This is what the canceled third-person shooter Duke Nukem Begins from Gearbox and 2K Games should have looked like. The studio worked on it in 2008 and now, thanks to one of the animators who participated in the project, we can look at a prototype trailer. He shows action, flying guts, and a lot of ironies.
Duke Nukem Begins was supposed to be a third-person shooter with the possibility of cooperation for four players. The story was to follow the beginnings of a famous hero. Despite the interesting vision and enthusiasm of the developers, the project was never created. Development was interrupted in 2009 due to Gearbox's legal disputes with 3D Realms, the companies were unable to agree on who owns the rights to Duke Nukem. Some elements were later used for the not very successful Duke Nukem Forever.
"Gearbox hired us [Janimation] to create [...] an animated version of what Duke Nukem Begins will look like. I led this project and was responsible for character development, including the design and modeling of Duke. We put everything into it to make the best film in the history of Janimation. Unfortunately, we then found out that the game was canceled due to legal issues, " says animator Gregor Punchatz. He previously worked on monster models for the first episode of Doom.
"It broke us because we imagined that this project would help us enter the market with trailers of major publishers. I am still extremely proud of this project, which is why I publish it even after 13 years. Everyone who worked on it deserves to be seen by the whole world. "
Fans hope that Gearbox Software will return to Duke Nukem. The well-known studio behind the comic book shooter Borderlands is part of the Swedish holding Embracer Group (THQ Nordic, Deep Silver, Koch Media, Warhorse Studios, Saber Interactive), which recently bought 3D Realms.