January 8, 2002

Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project Update

Here's an update on what's going on with Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project (courtesy of Avault):

We here at the Adrenaline Vault have always counted on our heroes. You know, the ones who come through in a clutch when all seems lost? For this reason, we�re not ashamed to admit the wait for a new Duke Nukem PC game has been agonizing. The hit-or-miss console titles starring Duke haven�t slaked our thirst for more of his super-charged, alien-blasting antics, nor has our culture�s call for political correctness diminished our desire for more of his over-the-top lechery. As the wait for the first original title in the series since Duke Nukem 3D extends into 2002 with no firm release date, perhaps another Duke Nukem title will provide the thrills we seek.

In development at Sunstorm Interactive and produced by 3D Realms, Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project is a fast action 3D platformer featuring eight missions set in a gritty New York. As game players explore the Big Apple�s underbelly, they�ll blow up bad guys, collect power-ups, and acquire ammunition and new weapons. Sounds like a walk in Central Park for our muscle-bound champion.

The third-person gameplay is viewed from a predominantly side view, although the camera often rotates so players can see Duke coming at them, leaving them, and as he turns corners and curved areas; in other words, the action takes place from many different views, not just a side perspective. Manhattan Project should garner an M rating, as publisher ARUSH is staying true to Duke�s no-holds-barred personality. This means plenty of babes to save, mutants to blow into bloody chunks, and smart-ass lines to toss around.

ARUSH says it�s combining this libidinous fun with a richness and depth seldom seen in platform games. Duke first battles mutants, including PigCops, on skyscraper rooftops where he fights off a helicopter boss, and then moves through the subways to reach Chinatown. Following Chinatown, Duke hits the sewers to fight alligator mutants, and then makes his way to an abandoned factory. Once he finishes that area, he boards a tanker enroute to an oilrig in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. With seven weapons and 15 new enemies, he�s got his work cut out for him. Also, the game features a green-glowing substance called G.L.O.P.P. that mutates and de-mutates creatures. One of Duke�s weapons is a GLOPP Gun that fires bursts of the goo at mutated roaches and other monsters in order to return them to their former selves. Duke can promptly crush the roaches under the heel of his boot; hasta lavista, Raid pest control!

ARUSH isn�t ready to release screenshots of Manhattan Project, although we�ve seen beta images of the first mission, Rooftop Rebellion, and can report that the 3D environment is unlike any other platform game we�ve seen on the PC or a console. The environments are large, the textures are detailed, and the visuals sport all the right bells and whistles, including character shadows, colored lighting, and awesome weapon effects -- we�d love to show you the screenshot of Duke showering a monstrous roach with G.L.O.P.P., but ARUSH is holding out until the game�s models and textures are closer to completion.

All of the characters, including Duke, are large 3D models that appear to interact seamlessly with an animated environment; one screenshot shows Duke dangling from a platform while hoisting himself up to greater heights, while another shows Duke ogling a Fem-Mech, a girl enemy who uses a lightning whip on Duke. Ouch! A shot of Duke wasting a PigCop shows the hoggish foe exploding in a shower of blood-red gibs, and in our favorite image, a helicopter looms center-screen as the force of an explosion blows Duke back.

Manhattan Project will not be distributed via the Internet, as other ARUSH offerings such as Hunting Unlimited and Primal Prey were -- it�s strictly a retail product. ARUSH, who licensed and are publishing the game, says Manhattan Project should be on store shelves in April or May.

Can ARUSH make a splash with the title? Manhattan Project isn�t Duke Nukem Forever, but it promises genuine Duke Nukem attitude in a fun, mid-ranged priced offering. �It�s my way or� Hell, it�s MY way!� Duke sneers in the Manhattan Project. But if game players had their way, ARUSH�s Duke couldn�t barrel onto PCs fast enough.

Posted by Joe Siegler on January 8, 2002 at 1:30 PM | Permalink
News Categories: Manhattan Project