Few believed it would happen, but happen it did: Duke Nukem came back from the brink of the vaporware abyss. Gearbox–developer of addictive “RPS” Borderlands–acquired the Duke IP when 3D Realms shut its doors forever last year and set to work finishing up the decade-plus dev cycle that DNF’s been through. May 3 (U.S.) and May 6 (worldwide) were finally the days that gamers could reacquaint themselves with Duke’s vintage 1990s bad-assery.
(More on TIME.com: Duke Nukem Has A Release Date And A SFW Trailer)Vodpod videos no longer available.
As of today, the wait’s slightly longer. Per the video above, Gearbox’s CEO Randy Pitchford announced June 14 (June 10 for non-U.S. international markets) as the new launch date for the tongue-in-cheek, sci-fi FPS. After 12 years, two extra months can’t be that bad, right?
I had the chance to play DNF again recently and it’s in surprisingly limber shape for a game that’s been brewing since Clinton was in the White House. It’s fast and frantic, with more of an emphasis on run-and-gun than on finding cover to stop-and-pop from. That’s to be expected. But what surprised me was the hilarious meta-awareness all over DNF.
Almost from the very start, the game makes fun of itself. It turns out that Duke cashed in after saving the world, becoming rich and famous beyond even celebrity standards. He lives in the Lady Killer casino in Las Vegas, where tourists line up to take pictures on his throne. When the marauding pig-faced aliens return under supposedly peaceful auspices, the president warns Duke off any action by saying, “You’re a relic from another era.”
Of course, the aliens do attack and all hell breaks loose. When Duke gets to the battlefield, one soldier says “We’ve got your green power armor all ready, Duke!” To which Duke answers, “Power Armor is for p****ies.” And right after that, there’s a Leroy Jenkins joke as a soldier with the same last name rushes headlong into battle to promply get killed.
(More on TIME.com: NSFW FPS: Hands-On with Duke Nukem Forever)
Pitchford said that the jokes make sense for Duke’s character.
“He started off as an amalgamation of action-hero clichés,” explained the Gearbox CEO. “But, now times have changed and all the heroes are earnest and emo, making Duke the outlier.”
“The goal of Duke Nukem Forever is to lower the bar,” replied Pitchford. “But seriously, if Cliff and the guys at Epic and we at Gearbox have anything in common as far as these two games’ approach, it’s probably that we’re getting a little sick of the serious stuff.”
Which means? Yep, you’ll be able to use a giant alien enemy’s testicles as a speed bag after you defeat him.
Sick of the serious stuff? Wait just a little longer–the King is coming.