Twelve years later, he's back.
Duke Nukem, the legendary video game hero, returns to the Xbox 360, PS3 and Windows PC in Duke Nukem Forever, slated for release on May 3.
Duke Nukem first arrived on PCs in July 1991. Since then, one of video gaming's most iconic characters has been blowing up aliens, flirting with damsels in distress and creating carnage in a steady stream of releases for myriad gaming platforms.
Whether they are long-time fans of Duke or newcomers to the franchise, the upcoming release represents a chance to experience the brash, action-filled world surrounding Nukem with current generation technologies. For some PC gamers, their current computers may not be enough. What's more, the people at publisher 2K Games and developer Gearbox have yet to release the official specifications for the title.
Stay tuned to Crucial.com — we’ll announce the specifications as soon as we see them.
Until then, understanding what the game's visual engine has to offer and knowing what similar titles require can help users identify the right upgrades to make.
Duke Nukem Forever is built on the foundation of Unreal Engine 2.5. However, it is widely rumored throughout the industry that the developers at Gearbox have drastically modified that foundation with custom engines for physics and other aspects of the visuals to be close to Unreal Engine 3.
Unreal Engine is among the most popular graphics systems in the video game industry, and is especially popular for first- and third-person shooters. It features powerful development tools that help game creators design titles that operate on multiple platforms, something that is especially critical in the current generation, in which games regularly release for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. The Unreal Engine 3 features powerful animation tools capable of separately rendering objects based on a variety of controllers, and has no restrictions on how many animations can operate simultaneously or blend together.
The powerful animation tools available in Unreal Engine 3 are joined by advanced physics engines, real-time shaders, cascade effects, high-performance rendering and a Kismet visual scripting system. All of these features combine to create a powerful visual system that could tax older computers, forcing the game to slow down or not function at all if hardware is not up-to-date.
To figure out the hardware needed to successfully run Duke Nukem Forever, users would be best off comparing it to other recently released Unreal-based titles. Typically, multi-platform releases will feature a fairly standard range of graphics requirements. As a result, many titles that released for the PC and consoles in the past few years are fairly comparable to what users should expect from Duke Nukem Forever, with the most recent games serving as the closest representation of what hardware a game will require.
Among the most relevant titles to compare to Duke Nukem Forever are Borderlands, Mass Effect 2 and Bulletstorm. Each of these games used some form of the Unreal Engine and was released on multiple platforms. While all three titles require a varied amount of RAM, typically between 1 and 1.5 GB, all three recommended at least 2 GB of memory. Both Bulletstorm and Mass Effect 2 require multi-core processors and Borderlands demands a 2.4 Ghz or equivalent CPU. Bulletstorm, the most recent of the three titles, actually recommends a quad-core CPU. In terms of disk space, Borderlands requires 8 GB of memory, Bulletstorm demands 9 and though Mass Effect 2's requirement is not listed, it is definitely larger than both of the others.
Based on Borderlands, Mass Effect 2 and Bulletstorm, users should anticipate needing at least 2 GB or RAM, plenty of free disk space and a powerful, multi-core processor to run Duke Nukem forever without sacrificing play quality.