Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project
Add-on to the original Duke Nukem 3D, Plutonium Pak delivers the goods with brand-new levels, weapons, and monsters. It may be more of the same, but it sure is fun.
The new levels, called The Birth, take place after Shrapnel City with a variety of settings--including a supermarket, an amusement park, and a police precinct--all overrun by aliens. Duke is called into action for a little mop-up.
The intense action is accompanied by those familiar aliens who grunt, shoot, slash, and fly at you at every turn. Equally familiar are the weapons, including a new piece of firepower called the Expander, which makes enemies inflate like a balloon and pop. The aliens, however, have a few tricks of their own--including some new monsters who can shrink Duke and squash him!
The controls are excellent, and although maintaining both firearms and special items (in addition to Duke's movements) may seem taxing, it's easy to master. While not awe-inspiring, Plutonium's graphics do the job with plenty of colorful explosions and detailed carnage.
The sound effects rock the game with thundering blasts and perfect voice digitization for Duke's one-liners. The music is subtle, but works well with the various stages.
Shoot 'Em and Smile
At times Duke does show bad taste (like the opening cinema where aliens attack a pregnant woman), but for corridor-shooting with an attitude, Plutonium is the best pack in town.
- PROTIP: Watch out for the new aliens. These guys move fast, claw hard, and could turn you into a little man!
Download Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project
If you're as much of a fan of Duke as I am, then you might want to think about this review before picking up this title. It's got a lot of shiny wrapping, with a great price, neat little design, and something unusual for a Duke title, but still has a lot of kinks to work out. First and foremost, it's a side screen scroller, done entirely in 3d. Like Quake, on crack, with a forced camera angle that hints at the tantalizing prospect of freedom of vision, but then leaves you unsatisfied as it fails to deliver. Although it suggests that you've got more freedom of movement, I found all of the 3d just distracting filler. This game could've been served as well with a cartoon-like 2d style.
As always, you're back to killing mutants. To do this, you've got simple controls, and seven different weapons, all relying on only three types of ammunition. The problem comes in that most of the environments in this title are quite easy to navigate, and what little challenge comes from the gameplay is, a) in timing most of your jumps, and b) reloading when you don't manage to get the drop on a particularly nasty enemy. This boils down to a lot of shooting, and a few seriously annoying puzzles. In my opinion, it's repetitive and boring.
Manhattan Project's graphics are simple, but effective. The 3d gives you something to look at, and a somewhat creative level design keeps things interesting. In particular, the game features many little scripted pieces that add a little humor and entertainment to otherwise boring scenes. Duke himself always has plenty to say, from his sexist bravado to his machismo comments on the death of his many enemies, but the soundtrack itself isn't worth another listen. Personally, I just ended up listening to the TV more than the game. Fans beware, as the best thing about this game is the price.