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Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project (Windows)

77
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.6
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Tomer Gabel (4388)
Written on  :  Jun 26, 2004
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars

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Summary

Kicks much in the way of ass!

The Good

Ah, finally a CLASSIC Duke Nukem game. No more of that stupid 3D shooter, no more useless comments about one of the most impressive vapourware products in history: a Duke Nukem game in classic platform flavour. Hoozah!

I've been platform-deprived for ages. Not being much of a console gamer, the last two worthy platform game in memory before Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project had been Alice and the astounding MDK. Mind you, these games are years apart! So when Manhattan Project came out I went out on a limb and bought it right away, and hoo boy, I was not disappointed.

Take the Schwarzenegger-parody Duke Nukem attitude, add to it a bottom-line kick ass 3D engine called Prism3D, classic platform controls, mix it with some great graphics and level design, stir and serve cold - DNMP has it all. It's short (at hard difficulty, and with my anal-retentive attention to detail and the desire to find every single secret it took 8 hours net), fun, to the point and has the exact amount of varied locations and enemies to keep you constantly interested. Right down to the end, the game never gets boring. As for frustration - even at the highest difficulty level the game is challenging, but not overly so, and simply does not frustrate. Damn fine work, if you ask me!

A word about the 3D engine: a modern graphics card should be able to run it with antialiasing and anisotropic filtering turned on. The difference can be astounding at times - while the game generally looks very good, with AA it looks smooth and with AF it looks extremely sharp despite some mediocre textures. So bottom line, the graphics are absolutely beautiful, particularly for a "classic" 2D platform! The camera angles and varying motion directions really give that extra punch to what would otherwise be a dying genre.

The sound is true-to-form: not absolutely inspired, but gets the job done VERY well. Duke is as, well, as Duke-ish as ever, with snug remarks and silly machoistic attitude ("Babes, bullets, bombs... damn, I love this job!"), the explosion and gunfire sound effects are crisp and everything is just right.

Finally, the level design ROCKS: it never gets repetitive, usually is not easily predictable and all in all extremely pretty. Thumbs up!

The Bad

The save point system is slightly annoying, but admittedly being used to Keen-style platform games where one mistake means running the whole level over again, that's not too bad.

The Bottom Line

An oldschool platform game, with great graphics, sound and level design and 3D twists and surprises to keep you on your toes. If you find it somewhere in a bargain bin, make sure to grab it!