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Plugged In

Duke Nukem Forever: Twelve Years of Trailers

Plugged In

In development (on and off) for well over a decade, Duke Nukem Forever turned out to be one of the most aptly named video games of all time. Following the news that development of this once-canceled game is up and running yet again, we look back over its evolution through twelve-plus years of gaming innovation.


Twelve years old, and looking every day of it, it's hard to believe this dated trailer once set the gaming world ablaze. It's even harder to believe this game is still in development after more than a decade -- and almost impossible to imagine that any of the content in this trailer is still in the game.


Here's the Duke three years later in 2001, showing off a Las Vegas cityscape and what was (for the time) a set of great-looking character models. At the time, the game was expected to release within a year or two -- and was already the subject of jokes over its many delays.


But fans would have to wait over six years before getting another look at Duke, a period during which the Duke team stayed mostly quiet, and any number of full commercial games were begun and completed. This 2007 teaser appeared out of nowhere right before Christmas, marking the last official glimpse of the Duke we've had -- until this weekend.


May 2, 2009: a day that would live in infamy for Duke fans. Developer 3D Realms laid off much or all of the Duke development team, leaving the project apparently dead. Appearing just a few days later, this leaked footage only made fans' pain worse.

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