They’re releasing another Duke Nukem, then. Gearbox are muttering to themselves and engaging in dreadful brandter so yup, it’s on. Predictions: the return of jokes already ten years old when Duke Nukem 3D borrowed them twenty years ago; an awkward attempt to reframe Duke’s earnest trashiness as ‘ironic’; a game hoping to coast on former glories. If rumours and leaks are to be believed, the new game is Duke Nukem 3D: World Tour, a ‘remastered’ version of the 1996 FPS with new content and ugly lighting.
I’m still quite impressed by Duke Nukem 3D but it’s time for Gearbox to let go.
Anyway, the facts first. The Duke Nukem site has sprung back into life with a “Happy 20th anniversary” banner and a countdown to next Friday, which happens to be when Gearbox have a panel at the convention PAX West. Duke Nukem himself is also now on Twitter, engaging in banter, japes, and patter – largely with Gearbox head honch Randy ‘DuvalMagic’ Pitchford. Look at the state of this:
That’s the official stuff. Unofficially? One Redditeer passes along rumours that the game they’ll announce is Duke Nukem 3D: World Tour. The Duke Nukem site did briefly link to a ‘@DukeWorldTour’ Twitter, so the name might fit. World Tour is meant to be Duke Nukem 3D updated with some engine enhancements and new content. Supposedly it’s being developed by Nerve Software, who helped Gearbox on Aliens: Colonial Marines and have previously worked on console versions of old FPSs including Doom II and Wolfenstein 3D.
Supposedly these are screenshots from a press kit that’ll be sent out later (I’ve received no such thing myself, but wouldn’t expect to until the formal announcement).
I’m really not onboard with old games being updated with new lighting. It clashes with the original art, it never has the same spirit. But then I do insist Quake be played without texture packs or even texture filtering, so I’m a bit of a tedious purist.
You might remember that this wouldn’t be the first ugly updating of Duke Nukem 3D in recent years. The Megaton Edition was Duke 3D with heaps of expansions and an overhaul combining blurred sprites with an incongruous new HUD. I am, as I said, a tedious purist. The Megaton Edition, which was arranged by publishers Devolver Digital with Duke Nukem’s creators/former owners 3D Realms without Gearbox, was pulled from stores earlier this year.
Anyway! Next Friday. Be there or blow it out of your ass.