The story of Fr. Duke Nukem Forever’s The development seemed to be tied to the port when the game was finally launched in 2011, an incredible 14 years after it was announced. But the first-person shooter eventually put together by Gearbox Software, as shitty as it was, didn’t necessarily show the whole story of the game.
Probably the most famous trailer of the game came at E3 2001; it showed a bombastic, explosion-filled riot through Las Vegas that actually looked like a video game to play, apparently featured in the Unreal Engine version of the time. This week we learned how playful that version of the game was – with at least one of them Duke Nukem foreveroriginal creators attesting to its authenticity.
“Few test levels”
The latest leak of the game, which was released on 4chan on Sunday and is widely shared by Duke Nukem fan site duke4.net, seems to have been made from 2001 source code and resources. It includes a one-minute first-person massacre video in a strip club setting called “Slick Willy” very appropriate for Duke. The sequence was apparently reproduced and recorded by a construction leak.
In addition, the leak suggested that playable files, source code and the official folder editor could be released in June — which would coincide with the 21st anniversary of the E3 trailer — and responded to various 4chan duplicates by uploading additional images based on their demands. This included screenshots of file lists and build folders, along with images from other parts of the game and a higher resolution display of “redness from the E3 trailer”.
Although this week’s video includes only three demonstrated pistols (pistol, shotgun, semi-automatic rifle), the leak suggested that almost all the options in the weapon list interface in the video are functional, with the exception of the “chainsaw and freezer”. It is unclear whether the game files are manually patched to work on modern computers or whether interested players will have to pull out computers appropriate to the era with appropriate drivers, operating systems and hardware. (Optimistic retro gamers may want to rob their cabinets for spare GeForce 6600 XT GPUs, just in case.)
Shortly after the video and related screenshots started circling, the former Duke Nukem forever project manager George Broussard confirmed its apparent authenticity on Twitter, telling fans that “the leak looks real”. He said that while it can be played, it should not be viewed as a game, “just as a piece of barely filled test levels.”