Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Retro review: Duke Nukem - Manhattan Project

These past few weeks I've been laid up in bed with the flu. Because of this I haven't been able to get any new (or old games) games to play and review. So I've been going through my collection and I stumbled across this. One of the last games made before the decade long development of Duke Nukem Forever.

The story is quite basic but that's expected when playing a Duke Nukem game. New York City is under threat by some cyborg nut-bag professor that has pig cops and kung-fu rats running amok and its up to Duke to save the world...again. To achieve this Duke has to travel across the big apple kicking arse and chewing bubble gum. Sersiously simple.

Duke Nukem - Manhattan Project brings back the classic side-scrolling platform gameplay were used to and brought it into the 21st century. With 3D (as in not 8-bit, none of this jumping out of the screen crap) graphics that really bring the arse kicking to life. However this does make navagating a bit tricky at times. DN-MP isn't as straight forward as press right arrow key, hold down fire key, win game. While much of the game will involve holding down either the left or right arrow keys, occasionally jumping to get to higher areas, at least once throughout a level   you will have to move along the Z-axis to access the next part of the level. An in game prompt will inform you when you've reached a place that requires this, when exploring the map these are not always obvious. I remember passing several of these from time to time and getting stuck in a level for ages while I retraced my steps. To reach the end of a level you'll need to find a keycard hidden somewhere in that level. Its worth going to the exit without a one to hear the Duke talk about his hatred for motherfu*#%ng keycards. The game gets a little repetitive as much of it is just looking around for the keycard then exiting the level. While to try and distract you from this apparent truth DN-MP has you searching for scantly clad women strapped to nuclear devices

There are a variety of weapons to be picked up throughout the game. But because most of them use the same type of ammo (how shotguns can fire the same type of ammunition as a light machine gun I'll never know) you'll end up sticking with the shotgun as it wastes the least ammo. Only once in the game did I need to change weapons to the RPG and that was to blast down a door I couldn't reach with pipe bombs.

As far as platform games go, even by today's standards, the graphics still hold up. It's really smooth up close but as soon as you catch a glimpse of the background you can really see how old the game is. Its the classic stretched out image tiled with an obvious cut line. Remembering this game came out in 2002, draw distances were still a really fancy piece of technology that nobody could afford and just made games look like they were set in places that were really foggy.

Music was very standard for a Duke Nukem title. Heavy metal music interspersed with Heavy metal. Not that this is a complaint. It gets you in the mood for arse kicking. The music does what it needs to do. Not a distraction but just blends in and when it needs to will make itself apparent. But most of the time there will be too much gun fire to hear it anyway.

At the end of the day I finished the game in an afternoon and if Duke Nukem forever pissed you off too much and you can't find your copy of Duke Nukem 3D this one is good for a few hours of entertainment. But as fun as DN-MP is it is quite apparant this was the beginning of the end for the Duke. For us console fans (A.K.A real gamers) it is available on Xbox Live arcade.

6 out of 10

No comments:

Post a Comment