Shadowlocked parties at Duke Nukem Forever Launch Party
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Scandalously dressed women; tequila shots; and a free bar...oh yeah, the King is back alright!...
Fourteen years is a long time to wait for anything, let alone a sequel to one of the most entertaining and controversial games ever to hit the PC, so when Duke Nukem Forever was finally given a release date it was only fitting that the return of the King (baby!) would be heralded with some sort of bash.
Being Duke, of course, there was only one way to do this, and so 2K Games hired the swanky Studio Valbonne in the heart of London’s West End on the eve on the game’s June 10th street release; inviting a couple of hundred people to help them celebrate in true Nukem style.
After negotiating the tight security outside the club I had an incredible sense of déjà vu as I walked into the place. There’s a level in Duke Nukem 3D set in a strip club, with nubile babes in short skirts gyrating suggestively to a thumping bass line and here, right before my eyes, were the very same, four of them, keeping the guests entranced as they swayed in front of a huge, gaudy red and gold throne. More of the Duke’s babes patrolled the crowds with hip holsters, containing bottles of lethal tequila which they were only too happy to pour straight into your mouth to save you a trip back to the free bar.
A three dimensional statue of Duke stood leering near the dance floor, affording photo opportunities to highlight just how inadequate we all are next to the King, and the man himself even made an appearance later in the evening (and boy was he big!), though sadly time and train schedules dictated that I didn’t see him take his rightful place on the throne.
As far as stars went, the only person I recognized was OXM (Official Xbox Magazine)’s Andy, who turned out to be as amiable in real life as on screen, and who revealed that Duke had stormed their offices the day before and had the exact same deep, gravelly voice that we’ve known and loved all these years.
Strangely, though, considering that Duke Nukem Forever is one of most anticipated releases of the year, aside from the Duke statue and the plaid skirted babes, there was very little in the way of marketing on show. No banners, no leaflets, no video screens showing the game in action, just half a dozen Xbox cabinets tucked away in a corner to let the revelers get their hands on the goods, an opportunity I thought would we rude not to take up.
So what of the game? I’ve been nervously anticipating Duke Nukem Forever for, well, almost forever and have been praying that it didn’t let me down, so I’m happy to report that the level I played for ten minutes or so was slick, fun and looked gorgeous. If the rest of the game can deliver on the promise of this level then the greatest comeback in the history of gaming will be assured (I'm assured a full review is imminent right here at Shadowlocked.com).
The Duke is back. Hail to the King, baby!
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