Lawsuit Takes Toll, Duke Nukem On Hold For Bombshell

By Nathan Grayson on May 15th, 2014 at 10:00 am.

Remember that legal battle between Rise of the Triad developer Interceptor (who recently ate 3D Realms) and Borderlands border/game license patrol Gearbox over who’s allowed to make Duke Nukem games? Yeah, well it’s still happening, and apparently it’s not going as smoothly as Interceptor anticipated when I interviewed them. From Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction‘s maybe-ashes has arisen Bombshell, Interceptor’s own top-down blast-’em-up starring a hard-fighting, harder-drinking main character. This one, however, is an impractically dressed lady with a robot arm… who just so happens to have recently robbed Duke Nukem’s supply chest/motorcycle garage/lion throne room. Trailer and first details below.

It’s a remarkably Duke-Nukem-esque opening, no? The gameplay – top-down action-RPG shooting – sounds a lot like what Mass Destruction was set to be, too. Here’s the basic premise:

“From the creators of 2013’s Rise of the Triad comes Bombshell, an isometric action role-playing game for PC and PlayStation 4. Bomb Disposal Specialist turned mercenary for hire, Shelly ‘Bombshell’ Harrison must strong-arm her away across 4 planets in an Unreal Engine-powered galactic adventure to rescue the president from an apocalyptic alien threat. With out-of-this-world enemies, a never-before-seen arsenal of devastating weaponry and a host of genre-crossing mechanics, Bombshell is set to blow you away.”

Interceptor claims Bombshell is an attempt at seizing an opportunity born of the Gearbox lawsuit – the chance to make its own IP. At this point, Mass Destruction – which Interceptor never officially announced but revealed through a web campaign – is in limbo. “It’s impossible to say what will happen in regards to our previous project,” the developer wrote. “It might return, it might not.”

Bombshell, however, loves kicking ass and hates bubble gum. Also, her game will be incredibly mod friendly, so you can always just mod in Duke if you really want to see him clomping around a playground that was – in all likelihood – originally built for him.

Bombshell will be out next year. What do you think? Are you a bad enough robot-armed, Skrillex-haired woman to rescue the president?

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62 Comments »

Top comments

  1. SaintShion says:

    While I appreciate a badass, Cyborg woman with awesome hair, to the metal music and the motorcycle, and not to mention that it seems they’re promising she has the ‘tude of the Grand Poobah of ‘tude himself, Duke Nukem, this trailer is all sorts of not interesting. From the lack of substance, to the rotating around her boobs and midriff, I kind of yawned and waited for something to happen besides semi-slowmo walking and not terribly great animation. Action RPG? Meh.

    If it was a turn-based, isometric RPG, then we’d be talking.

  1. clumsyandshy says:

    Trailer looks not-so-good on so many levels.
    New IP is nice though.

  2. Felixader says:

    Wooooooow, this looks awfull. X-P

    I mean if this were a students practise render, okay, but holy shit.
    Everything, the overall design, camera, animation and composition is just terrible!

    • khendrix says:

      I agree with the pacing, animation etc flaws… but my biggest concern was total lack of any environment.

      This’ll be the first game set in an world completely built of vague grey backdrops, occasionally dotted with televisions, armchairs and explosions.

  3. Post-Internet Syndrome says:

    That trailer had absolutely no sense of tempo, rhythm or flow. At all. As well as some serious gratuitous male gaze. Also stiff animations.

    I mean, the thought of turning Duke into a woman is actually an entertaining one, but one would think you could get rid of some of the sexism while you’re at it?

    • TheTingler says:

      I’d be amused if it was sexist towards men instead, but they’d need to put some clothes on the main character first.

      • Squirly says:

        Naw, just have all the men wear nothing but banana hammocks.

  4. Henke says:

    Good God. The character animation and the pacing in that trailer is like something from the mid-90′s. Sure, back then simply having a 3D character in a cutscene was enough of a “wow factor” to carry it, but times have moved on.

  5. SaintShion says:

    While I appreciate a badass, Cyborg woman with awesome hair, to the metal music and the motorcycle, and not to mention that it seems they’re promising she has the ‘tude of the Grand Poobah of ‘tude himself, Duke Nukem, this trailer is all sorts of not interesting. From the lack of substance, to the rotating around her boobs and midriff, I kind of yawned and waited for something to happen besides semi-slowmo walking and not terribly great animation. Action RPG? Meh.

    If it was a turn-based, isometric RPG, then we’d be talking.

    • Low Life says:

      I came for the badass cyborg woman with awesome hair and left for the shitty trailer (after staying for a while for the comments).

    • Guvornator says:

      (To the tune of Iron Man)

      I. Are. Iron Bra.
      Iiiiiron Bra I Are, I Are.

      I know this is a point Terry Pratchett was making when I was 8, but what woman is going into battle thinking “better work on that tan!”

      • Spacewalk says:

        Heavy bra of lead
        fills the feminists full of dread
        Ranting as fast as they can
        Male gaze strikes agaaaaiiinn!

    • Drake Sigar says:

      Ya the first minute is building up to a classic face reveal like they’d do with a male action hero, but comes off looking bad because they neglected to give her clothing, and then the scene insists on keeping her tits and midriff in the shot, often awkwardly obscuring half her head above the camera-line.

      It also reminds me a bit of that rubbish Duke Nukem Forever teaser where Duke is surrounded by the same blackness, pumping his guns on some gym equipment (that was being generous, he’s moving a dumbbell up and down with the speed of a turtle). Except in Duke’s teaser the music was decent.

      It might be a good game? Maybe? It’s just not a very good trailer.

  6. Ketchua says:

    Shittest trailer ever. Technically, aesthetically and contentically. Boo Interceptor. Boo.

  7. Turkey says:

    It’s like a hilariously bad version of the part in Deus Ex:HR where Adam sits around in his apartment drinking.

    • ZappaBappa says:

      Not only do they use the Deus Ex trailer as a template. She also looks like a hilariously bad version of Yelena from DE:HR. 3D Realms at it’s finest here, if they can’t even come up with their own Trailer/Character design, then how the hell are they gonna shit together a game worth playing. They haven’t been relevant since Duke 3D/Shadow warrior, and they probably never will be again anymore.

      Well, we’ll see how it is when it comes out in about 13 years, after multiple take overs, dumb 3DRealms lawsuits over rights they sold, and eventually another developer taking the fall for 3DRealms and buying, and releasing it.

    • TheMopeSquad says:

      I didn’t ask for this.

  8. NailBombed says:

    Reserving proper judgement till we see some actual gameplay footage – yet that trailer doesn’t exactly leave me wanting more. A genderflipped semi-robotic Duke that looks like a raider from Fallout 3? Meh. Also MAX CLEAVAGE. Guess I can see what demographic they’re aiming at.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      I didn’t see much cleavage. I mean, if they’re gonna do it, they might as well go for broke.

      • NailBombed says:

        Maybe it could be worked into a Duke spinoff when the dust settles – DUKE GODDAMN NUKEM and MAXINE CLEAVAGE take on THOSE MOTHERFUCKING ALIENS. AGAIN.

  9. MrThingy says:

    (with best Brian Sewell voice)

    “How utterly ghastly.”

  10. TWChristine says:

    “Prepare your face” is about as good a tagline as “John Romero’s about to make you his bitch.”

    • Guvornator says:

      That was also how he proposed to his wife…

      I have to say, though, I have a sort of grudging admiration for that statement. I suffer from such chronic shyness and fear of saying the wrong thing that even logging on to the RPS mumble server is not without a certain degree of nervousness. Having the arrogance to come out and say you’re going make the entire world your bitch takes a unique kind of arrogance and ignorance that’s pretty special…

  11. tomimt says:

    It really says a lot when a 3 minute trailer feels too long.

  12. Jesus_Phish says:

    Is the trailer meant to be bad on purpose? Are they being ironic or something?

  13. zeekthegeek says:

    Bad trailer and Interceptor’s last project didn’t exactly inspire. From the geniuses who thought making a new Duke Nukem game after Forever was a great idea too..everything is stacking up in this game’s favor to be a huge success.

    • Hypnotron says:

      nice find.

      Here’s what this game needs design wise…

      It’s been done many times in film, but they need to make Bombshell a G.I Jane that is constantly battling discrimination, sexism, misogyny, harassment, etc. Unlike Duke, she doesn’t use funny one liners. She’s fed up and is as serious as a heart attack. However, her male foes wind up looking like buffoons as they underestimate her time and time again.
      The situations Bombshell experiences should be a never ending steam of “WTF?” Because women experience outrageous “WTF?” moments all the time.

      So my advice, use every aspect of the story to show what an absurd reality women live in.

      And they should LOSE the robotic arm. They might as well just come right out and say “well she’s a woman so she needs an equalizer to battle men!” What Bombshell lacks in strength compared to some of her opponents, she makes up for in quickness, dexterity, balance, and body control.

      Tough female characters:
      Aeon Flux
      Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
      Sarah Conner
      GI Jane
      The Bride (Kill Bill)
      Wonder Woman
      Lara Croft

      • Stuart Walton says:

        You forgot Cate Archer.

      • BarryAllen says:

        ” they need to make Bombshell a G.I Jane that is constantly battling discrimination, sexism, misogyny, harassment, etc.”

        No they don’t. Also it wouldn’t make sense when she’s fighting fucking aliens. What do you want them to do go around going “LOL PUNY HUMAN WOMAN YOU ARE PUNIER THAN YOUR PUNY HUMAN MALES” then she beats them till they apologise and post a statement saying all humans are equally puny?

        “And they should LOSE the robotic arm. They might as well just come right out and say “well she’s a woman so she needs an equalizer to battle men!””

        Why the fuck would you do that? The arm is cool as fuck and shes not fighting humans shes fighting aliens, stop trying to say everything is sexist when you’ve only seen the crap trailer and not looked at any other info. If you watch the interview with the developer he says some pretty cool game mechanics the arm allows i.e. detaching the arm and using it as a sentry gun.

        • steviebops says:

          ‘stop saying everything is sexist’

          Do you even know what site you’re on?

    • Low Life says:

      Ok, now things are getting interesting.

      Also, holy wall of text, Batman!

  14. Stuart Walton says:

    Is anyone else really pissed off by that robot hand? It’s all joints but no actuators!

    You’d think that if they slap a ‘No Fate’ decal on it, they may as well nick the T-100 hand too.

    • Premium User Badge slerbal says:

      haha, I had exactly the same thought! God god this looks awful on every level, so much so that I wondered if it was a very late April Fool’s joke, but no :(

      I don’t know what head space they are in over there. Also: “Prepare your face”? What does that even mean?

      I wonder if the games industry needs some Golden Raspberry-style awards…? This would be a serious contender…

  15. HiFiHair says:

    But is it art?

  16. NailBombed says:

    Prepare your WARFACE?

  17. TheMightyEthan says:

    I think they made her move like a Cylon on purpose.

    • Premium User Badge LTK says:

      A Cylon you say, hmm…. A Cylon fighting aliens to keep humanity from getting wiped out so she can use them for her own nefarious purposes? That might be interesting.

  18. Premium User Badge Stense says:

    That may be the dullest trailer I’ve ever seen.

    Didn’t the very earliest version of Duke Nukem Forever, back in the arse end of the nineties, feature a character called Bombshell? Well, this trailer certainly seems to have that 90s heritage, and all the terrible female character tropes of that came with it. Maybe there’s more to it in the actual game, but this teaser isn’t exactly the most encouraging thing to introduce with.

  19. XhomeB says:

    Duke Nukem had style, charisma and was all kinds of awesome. They ruined that awesomeness in DNForver and got the character wrong, by the way.
    Bombshell… I’m sorry, I’m not “feeling” it. They tried to make her “as not generic as possible”, but she seems anything but. Completely uninteresting.

  20. Syme says:

    It feels like 3D realms idea of “cool” is the same as 13 year old boy in the 80′s.

  21. Insurgence says:

    I’m all for new IP. I just have to say though that they should have spent more time working on this trailer. It was not impressive on any level, the only thing that kept my interest was the hope that there would be something interesting.

    The only semi interesting part was how bad some of the animations looked. She looked creepy getting on the motor cycle. Her hair did not move while riding the bike. It was also to reminiscent of duke nukem and saints row. I mention Saints Row because the news part reminded me a little of Saints Row, plus the main character is a bad ass whether you choose man or chick. Overall it was just all sorts of bad. You would think that they would have panned in to a different angle to cover up the shoddiness of the various aspects, but they did not even seem to noticed where something looked hinky. That makes me believer that this was just slapped together, and does not bode well for the final project.

    It would have been better if they waited until just before E3 or whenever and used that time to refine the game even more. Then release a tech demo/cock tease trailer a week before. But then again, it would only have helped if they put more effort into it.

  22. Michael Fogg says:

    I will go out on a limb and say I’m mildly interested. In a slightly morbid way.

  23. Premium User Badge Chaz says:

    Duchess Bomb’em.

  24. forddent says:

    I too enjoy riding my motorcycle through a black void as explosions happen in the background. It’s like they made a game just for me.

  25. Jalan says:

    This would’ve had me laughing uncontrollably if Jon St. Jon were voicing the lead character, regardless of gender.

    Instead, it just seemed odd to see her get on and start up a chopper only frames later to see a static background behind her suggesting that despite the wheels turning, she was staying in the same spot. Kinda reminiscent of a vehicle scene shot for a sitcom.

  26. The Random One says:

    It’s kind of amazing how a half-punk half-goth grimdark cyborg lady can still come across as trite an uninspired.

  27. madeofsquares says:

    This reminds me of video card box art from the 1990s.

    That is not a good thing.

  28. lordfrikk says:

    I think they missed the 1999 deadline.