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Leaker posts an early, canceled 2D version of the infamous Duke Nukem Forever

The game’s long, convoluted history gets longer and more convoluted.

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Duke Nukem Forever is infamous among PC gamers of a certain age for its long and tortured development cycle. Fifteen years passed between the release of Duke Nukem 3D in 1996 and the eventual release of Forever in 2011, and in that time the game went through many permutations and development teams.

Earlier this year, a 4chan leaker called x0r_jmp leaked a 3D build of the game from circa 2001 (we played it). This week, the same leaker has shared an even older piece of the puzzle: a playable version of a 1996-era 2D iteration of Duke Nukem Forever. Screenshots and gameplay video show a game that looks a lot like the first two 2D Duke Nukem games, but with an updated visual style that tosses pixel art in favor of trendy 3D rendering.

This is the first time that a playable version of this game has been available, but it’s not the first time we’ve seen the 2D version of DNF. Scott Miller, founder of original Duke Nukem developer Apogee Software, ran an interview with developer Darrin Hurd back in August that talked about the origins of the 2D version of Duke Nukem Forever. (This interview, as well as the included screenshots, would seem to confirm this leak’s authenticity.)

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