2011’s Duke Nukem Forever was famous in development hell for 15 years before release. Its tumultuous cycle, which began in 1997, has spawned multiple builds and demos from the original developer 3D Realms. Today, images of one of these early versions of the game have appeared online.
as seen by GameSpota 4Chan user known as x0r uploaded footage of a 1-minute, 20-second slice of a demo of the game in 2001. The authenticity of the video has been semi-confirmed in twitter by Duke Nukem co-creator George Broussard, who served as one of the main designers of Forever with 3D Realms during its long development. According to Broussard, he has no idea how the footage resurfaced, but he dashed hopes for a complete, playable build, describing these demos as a “handful of underfilled test levels”.
Yes, the leak looks real. No, I’m not really interested in talking about it or retreading a painful past. You should strongly moderate expectations. There is no real game to play. Just a handful of poorly filled test levels. I don’t know who leaked this.
— George Broussard (@georgebsocial) May 9, 2022
However, the leaker claims to have access to the demo’s source code and plans to release it and a level editor in June.
The demo shows Duke killing alien-infected SWAT soldiers at a strip club while unleashing his signature jokes. You can spot an early version of the Ego gauge that would show up in the end game (where it essentially functioned as a shield). The footage also shows a quick toggle weapon menu to switch gear in real-time.
Another short clip showed a first-person motorcycle riding segment. The no-frills clip is exactly what it sounds like.
Duke Nukem Forever received less than stellar reviews upon release (we gave it a 6.75 out of 10) and is the last Duke Nukem game to date. The ill-fated title is ultimately most notable for having one of the longest development cycles in gaming history. The only significant sign of life the series has shown in recent years was the 2018 announcement of a Duke Nukem movie with John Cena starring. However, this has also quietly disappeared into its own development hell, assuming it’s still happening.
[Source: 4Chan via GameSpot]