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RIP Ralph Baer (1922-2014) I really, really hate writing obits. I really do. But I take it as a personal honor to be able to say good things about the men and women I respect, whether in this industry or just in my life, and Ralph Baer is the reason all of this exists in the first...

Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project Review

By:
daniel_bischoff
07/12/10
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Action 
PLAYERS
PUBLISHER 3D Realms 
DEVELOPER 3D Realms 
RELEASE DATE Out Now
M Contains Blood and Gore, Violence

What do these ratings mean?

Someone's gonna pay for making me find these friggin' key cards...


Let your mind wander through the pantheon of video game heroes. Who kicks the most ass? Who has more machismo than even Blake Morse? Who always gets the girl and saves the day? Nathan Drake? Mario? Space Marine #476? What hole did a wuss like you crawl out of? I'm talking about f*%king Duke Nukem!

click to enlargeManhattan Project is a side-scrolling action game that pits Duke [Imagine our Duke for laughs and giggles. ~Ed. Nick] against all of the evils Mech Morphix has spread across the city. These include mutated swine, sewer rats, crocodiles, and the occasional robot. The action takes place on a 2D plane, but Duke will often traverse into the background or foreground to uncover some secret areas. Collectibles are strewn throughout the maps and two specific objectives will have to be achieved before you can move on to the next baddie-infested section.

Though the level designs with their secret areas and branching allude to Metroid, Manhattan Project is way too straightforward. The objectives are the same in every level (dismantle a bomb, find a keycard) and the branching paths don't go anywhere. Obviously, Duke suffers from a lot of the same trappings he always has, including his personality.

Duke Nukem easily has the biggest ego in games, a personality that doesn't go down as smooth as it used to. Player involvement in video games relies heavily on projection and other psychological terms I only understand thanks to my Psych-major girlfriend. Duke Nukem doesn't allow for that. Instead, the outlandishly chauvinistic character prays on what gamers would supposedly like to be.

click to enlargeUnfortunately for Duke, the '90s officially died and more and more girls play video games these days. Sorry, Duke, marketability is no longer a strong suit for you.

"What the hell are you talking about, you pansy-ass video game reviewer?"

I'm saying you can't sell a video game with your personality anymore, Duke. Gaming has a new scene now. Duke Nukem 3D dropped over a decade ago and that was your last truly notable game. Gamers these days are way more interested in leveling up and playing online multiplayer.

"F$@k that! Does that Master Chef, or whatever, asshole have guns as big as the G.L.O.P.P. Ray Gun or this minigun?"

Well, no. But what is this? A gun-to-penis comparison? Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project does let players slaughter mutated freaks with a lot of different weapons in nine different worlds with three levels each. There's a ton of admittedly fun gameplay in a 2.5D style. Despite that, I mean, c'mon Duke, the gameplay gets stale and you have to find a keycard to move to the next level. How tired are keycards?

"Your face, your ass, what's the difference?"

click to enlargeOh, come now Duke, you're just being childish. You've got to accept that your tired personality and gameplay is getting----

"I'll blow you a new hole!"

*BLAM-BLAM*

"Listen up, you gamer nerds! If you wanna kick some ass, you gotta do it the Duke Nukem way! Don't like key-cards? Tough shit! Saving the world isn't all fun and games. You gotta get off your ass and turn these freaking pigs into bacon. Mama always said life is like a box of ammo, and if you don't play Manhattan Project, you know what's coming to ya!"

Duke's Grade:

A++++

+ "It's got me, Duke motherf#&king Nukem, 'nuff said."

(But if you want the real grade...)
D+ Revolution report card
  • Lots of guns and environments
  • Gameplay can be fun
  • Key cards
  • Not a lot of gameplay progression
  • Duke gets stale as a character quickly
  • Better games on XBLA for 800 points

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More information about Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project
Also known as: Duke Nukem Manhattan Project