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The Duke is back

Sunstorm and Dimension films to pillage the Duke Nukem franchise .. again

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Since Duke Nukem 3D turned a platform game character into a first person action hero back in 1996, the franchise has been flogged more thoroughly than the proverbial dead horse, with several official add-on packs for the game as well as numerous console spin-offs appearing over the last few years. But although the long-awaited Unreal-engined sequel Duke Nukem Forever is still nowhere in sight, the Duke looks set to return (yet again) in digital form with Sunstorm Interactive's episodic third person action game "Duke Nukem : Manhattan Project".

Duke Nukem Forever - still waiting

Sunstorm are promising "a totally new 3D approach" (no more Build engine then, thank god) although the game apparently still "retains the traditional Duke Nukem over-the-top attitude" along with "familiar humor, weaponry and creatures that will appeal to longtime fans and casual gamers alike". To be released in eight installments, the game will see the Duke battling to save New York from the evil Dr Proton and his army of mutants. The first episode will be released for free, with the rest of the series available to download exclusively through Arush.

Meanwhile in related news it looks like the long dormant Duke Nukem movie project might finally be emerging from hibernation, as Dimension Films have bought the rights to develop films based on the franchise from previous holders Threshold Entertainment. The rather over-enthusiastic press release announcing the project claims that Duke Nukem 3D is "the number one PC game of all time" (um .. not quite, I think you'll find that would be Myst) and that the Duke himself is "the most popular video game franchise character" (we would hazard a guess that Sonic, Mario, Pacman and several others rank rather higher) with "100% name recognition to its target audience" (well, assuming that you're talking about fans of Duke Nukem 3D then you're probably right).

Unfounded hyperbole aside, there is actually some information included in the press release, although most of it makes us cringe. "In his feature film debut, Duke assumes the role of Earth's best defense against all form of alien threat; he takes on the dangerous mission of traveling into deep space to intercept an alien ship on a collision course for Earth". Expected to be rated PG13, it is described as a "suspense filled, testosterone flooded action adventure". The film will apparently be helmed by Larry Kasanoff, the producer behind the various Mortal Kombat movies and TV series. According to the press release he was "the first to successfully take a video game to film". Well, it all depends on what you mean by the words "first" and "successfully" I guess.

Needless to say we have very, very low expectations for this project, and can only hope that it dies a horrible death long before reaching the cinemas...

Source - Business Wire / PR Newswire

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