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Duke Nukem Fans Are Going Wild Over This Lost Game

Originally announced in 1997 at E3, "Duke Nukem Forever" was the highly anticipated follow-up to 1996's "Duke Nukem 3D." Since the series had already spawned three highly successful and beloved games to that point, the hype around "Duke Nukem Forever" was immense. Eventually, after years of fans having to endure only small snippets of news regarding the title, it got its big closeup in 2001 with a well-received trailer displaying breakneck combat, cool visuals, and the series' signature potty humor. The hype had reached a fever pitch.

Unfortunately, fans of the series would have to wait a long time for the game to finally hit store shelves. "Duke Nukem Forever" endured one of the longest, most notorious development cycles in vide game history. In total, the game was in development for 15 years and was subject to numerous switch-ups when it came to the game's engine and overall direction. "Duke Nukem Forever" would eventually release in 2011 to underwhelming reviews, marking it as one of the biggest overhyped flops of its time.

The final version of the game was much different than what was shown in 2001. Having had more engine changes than a faulty Formula 1 car, "Duke Nukem Forever" essentially had to be rebuilt from the ground up each time the studio decided to make such changes, rendering the 2001 build of the game lost to the wold. But it seems this long-lost build has since been rediscovered, and fans are going wild.

The 2001 build of Duke Nukem Forever has leaked

According to a leak on 4Chan, one fan of the series was able to procure the code and assets for the original 2001 build of "Duke Nukem Forever" that never came to be. "Almost every chapter is present in some form," the leaker said on 4chan (via Duke4). "A huge chunk is playable, a huge chunk is block-outs with no enemies. All of the E3 content is there." This particular build of the game was created in Unreal Engine 1, a switch-up from the originally intended "Quake 2" engine. According to the leaker, this build of the game will be released to the public in June, along with its full source code.

And for anyone thinking that this may be fake (and there were many doubter), it's not. George Broussard, "Duke Nukem" creator and the lead project manager for "Forever," would later confirm the authenticity of this leak on Twitter. "Yes, the leak looks real," Broussard said. However, he also mentioned that fans expecting to get their hands on a fully fleshed-out game shouldn't hold their breath. "There is no real game to play. Just a smattering of barely populated test levels."