Hail to the king, baby! Duke’s finally got a release date, and this time, it’s for real.

Gearbox Software announced today that Duke will be coming back across all major platforms on May 3, 2011, in North America. For the rest of the world, it’s a mere three day wait beyond that, and everyone can finally use those pre-orders they’ve had since 1999. At long last, fans the world over will be able to get their fix of Duke Nukem Forever.

That we would even be seeing a Duke game this year came as a surprise when it was announced at PAX last September. Many gamers were skeptical about the “cursed game,” which had been under development since 1997, and was acquired by Gearbox in 2009.

In November 2010, the original designer of the game took a moment to explain exactly why all the delays happened in the first place. However, fans are sure to look past these things when they see Duke return to action. Christoph Hartmann, president of publisher 2K Games, was on hand to hype up the release:

“The moment fans all over the world have been waiting for is almost here: May 3, 2011 marks Duke’s return as he unleashes his brash and brutally honest wit on the world. His return is going to be epic and one that will make video gaming history.”

Along with the announcement of a final release date, Gearbox has unleashed a trailer for the game. Please note that, although the naughty bits have been pixeled out, this trailer is still intended for mature audiences.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-b78TKZIyw

While it certainly broke more “time in development” records than fans might have wished, they should be happy that the game is finally being released. Gearbox has several console games under their belt, most recently the smash hit Borderlands, which got one of the best reviews scores we’ve dished out. They’ve shipped plenty of games on time, so when they say Duke will be out May 3rd, we believe them.

Are you set on getting the game? Have you been waiting more than a decade to play this game? Does that make you feel old? Let us know!

Duke Nukem Forever will be released across PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 on May 3, 2011.

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