A trailer for a canceled Duke Nukem game from back in 2008 has surfaced online. The animation studio Janimation was hired by Gearbox at the time to create a cinematic for the game before the title was later scrapped by Gearbox, seemingly due to legal issues surrounding the franchise.
Gregor Punchatz, an animator best known for his work on the monster character models in Doom, headed up making the trailer in 2008. The cinematic was recently released on Punchatz’s YouTube channel and shows a brief look at what could have been for Duke Nukem Begins – a supposed origin story for the series lead.
Acting as an origin story would make sense according to the Duke Nukem Begins’ timeframe. With work on the trailer taking place in 2008, Duke Nukem Begins would likely have been Gearbox’s first entry into the FPS series. Instead, the studio launched with Duke Nukem Forever in June 2011 to a mixed reception. At its time of release, IGN reviewed Duke Nukem Forever, scoring it a 5.5/10.
The mock-up trailer for Duke Nukem Begins, unlike other entries into the Duke Nukem franchise, depicts the game as a third-person shooter with four-player co-op. According to the trailer, the game would have looked to bring back a range of Duke’s iconic weapons including his signature pistol and the freeze ray whilst also showing Duke beating enemies to death with their own arms.
In other news, IGN recently reported that the Swedish video games holding company Embracer Group recently announced that it will be adding 8 more studios to its collection. The acquisition will mean that the group will own Duke Nukem Forever developers 3D Realms as well as Gearbox Studios, which they acquired in February. With both companies now under Embracer, perhaps there is a very slim amount of hope for this Duke Nukem cinematic to become a reality.
Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.