Ah yes, there is nothing like walking down the streets of New York, enjoying the people, scenery and the sight of mutant pigs being blown to oblivion all because one man has an obsession with "makin' bacon!" Yes, that's right, everyone's favorite one-man army is back to save the world yet again, this time from the evil Morphix. This time around, though, the developers took Duke back to his roots for some good old side-scrolling action. You may think that was the wrong way to go, but continue on and you may have a change of heart.
When most people think of a side-scroller, they think 2D with decent graphics. Not the case for DN: MP. All the characters and backgrounds are rendered in 3D and are fully polygonal. It is obvious that the developers took time to make Duke Nukem: MP, as it looks leaps and bounds ahead of previous Duke titles. The explosions, backgrounds, character models and animations are all smooth, both graphically and while in motion. Though the game doesn't put a whole lot of stress on your system (this isn't Doom III), it is required that you have a moderate system and 3d graphics card to play. Though the requirements are low, I would, as always, recommend that you have more than the requirements to enjoy the game to the fullest.
Many of the favorite tracks from previous Nukem titles have returned with some minor changes, but don't let that worry you because the songs sound as sweet as ever. As with most of the previous titles, the music fits the mood of the game perfectly. Nothing gets the blood pumping like the Duke Nukem theme in the morning. As for the sound, I have only one word to describe it: AWESOME. All the sound effects for the guns/explosives are beautiful and in case you were worried, yes Duke is as sarcastic and obnoxious as ever. It just wouldn't be Duke Nukem without it.
The gameplay for Duke Nukem: MP was quite addicting. There hasn't been a good side-scroller on the PC in a while so the new Duke was a breath of fresh air. Though the controls were a bit rugged on the keyboard, the game played quite well with a hand-held controller. Duke still has many of his old "friends" returning such as the shotgun and pipe bombs while some new weapons are joining the team, such as the golden Desert Eagle and a weapon which reverts mutants back to there animal form. Also there are many secrets and "puzzles" to be found and solved including rescuing the babes in distress and finding 10 "nuke symbols" per map to boost Duke's stats and eventually unlock a powerful weapon.
As for the story, you start the game chasing the mutant scum across the rooftops of New York City after they crashed your memorial celebration. The chase
continues through factories, streets and sewers providing a number of different environments for you to traverse. There are a number of items to be found
along the way that will aid you in your chase, though this time around they activate instantly so you will be unable to store them away for later use. Once
again the jetpack will be present along with the sometimes-frustrating keycards. Power-ups such as shields and short-term weapon enhancers are also
available for Duke's enjoyment. Though fun for a while, the gameplay can get stale after a while and the game is relatively short compared to other action titles available.
Sadly, there is no multiplayer feature in Duke's newest release, but hopefully next time. It would have been nice to have added a 2-player element into the mix which stars Duke and a new fictional, hardcore, female character to help along the way, but that's just my opinion. Anymore than 2-players would be too difficult to manage in a side-view style game.
It's nice to see a new Duke Nukem on the market. If you've been a long-time fan of the series, go out and buy Duke Nukem: MP today. If you haven't been a huge fan in
the past or are new to the name all together, you may want test it out before you buy. If you are looking for a new action, side-scrolling title, look no further than Duke Nukem, you will not be disappointed.