It's difficult to know how to respond to the news that there's a new Duke Nukem game on the way.
On the one hand, Duke Nukem 3D was a revolutionary entry in the first-person shooter genre, bringing us some of the most interactive environments and interesting level designs that had ever been seen when it was first released. On the other hand, the widely panned Duke Nukem Forever was, to put it mildly, not all that well received after its overly-long development cycle -- and, with the exception of a few rereleases of Duke Nukem 3D, we've not heard much from the ass-kicking, bubblegum-chewing hero since.
Enter Interceptor Entertainment, the team behind the enormously fun recent reboot of Apogee's classic all-action FPS Rise of the Triad. Up until 2011, the team had been working on an Unreal Engine-powered remake of Duke Nukem 3D known as Duke Nukem 3D: Reloaded, but after an alleged spat between Interceptor and Duke Nukem Forever's final resting place Gearbox, plans to release the game were shelves and the team focused on Rise of the Triad instead.
With Rise of the Triad safely on the market and warmly received, Interceptor can now focus on new projects. And wouldn't you know it -- it looks as if one such project is distinctly Duke Nukem-related. This isn't the resurrection of Reloaded, however; it's an all-new experience, and rather than following the first-person shooter model, it's jumping ship to a different genre altogether. This isn't the first time the series has switched genres, either -- prior to becoming an FPS, it was a platform action game.
Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction is the name of the new installment, and it's a top-down action role-playing game for PC and "PlayStation" -- though whether that means PS3, PS4 or both isn't yet known. It's powered by the Unreal Engine and features Duke's usual arsenal of over-the-top weaponry along with the trappings of typical action RPGs such as experience points and skill trees.
The existence of the new game was first teased on the promotional site AllOutOfGum.com, which is counting down to February 25. The site also urged fans to Like the game on Facebook in order to unlock a message written in "alien code" -- however, since the "code" was nothing more than a simple substitution cipher, it was quickly cracked by fans.
Mass Destruction's plot looks to revolve around the Kyrr -- a race of technologically augmented aliens -- and the kidnapping of the president. This being Duke Nukem, however, we can probably expect the plot to take something of a back seat to action movie references, toilet humor and Duke's love of "babes." Whether the negative reception to Duke Nukem Forever will cause Mass Destruction to be a bit more restrained in terms of how crude its humor is remains to be seen -- we should find out a little more at the end of the month, so be sure to check the official site then for the latest.