game review

Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project

Considering the facts that I enjoyed previous Duke Nukem games and I am big fan of the platform genre, it is surprising that I waited until now to pick up this game. The fact that could get it for only one euro helped, of course. On the one hand it was one euro well-spend, on the other I am not sure how much more I would have wanted to pay for this game.

From the outset the premise is wonderful. Duke Nukem returns to its platform roots, but employs 3D technology to revamp the genre. The result is platform game that looks more solid than most platformers (Oddworld also makes use of 3D techniques), and more detailed than most shooters (the camera is controlled, so more attention could be spend on a smaller area). Combined with the typical Duke humour and gameplay you get a very 'solid' game. But not much more.

The game is not very original, and the levels are not much varied. The biggest twist comes towards the end when Duke enters an orbital space station and can jump around in a reduced gravity environment, accompanied with a spacey soundtrack. Other that it is pretty repetitive. The narrative and the humour, too, are likewise pretty bland. I cannot shake the feeling that a large portion of the game was pretty rushed. This impression is strengthened that the most attention has been paid the first of eight end bosses (who, curiously, is also one of the hardest to defeat).

If you like platformers, if you like shooting, and if you like Duke, you will get your kicks. Shame there is not much more: the whole experience is pretty bland. I remember Duke Nukem 3D as a much more original title and if you want to play a nice looking platformer with some interesting gameplay, see if you can find a copy of one of the Oddworld games.