Many players still don't believe it. And who can blame them. Almost 14 years have passed since Duke Nukem Forever was first announced in 1997 by 3D Realms. Since then, this game collected 7 Vaporware Awards from Wired News, shattering all records for the most delayed videogame in history. The good news we already knew: it's finally coming. The bad one: not yet. Yes, the game has been officially delayed. Again. The long awaited return of the Duke won't be May 6, but June 10 – and four days later for North America.
Short version for those who lived on Mars. After 3D Realms finally ran out of funds and shut down in 2009, everyone thought it was the end of the line. But a tiny group of former 3D Realms employees refused to let the Duke fall into oblivion. They founded Triptych Games and kept working on the project. Then, colossus named Gearbox (Half-Life, Halo, and Borderlands should ring a bell about this name) stepped in. The game, re-announced last year, was originally going to hit the shelves in May. Then, the announcement by Gearbox head Randy Pitchford. The video is meant to be funny, but I bet many people didn't laugh, if not out of frustration. Or disbelief.
Meanwhile, Gearbox is being smart as hell handling - and feeding - the hype. Nothing playable for the public so far: a “First Access” pass to the demo can be obtained by purchasing Borderlands. But from the preview shown at PAX last year we already know it will be the same vulgar old Duke. Showers of lead and an overdose of machismo. Especially the latter. The game isn't even released yet and already came under fire: a multiplayer mode called “Capture The Babe” has in fact been announced by Pitchford on the official XBox magazine US of April. According to the descriptions, it's a capture-the-flag variation with the only difference that players will be kidnapping a girl around, gently slapping her buttocks eventually when she “freaks out”. Reactions came instantly: women's rights activist Shelby Knox already collected over 7000 signs on her petition aiming to prevent Wallmart from selling the game until this mode is removed.
Well, what would you expect. In Duke Nukem 3D (1996), the player could pay strippers to see their pixelated boobies, then shoot them to see dollar notes flying around. There's two things this brand is good at: getting delayed and cause outrage. Nothing new under the sun; it's just another scene in this long drama. Let's hope the ending credits will be on the screen pretty soon because, honestly, this movie is starting to get dull.