The release of an unfinished version of the game sheds new light on its disastrous development

An image from the 2001 trailer for Duke Nukem Forever.

This has long been the biggest myth of video games, the Loch Ness Monster: Duke Nukem foreverAnnounced in 1997 and unveiled with great fanfare in a jubilant video in 2001, it was finally released in 2011 after many twists and turns by the developers, with a result that was seen as extremely disappointing.

It has to be said that after fourteen years of waiting (a record that has become an object of ridicule over the years), players were entitled to hope for more from the myth’s continuation Duke Nukem 3D (1996) this “relax” sometimes ” friendly “but also after the test of World back then, “Sexist”, “frustrating”, “repetitive”crippled with mistakes and moments “too long, too linear and boring quickly”.

Read our test of time again: Duke Nukem Forever, the missed date

Over the years, players also began to dream of the version seen in 2001, presented to the press and netizens in a rhythmic trailer. And if that’s “true” Duke Nukem forever was that one?

Since May 10th, the dream has come to an end: the 2001 version can now be played… and see for yourself that it is in reality Duke Nukem forever was never anything but a terrible shipwreck. However, this is not an official release but a “leak”, a leak made possible by someone who had access to this unfinished version: a certain x0r_jmp who provided a link to illegally download this version on the 4chan forums Duke Nukem forever Born in 2001.

There is no need to cheat to appreciate the extent of the damage: on Twitch, YouTube or Twitter, netizens quickly uploaded game sequences and testified that in this 2001 version, in fact, nothing was ready except long empty corridors and short passages to the millimeter-accurate scene, from which the 2001 trailer was assembled. Hardly a prototype, but in the end quite close to the 2011 version.

There was never anything perfect as there was never really a game

If this leak, apart from being illegal by definition, does not represent a purely gaming interest, it nevertheless constitutes a valuable historical document, destroying the official history of its development so far: if Duke Nukem forever If it took so long to come out, it was because its creators, who were too perfectionist, were unable to give it the finishing touches. In reality, there has never been anything perfect as there has never really been a game.

Dirty laundry and bird names

This unlawful provision of a working version of Duke Nukem forever have had another advantage: that of being able to better understand the reasons for this failure during a somewhat pathetic unpacking.

Scott Miller, then owner of 3D Realms, was responsible for the development of the studio until 2009 Duke Nukem foreverHe shared an explanation of this leak on his blog – of which he asserts that he does not know the author. to recognize that “The brilliant trailer from 2001 oversold what was actually playable” in this development phase he judges that the failure Duke Nukem forever is particularly due to the complete lack of a roadmap during its development.

Above all, the refusal to follow him internally when, in 2004, he had the idea of ​​entrusting the development to another studio (Digital Extremes, which has since been successful), he says war frame), led the studio into a “Barrel without ground” Outputs ending with ” Destroy 3D Empires »His studio has been an empty shell ever since, bought by a Danish investment fund in 2014.

George Broussard calls Scott Miller a “narcissistic loser” whose actions would have resulted in the “loss of the 3D Realms and Duke Nukem brands.”

If he is not credited as the author of this refusal and responsible for the end of 3D Realms, George Broussard, former studio employee and co-creator of “Duke NukemHe obviously took it for himself. On Twitter, he describes Scott Miller as “narcissistic loser” whose actions would have led “on the loss of the 3D Realms and Duke Nukem brands”.

“I would have so much to say about him – I’ve known him since the 1970’s and since high school. He takes the slightest opportunity to present himself in a favorable light, even if it means dumping an ex-boyfriend and business partner. »

Sad epilogue for a series that was in 1996 with the episode Duke Nukem 3Done of the most exciting games right now, before its name became synonymous with “vaporware,” the kind of “ghost software” everyone’s talking about but never seems to get released.

A not very honorable title, which it had to give up in 2011 when its pathetic commercial version finally saw the light of day, but which is now appropriated by another game, French, him: revealed in 2008, visibly abandoned, then revived in 2016 , before slipping off the radar again when its creator, Michel Ancel, was pushed for release by the Ubisoft studio in 2020. Beyond Good and Evil 2 has reluctantly become the new Duke Nukem forever.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers Rayman creator Michel Ancel has left Ubisoft amid internal investigations

Leave a Comment