Duke Nukem Forever was, er, not exactly The King's finest hour. After more than a decade out of the limelight, Duke's stitched-together Frankenstein monster mash of levels and ideas took a critical battering from just about every corner of the Internet – ours included. Gearbox co-founder Brian Martel, however, thinks reviewers failed to consider one key ingredient: context.
After dropping enough hints to fill up the original Borderlands' entire gun roster, Gearbox has finally stopped being coy. Borderlands is officially getting a sequel. Will there be more guns? Click past the break for the shocking (read: not shocking) answer!
Near the beginning of Duke Nukem Forever, you make your way through a bona fide Duke Nukem museum. Statues, paintings, fourth-wall-shattering tributes to Duke’s greatest hits—the place nearly has it all. And we say “nearly” because one thing is missing from that perfume-scented love letter to Duke’s past: Duke Nukem Forever itself. Play for a bit longer, though, and it’s not hard to see why.
You've watched, you've waited, and – in likelihood – you've read some pretty damn grisly reviews. Even so, this is Duke Nukem Forever we're talking about. You ache to play this game – even if it is the interactive equivalent of a trainwreck that also enjoys, er, flinging human fecal matter. So, dilemma: How do you sate your primal gamer urge without spending a single cent and later shedding bitter tears of regret? Obvious answer: a demo! Previously, however, Duke's bite-sized taster was only available to First Access Club members. Now, though, anyone can have a go at it. Even children, assuming they can crack the labyrinthine code of an age gate. Good job on that one, Internet. Anyway, make with the downloading here.
The recent rapture stir may have left its biggest advocate with a Rocky sized helping of egg on his face, but that's because he failed to take one thing into account: the world can't end until Duke Nukem Forever comes out. Now, though, it seems that Duke's finally ready to emerge from his dressing room and clear the way for zombies, robots, manticores, or whatever else is planning to swiftly and brutally remove us from this earth. That's right. No doubting it this time. Duke Nukem Forever is 100 percent complete. It's gone gold.
Even after Gearbox took the reins on Duke Nukem Forever's development and let us – with our own verifiably existent hands – take it for a test drive, it was still pretty darn surreal. And come on: the hulking hero's comeback was given a vague “2011” release window. At that point, DNF may as well have bought itself a big ol' multi-story condo two inches outside of Delay City. Looks like it's time for us to eat crow while Duke chews gum and kicks ass, however, because Gearbox has finally nailed down a release date: May 3, 2011.
“When I said goodbye to 3D Realms and the original Duke Nukem 3D team in 1997 and soon after founded Gearbox Software, I never in my wildest dreams imagined that a day like today would come,” Gearbox president Randy Pitchford told Game Informer. “Today I am proud, humbled and even astounded to announce that the day is coming at last for all gamers to be a part of video game history: Duke Nukem Forever will launch worldwide this May.”
So there you have it. Or rather, you will have it – in only a few short months. And don't forget that a pre-release demo's set to lead the charge, although Gearbox still hasn't given it a concrete date just yet. Regardless, after countless ups and downs, one of gaming's longest rides is nearly at an end. Aw man, now things are feeling all surreal again. At this rate, we'll probably need to beat the game three or four times while pinching and punching ourselves before it sinks in that, yeah, DNF finally, really, irrevocably exists.
For those who've been out of the loop for the past few months, videogames have come under fire again. Shocking, we know. This 4858272052nd verse, however, isn't quite the same as the first. See, the stakes are a fair deal higher. It's the gaming industry versus Arnold Schwarzenegger round two, and this time, we'll be trading blows and ogling ring girls in the hallowed halls of the Supreme Court. Positive precedents or not, the worst case scenario here could result in mature games essentially being labeled as pornography – in all likelihood a one-way ticket off retail shelves, permanently.
Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford, of course, knows a thing or two about mature games. As a result, he's of the opinion that we need to send these gaming industry “bullies” packing once and for all.
“Seriously, things like Duke really aren't offending anyone. But some people need to act like they do, for some reason,” he told CVG. “Sometimes people will say: 'You know what, that offends me.' And that's fine. If something offends you, you have to decide how to deal with the the best way you can.”
“But it's when people decide: 'Well that offends me, so now it should offend everyone else. And, in fact, because I think it should offend everyone else, I believe that we should make a rule about such things.' Those people just need to get the f*ck off the bus. That attitude is not helpful to any of us - for anyone to think that they should impose their own morality on anyone else in this world. Those guys just need to go away, and just stop,” he explained.
“Unfortunately, those are the bullies, and we tend to let bullies bully. We need to stop them. We need to get away from those people - certainly take the keys away from them. Do not let them play with the sharp objects.”
Among other things, the ECA's hosting a rally in Washington DC on the day of the hearing. If you're in the area on November 2, it'd be well worth your time to attend. Whether or not it ends up having any effect, you'd still be doing something. Sad to say, this is one battle we can't win by sitting at our computers and clicking on our enemies until they die.
Of all the many videogame genres out there, first-person shooters tend to age the most like a borderline illiterate person's grasp of the English language – which is to say, “Not goodlyish.” Duke 3D, we love you more than mere words can even begin to express, so we're going to be as gentle as possible about this: you're hideous. Thankfully, some intrepid modders have taken to the task of giving Duke 3D an Unreal Engine 3 makeover, and – better still – Gearbox has no intention of stopping them.
“I contacted George Broussard and Scott Miller, to start a conversation about the project - The shots managed to convince Scott Miller to a certain degree - But the project was only doable if Take-Two would approve it,” project head Frederik “Fresch” Schreiber said on Gearbox's forums.
“Thinking that Gearbox might have a better relationship to Take-Two than 3D Realms, I contacted AdamF, who passed me through to PJ Putnam, Vice President and General Counsel of Gearbox Software. Luckily Gearbox was interested in supporting the project, which resulted in a personal non-commercial license to Duke Nukem.”
Duke Nukem: Next Gen, as it's been tentatively titled, will include both single-player and multiplayer components, with a free multiplayer demo scheduled for “sooner than you'd think.” For now, though, bathe in nostalgia with this video. It's quite an impressive sight, and it has Duke shooting lasers out of his hands, which is one of those things you never knew you wanted to see until you've actually seen it.
Last week, we reported that Gearbox was handing out gold slips to its magical Duke Nukem Forever factory to those who purchased the Game of the Year Edition of Borderlands. The main perk of said First Access Club? Why, that'd be early access to next year's Duke Nukem Forever demo. Of course, plenty of players immediately read between the lines, and the ones who did so with their faces too close to the page got jabbed in the eye by a big ol' middle finger to early Borderlands buyers. Or so they thought.
Turns out, anyone who bought Borderlands on Steam – whether they stuffed the game and its bazillion guns into their PC yesterday or yesteryear – has been given a code to get into the club. Just click on Borderlands in Steam, select the CD key tab, and you'll find your code there patiently waiting for you -- like a loyal and trusty hound, except better because it brings you videogames.
The First Access Club doesn't appear to be operational just yet, but we'll let you know when it is so you can make arrangements to brag at your friends accordingly. While the demo will likely be the main event, Gearbox has also promised a “wealth of goodies,” which should be exciting to people who like free things, which is everyone ever.
Did you order a copy of Duke Nukem Forever back when you thought “Forever” was simply a marketing buzz word? If so the game’s new developer Gearbox Software is looking to make things right by finding a way to honor DNF pre-orders. Company spokesman Randy Pitchford claims they are involved in high level discussions with various retail groups during his London press event last Thursday, and claims “he didn’t want to let those gamers down”.
There are a lot of people who pre-ordered the game," Pitchford told the press. "We’ve been starting to talk with retailers because we didn’t take them directly, and 3D Realms didn’t take them, it was all retailers going 'I'm going to take this guy’s money.' We’ve started to engage them, saying 'Hey, you’ve got customers who you made a promise to, and any bad feelings they have will reflect on us, so can we work together to do something for those people?'"
The retail scene for PC gaming has changed quite a bit since pre-orders started being accepted back in 2001 so it will be interesting to see what if anything can be done. DNF is still slated to hit the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 in 2011, and yes we honestly are truly believe them this time.