An intro cinematic purportedly from a cancelled Duke Nukem Begins prequel project has been posted online by its director.
As spotted by PC Gamer, the video was posted by Gregor Punchatz, an artist who was recruited by id Software to create sculptures for some of the iconic enemies in the original Doom series. In 2008 he was working for Texas animation studio Janimation, who were hired by Gearbox Software to create a ‘vertical slice’ for a Duke origin story entitled Duke Nukem Begins.
In the video’s description, Punchatz reveals he headed up this project. “We poured everything we had into making the most awesome cinematic Janimation had ever created,” he said. “But unfortunately, we got word the game was cancelled due to the legal issues with Duke Nukem at the time.”
As for his motivation of releasing the footage some 13 years later, he says: “The whole team that worked with me deserves to see this released into the wild. I hope this somehow resurrects this version of the game by showing the world how awesome it would have been…”
Instead, Duke Nukem Forever was, rather infamously, finally released in 2011 and the series has laid relatively dormant ever since. However last year Gearbox sued 3D Realms as it asserted that the company had not given them all of the rights to the series. Ironically, just last week 3D Realms was acquired by the Embracer Group who also bought Gearbox a year before in a deal worth $1.3 billion USD.
Check out the footage for Duke Nukem Begins for yourself below.