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Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project

Score: 90%
ESRB: Mature
Publisher: Arush Entertainment
Developer: Sunstorm Interactive
Media: CD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action/ Miscellaneous

Graphics & Sound:

Picture this: Duke Nukem running around in full 3D, but you are not looking through his eyes. Instead, you get to see every step that our buffed-up alien-hater hero takes. That's right. This time around, we actually get to see Duke in action. Characters are extremely well-rendered, and thrive in the lush environments that make up Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project.

Of course, Duke wouldn't be Duke if he didn't constantly throw out one-liners like there ain't no tomorrow. (How's that for cheeze?) In typical Duke Nukem fashion, the game is filled with gunfire, explosions, and other neat sound fx. And of course, you'll be treated to some strap-up-your-guns-and-kick-some-ass music as well.


Sometimes going back to your roots is the best way to renew a franchise, and 3D Realms did just that with our quote-stealing (reference the Evil Dead movies) hero, Duke Nukem. So what do you get when you strip away the first-person shooter gameplay that most of us have come to love? You come away with a stellar side-scrolling adventure, maybe second to none.

Possibly the coolest attribute of Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project is that although the game is primarily a side-scroller, the level design still takes advantage of the computer industry's 3D technology. So what you get in the final product are cameras that can pivot around corners, and foreground elements that can hide secret items and other goodies.

The basic premise of Manhattan Project is to work your way through the 8 huge missions and on to the bosses at the end of each. To add some spice to the game, secrets have also been added, so you have to keep a sharp eye out for such things as cracked walls and hidden jumping platforms. Although it's not necessary to obtain them all, collecting these secrets will boost Duke's ego meter (the game's 'health' meter) a little at a time.

Duke Nukem: MP has also got some very basic controls, adding to the fun of the game. Jumping and shooting are the main methods of annihilation, and switching to the right type of weapon for each enemy helps too. Many weapons lurk in the depths of the city, including the GLOPP ray, which transforms mutants back to their original (and non-threatening) state.


Manhattan Project has a very nice blend of difficulty to it. Although the main game itself doesn't pose too much of a problem, certain elements may give you trouble. Jumping to and from small platforms can sometimes be tedious, but total concentration is needed. Without it, you may find yourself repeating the process over and over again in order to reach the next stage in the game.

Bosses can sometimes be difficult to overcome also. But no matter what the situation, there is usually some sort of pattern that needs to be followed to obtain your success. Because of this, replaying a level or a boss will eventually lead you to victory. After all, practice does make perfect.

Game Mechanics:

First off, I would strongly suggest using a gamepad or another type of controller for playing Manhattan Project, although you will be able to use the keyboard if you choose. After using the in-game setup to configure your controls, making Duke take control of any given situation is relatively easy.

I did, however, have one problem with the game thinking that my Thrustmaster Firestorm pad was being disconnected, thus booting me from the game and launching the 'New Device Found' program within Windows. I was unable to find out whether it was the controller or the game causing the problems, but the controller had never acted up prior to this. Likewise, I never had another problem after connecting a different controller. There has been a patch already released for the game to fix a few bugs, and can be downloaded from 3D Realms (click here for updates). It's unfortunate that problems like these are even an issue with the release of a game.

I would highly suggest that any fan of the series pick up a copy of Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project to round out their collection. The refreshing change of pace for Duke is very welcome, and it will not disappoint. Old-timers in the video game world that aren't familiar with Duke's alien-kicking antics will also love the true side-scrolling action in Manhattan Project. As Duke would say, "It's time to kick some ass!"

-Woody, GameVortex Communications
AKA Shane Wodele

Minimum System Requirements:

Pentium II 350MHz (recommended Pentium III 500MHz or faster); Windows 98/ME/2000/XP; 64MB RAM (128MB for Win2000/XP); DirectX 8.1 compatible 8MB 2xAGP enabled Video Accelerator (32MB recommended); DirectX compatible Sound Card; DirectX 8.1 (included); 300MB Hard Disk space; Supports Joysticks and Game Controllers and Force Feedback

Test System:

Pentium II 400MHz CPU; Windows 98 SE; 256MB 100MHz SDRAM; Creative's 3D Blaster Annihilator 2 32MB 3D-Accellerator AGP Video Card (nVIDIA geForce 2 chipset); Ensoniq AudioPCI sound card; DirectX 8.0a; using Hewlett Packard CD-Writer Plus 9100 (reads 32x, writes 8x, rewrites 4x) as main CD-ROM; 1 gameport; 2 USB ports; ThrustMaster FireStorm Dual Power Gamepad (USB connection)-HAD TROUBLES--; Logic 3's USB Intruder gamepad (USB connection); 56k modem

Windows Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza Windows Evil Dead: Hail to the King

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated