a version of the game dating from 2001 leaked on the web

a version of the game dating from 2001 leaked on the web

The past few weeks have been rich in video game archives. After a gameplay video of the canceled expansion by Half Life 2 by the Arkane studio, the Duke is in the spotlight today. A test version of Duke Nukem Foreverfrom 2001, was released for free download today after being revealed in a video posted on YouTube.

It is on the 4chan site that the video of this build of the game was posted.

YouTube screenshot

Behind the scenes of Duke Nukem Forever

The leaker claims that this is a version presented during the E3 2001 show by the 3D Realms studio, never before available to the general public. We find several of the elements that characterize the Duke Nukem franchise: the nervous gameplay is there, as is the crass and parodic aesthetic of the character. At the bottom left of the screen, we find the health bar, renamed “Ego” to stick to its megalomania. The game build is now downloadable from a link available in the video description.

Given all the content presented on video, it’s hard to believe in a fake, or a very, very elaborate fake video. George Broussard, producer on the project at the time, claims that this build “seems very real to him”, but did not wish to speak further on the subject. As he explains on Twitter, Duke Nukem Forever is a memory “sore” for him, and warns fans not to “not expecting too much” of this test version. According to the producer, there would be “just a few barely populated levels”, with not much fun to be found.

Nevertheless, it is a particularly important historical archive for FPS enthusiasts. Duke Nukem Forever was for a long time the most famous vaporware in video game history. Announced in 1997 shortly after the release of Duke Nukem 3D the previous year, Duke Nukem Forever was to see the return of its eponymous protagonist in a new adventure with too big ambitions.

Numerous internal changes, both personnel and game engines, dragged out development for more than a decade. Duke Nukem Forever will finally be released in 2011 on PS3, 360 and PC, and will absolutely not meet any expectations of either the public or critics.

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