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Duke Smoochem 3D has grown into a perfect pastiche of British bleakness

Earlier this year, I reported on Dan Douglas' Build Engine recreation of (former) Health Secretary Matt Hancock's office that quickly spiralled out of control, going from a single room to an entire British high street featuring staples like Greggs, Sainsburys Local and discarded Quorn sausage roll boxes.

Months later, and Douglas has continued to add to this bleak, low-resolution pastiche of British culture—and also appears to have turned it into something a bit more playable. A new trailer for the game now titled (Duke Smoochem 3D) gives us a whirlwind tour of alien-infested tube stations and the set of daytime game-show Tipping Point, tasks Duke with defending a CitySightseeing bus, blowing up a defunct BHS department store, and gunning down Mr Blobby outside a CEX.

Duke Nukem guns down the Great British Bake-off tent

Not even The Great British Bake-Off is safe from Duke. (Image credit: Dan Douglas)

It's not all doom and gloom, mind. Duke makes time to visit Jeremy Corbyn's idyllic allotment farm, in between David Cameron's (alleged) pig-shagging antics and Nigel Farage's plane crash. Britain is an absurd, comically miserable little island, and Douglas has managed to craft a pointed satire of the country by way of a 25-year-old FPS.

Duke Smoochem isn't the only game bringing ol' Blighty into ancient shooters, though. Last month, Doom level-pack Thatcher's Techbase tasked the grandfather of FPS's with descending into the tenth circle of hell (the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) to hunt down a resurrected Margaret Thatcher.

In a Tweet, Douglas says Duke Smoochem is still very rough right now. But while the current version just dumped some baddies into a Pret, he announced that he's going all-in on development now and hopes to craft "some cool combat scenarios on top of all the meme shit eventually."

Here's hoping we do get our hands on it sooner or later. It's about time a game lets me tear up a Wetherspoons with a grenade launcher.

Natalie Clayton

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time—and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and having herself developed critically acclaimed small games like Can Androids Pray, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She's also played for a competitive Splatoon team, and unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.