Duke Nukem Game Shown at E3 2001 That Was Never Released Has Leaked

The build of Duke Nukem Forever that was shown during E3 2001 has finally leaked online, showing fans the developers’ original vision for the game.

One of the most sought-after pieces of lost media in gaming has been discovered, as the E3 2001 build of Duke Nukem Forever has leaked online. Much like the Nintendo Gigaleak from 2020, the Duke Nukem Forever leak offers a tantalizing glimpse at what could have been, especially following the disappointment of the retail version of the game from 2011.

Duke Nukem Forever had one of the most tumultuous development periods in the history of video games. Work on Duke Nukem Forever started in 1996, and it was announced the following year as a game that would use the Quake 2 engine. This would be one of several engine shifts for the game, as it would move on to Unreal Engine, leading to a build of the game that was shown to fans at E3 2001. The E3 trailer was incredible for the time and expectations for the full release were sky-high. Unfortunately, numerous behind-the-scenes issues at 3D Realms led to numerous delays and it seemed as if Duke Nukem Forever was canceled. Gearbox Software revived the project in 2010 and Duke Nukem Forever was released for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 in 2011, fifteen years after development had started on the game. Duke Nukem Forever was received poorly, but at least it eventually hit store shelves.


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The E3 2001 trailer for Duke Nukem Forever has stuck in the minds of fans over the years, with many wondering what could have been if it had launched as planned. Fans no longer have to wonder, as the game has leaked online. According to Reddit user enterthedragonpunch, videos of a leaked build of Duke Nukem Forever from 2001 are making the rounds on 4Chan, with a full release of the build planned for June.

Duke Nukem Forever 2001 E3 Build Casino

According to the leaker, almost the entire game is present and a lot of it is playable, including the E3 2001 content. Most of the weapons are functional, except for the chainsaw and the freezer. The character of Bombshell who starred in Ionfury, Duke Nukem-shooter style from 2019 was meant to debut in this game as Duke’s sidekick, but her model was deleted at this point in development. The leak includes the full source code, potentially allowing fans to finish the work of the developer. There are several videos available of the build, showing Duke fighting soldiers in a strip club, a demonstration of the different weapons in the game, and a segment showing off the motorcycle riding mechanics.

The reception to Duke Nukem Forever was so poor that it killed interest in the series, outside of the occasional port of the older games to modern systems. It’s amazing to see new footage from the version of the game that made so many people excited back in the early 2000s and to dream of what could have been if this version had launched before Half Life 2. Tea Duke Nukem franchise might be over, but this leak can give fans the chance to finish the version of Duke Nukem Forever that never escaped development hell.

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Source: enterthedragonpunch/Reddit

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