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3D Realms

Sad end to Duke Numem fiasco... or is it?

Duke Nukem Forever Screenshot

In his Wired article, Earnest Cavalli doesn't mince words. He starts off by saying "It's time to put Duke Nukem out of his misery." You can't be more direct than that and after starting a story in that way, you're not allowed to sugarcoat the rest of it. And Cavalli doesn't.

But he is correct. Though still popular—our Duke Nukem Never post proved a popular one—Duke was a character that time may have just passed by. Few gamers today can relate to Duke Nukem, a caricature of 1980s action heroes.

Video: Duke Nukem Forever gameplay footage

Duke Nukem Forever may never see release, but I know that, like me, you've been dying to get a look at the actual game. Whether it was ready for release or not, you want to see something. And here it is.

Now, graphically, it looks like it stands up. I love seeing Duke's legs, arms and hands when he climbs, runs or falls. Lots of shiny sweat on said arms and legs. It looks like they were incorporating all of the visual bells and whistles. And (most of) the enemies look nice, but it's the AI that doesn't seem at all smart. What definitely don't stand up are the one-liners. I don't know if they were added for this demo or what, but they sound canned. Imagine that, the bread and butter of the Duke Nukem franchise just sound out of place and antiquated.

Again, this is a demo and isn't necessarily indicative of the entire game—but having nothing else to compare it to—we have to look at this brief look and come away a little disappointed. Ah, well.

Duke Nukem Never?

Duke Nukem Forever Screenshot

Over one decade after announcing Duke Nukem Forever, 3D Realms has to close its doors taking the industry's most famous piece of vaporware with it.

In a prepared statement, Take-Two VP of communications Alan Lewis said:

"We can confirm that our relationship with 3D Realms for Duke Nukem Forever was a publishing arrangement, which did not include ongoing funds for development of the title. In addition, Take-Two continues to retain the publishing rights to Duke Nukem Forever."

A representative for Deep Silver and Apogee Software said they "are not affected by the situation at 3D Realms. Development on the Duke Nukem Trilogy is continuing as planned."

Duke Nukem Forever was not the only project that 3D Realms had worked on, but it was probably the one that the developer was most known for.

Given these tough economic times, the performance of titles like Prey and ongoing development costs, 3D Realms finally had to lay off its entire staff.

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