Late last week, news broke that gaming’s most notable meathead, Duke Nukem, was possibly making his grand return. After a week of anticipation, we finally got our answer, as The Duke is indeed returning, although not in the way some expected.
Rather than attempt a new entry in the franchise, Gearbox Publishing has instead announced Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary Edition World Tour. The re-release of the classic 1996 shooter will hit Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Windows PC next month.
Originally developed by 3D Realms, Duke Nukem 3D has the titular hero defend Earth from an alien invasion. In between trips to the strip club, our hero kicks and shoots his way through an army of extraterrestrials and mutated Pig Cops. The title’s over-the-top violence and controversial humor played well upon release, but has deteriorated over the years, as evidenced by the less than stellar reception to Duke Nukem Forever.
Rather than just port the original release over to consoles and be done with it, Gearbox has outfitted the 20th Anniversary Edition World Tour with a variety of updates. Original Duke designers Allen Blum III and Richard “Levelord” Gray have returned with a brand-new episode, complete with eight new levels. Likewise, original series composer Lee Jackson will contribute brand new music, and Duke voice actor Jon St. John has recorded new dialogue.
In addition to those updates, the re-release will also feature behind the scenes commentary from the original development team. This feature can even be accessed in-game, so you can find out what was going through the developer’s heads when Duke shot that Pig Cop on the crapper. Finally, the entire game can be played with either the original graphics, or with Gearbox’s new “True3D Rendering” mode.
Gearbox Software president Randy Pitchford offered up his thoughts as to why now is the time for The Duke to return.
When I first moved out to Texas to join the Duke Nukem 3D development team in the mid-nineties, I could not possibly predict that we were all going to be part of the emergence of the 3D First Person videogame genre that would ultimately impact the entire videogame industry. Making it possible for Allen, Richard, Lee and Jon to all come back together 20 years later to bring a whole new episode to the classic game is just one of those rare and incredible things that I hope will bring joy and happiness to hardcore videogame fans new and old.
Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary Edition World Tour is coming to Xbox One, PS4 and Windows PC on October 11, and will carry a cost of $19.99.