Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction is dead. Say hello to Bombshell.
That's right, Interceptor have bowed to legal pressure and removed Duke Nukem from their RPG, replacing him with a new female lead. Bombshell is an ex-bomb disposal technician with a prosthetic arm and an appetite for carnage - not to mention a character design and reveal trailer so nineties that we spluttered coffee all over our keyboards in disbelief.
Take a watch, then catch up on the details and screenshots after the break.
"Bomb Disposal Specialist turned mercenary for hire, Shelly “Bombshell” Harrison must strong-arm her away across 4 planets in an Unreal Engine-powered galatic [sic] adventure to rescue the president from an apocalyptic alien threat," proclaims the brand new site, demonstrating a rather embarrassing lack of spellchecking [because you never make any typos, eh Jon? -Ed]. "With out-of-this-world enemies, a never-before-seen arsenal of devastating weaponry and a host of genre-crossing mechanics, Bombshell is set to blow you away."
Beyond the change in protagonist, a decision made due to Gearbox' swift and vengeful legal action (or perhaps a publicity stunt designed to generate some pre-reveal hype), the details remain the same as the leaked Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction pitch. It's a top-down shooter layered with RPG mechanics including "experience points, upgrades, side quests, and non-linear levels." Bomshell's arm features ten powerful weapon modifications, which will come in handy against "vicious, bloodthirsty predators, an augmented alien species, and the remnants of an ancient race re-animated."
Interceptor also shed some light on the legal finagling behind the scenes. "Lawsuits take time," reads the FAQ, "and are often a long, drawn-out process. Meanwhile, we wanted to be productive -- our creative team couldn’t wait around for the issue to be resolved. Ultimately, we saw it as the opportunity to create our own intellectual property, and Bombshell was born. So far, it’s been a blast.
"It’s impossible to say what will happen in regards to our previous project. It might return, it might not. We want to make great games without sacrificing our integrity, and Bombshell allows us to do that beautifully."
You can get a taste for the action in the screenshots - click to embiggen. Like what you see?
Bombshell is slated to release on PC and PS4 either later this year or Spring 2015. Let us know what you make of it!