Old Man Duke Nukem has gotten the band back together to show us disrespectful whippersnappers what for in Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary Edition World Tour [official site]. Out today (in a few hours), it’s a re-release of 3D Realms’ 1996 first-person shooter with an extra episode made by the old gang. Original level designers Allen Blum III and Richard ‘Levelord’ Gray have made new levels, composer Lee Jackson has musicated them, and ol’ Jon St. John is back in the recording booth saying movie quotes.
The new eight-level episode sends Duke jaunting around the world to shoot those naughty aliens. Oh, and Duke gets a new gun. I am quite curious to see how the episode has turned out – designers returning to old projects with new experience can prove quite interesting. At the very least, I hope it’ll have lots of good buttons to press.
The World Tour Anniversary Tour World World Tour Time World Edition Anniversary also comes with an (optional) 3D version, magically popping Duke 3D into polygons with newer lighting and bits. It does fix(?) the problem(?) of the odd perspective on Duke’s fake 3D turning your eyes inside-out if you look up and down too much but it does also change the style and spirit of Duke a bit too much for this hoary purist. Feeling confused and slightly ill is part of the true Duke Nukem 3D experience.
Tour Tour Tour Anniversary Tour Special Tour Tour Edition is £14.99/19,99€/$19.99 on Steam. No, you can’t buy the new episode separately. No, you can’t even buy the original version of Duke Nukem 3D digitally any more. I already own Duke Nukem 3D digitally (in editions since pulled from sale) and won’t pay £15 for a new episode. I can’t imagine the fuss it’d be to untangle the rights to editions put out by 3D Realms and Devolver Digital and the hand inside the corpse of 3D Realms and Gearbox and… the situation still sucks for folks who’ve already paid for Duke 3D.
Gearbox Software getting the band back together is the most exciting thing to happen to Duke in fifteen years. It may well be the last exciting thing ever to happen to Duke. I fear Gearbox may be trying to warm audiences up for a new game of their own making and no, no thank you. Tour Tour Tour Tour Tour is a good point to let Duke retire.