elders with a bit of respect.

Perhaps Duke Nukem Begins is the answer. Set before the events of the original game, it would have recounted how the character becomes the hero in the later games. Perhaps I would have immersed myself in the role of the sardonic macho man, finally appreciating and understanding his views on warfare, women and wrongdoers. Perhaps... not.

Check out the "vertical slice" for Duke Nukem Begins below. It's an experience.


Gregor Punchatz, a former animator at Janimation, uploaded the trailer to YouTube with the intention of resurrecting the game. "We were hired by Gearbox to create a vertical slice (an animated version of what the game will look like) for the game Duke Nukem Begins, a Duke origin story," explained Punchatz. "We poured everything we had into making the most awesome cinematic Janimation had ever created."

They expressed their disappointment that the legal tussles between 3D Realms and Gearbox Software led to the cancellation of the game, meaning that their work was not going to be shown off to other competitors. "Because it is still a piece I am damn proud of, I am releasing it 13 years after its creation. The whole team that worked with me deserves to see this released into the wild. I hope this somehow resurrects this version of the game by showing the world how awesome it would have been..." concluded Punchatz.

I am not here to rag on the work of the animators. As aforementioned, the team was approached by Gearbox Software to create a teaser trailer for Duke Nukem Begins. So, it's not an actual representation of what the game looked like, but it would have shared a lot of similarities. Initially, my issue is that it's meant to be an origin story for Duke but it shows him strolling through alleyways and strip clubs shooting enemies. That's what he did in the other games. Did he emerge from the womb as a trigger-happy tyke?

In the end, we see the White House under attack by pig cops and flying aliens that have laid waste to the surroundings. Is this all cleaned up by the time Duke Nukem 3D rolls round and the events of that game are a repeat of what would have happened in Begins? I am concerned that the safety of the world is continually placed in this man's ginormous hands. And, the visuals - splattery, ketchupy gore and a big neon sign that says "BOOBS." Wow. That's so cool. I don't know if this game needs a resurrection, honestly.

Featured Image Credit: Gregor Punchatz via YouTube

Topics: News, PC