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Two Decades Later, the Designers of 'Duke Nukem 3D' Are Making New Levels

New Gearbox edition includes eight new levels from original designers.
September 3, 2016, 6:00pm
Image: Gearbox.

Poor Duke Nukem has had a rough time of it since the late '90s, and it's not just because he's always out of bubble gum. After years in development hell, 2011's Duke Nukem Forever failed to live up to most players' expectations. Last year's serviceable Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition published by Devolver Digital, a facelift of 1996's Duke Nukem 3D, got pulled from digital shelves after the rights shifted to Gearbox Software. And now, 20 years later, Gearbox is releasing its own take called the Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour. This release at least has some features that set it apart. For one, original designers Allen Blum III and Richard "Levelord" Gray made eight new levels that send Duke fightin' 'round the world from San Francisco and Moscow to Amsterdam and Egypt. Duke Nukem 3D composer Lee Jackson is back on board, and John St. John, the voice of the original Duke, is once again spouting lines about busty babes and kickin' ass. The package also comes with an option for developer commentary, improved textures and lighting (that you can toggle on or off), and Duke Nukem 3D's first expansion.

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If you're interested in joining up with Duke for his adventures yet again, you can pick it up on Steam on October 11 for $19.99. That's a big jump up, mind you, from the Megaton Edition, which only cost $9.99 before it was pulled despite including more expansions than this version. But that edition didn't come with new work from so many members of the old team.

If nothing else, enjoy the trailer above. In this turbulent election year, it shows Duke riffing off lines from another blonde dude with strong '90s ties who's currently dominating headlines. "Funding for the arts" means tossing money at strippers, "progressive thinking" means yelling lines like "it's time to abort your whole freakin' species," and universal health care means, well, picking up health packs. A candidate for our time, indeed.