Review by: Ryan Newman
Published: June 1, 2000
The original award winning MDK, made by Shiny Entertainment, was brought out for the PC and the PlayStation a few years ago. The title became known for its unique brand of action mixed with off-the-wall humor. Now, with the release of the Dreamcast, it is up to BioWare to bring out MDK2 and up the ante on an already fantastic package. So brush up on your sniping skills, grab your atomic toaster, and get ready for the fight of your life.
Instead of the traditional one role, MDK2 gives gamers the chance to play as three characters. The original star of MDK is back, Kurt Hectic, but now he is joined by his friends Dr. Fluke and Max. While MDK2 retains the same elements of gameplay as the original, the ability to use the other characters gives the title some much-needed variety. The main problem for our heroes now is that the aliens have come back and they are not too pleased with our heroes.
The campy story goes a little something like this: Dr. Fluke is an under-appreciated scientist on Earth while Kurt Hectic is his janitor, who tolerates his job for a large check. One day the good doctor decides he has had enough of people mocking his genius and decides to leave. Kurt decides to stay along for the ride due to his large salary. While in space Dr. Hawkins creates Max, a gun toting six-legged dog to serve as a companion. During their journey they receive news that aliens have invaded the Earth, so now it’s time to head home and save the day.
MDK2 is played using the third-person perspective with a first-person view used when backed against walls. When developing MDK2, BioWare expanded greatly expanded the gameplay of the original by having all three main characters playable. The title is broken up into various segments; Kurt, Max, and Dr. Hawkins, all have their own levels. While their individual portions differ, they still have the same underlined themes such as platform jumping puzzles and basic action.
It should be noted that MDK2 is a fairly tough game. The platform jumping portions will take some time to get down and will require various tries before success. MDK2 also offers many tight spots which will require quick thinking and quicker reflexes. These situations become increasingly frequent as the player progresses; luckily, there is a type of automatic save feature. Upon entering the beginning of a new level segment there will be a specific spot that is used to automatically save your status on the VMU. This is especially helpful for game continuation and story progression.
When launching into the first level, you will be quite surprised with how simplistic everything starts — in fact, it appears to be a mini-game. Quite a few of the maps begin like this, which helps add to MDK2′s unique style. The levels themselves start off as corridors that eventually lead into huge rooms with luscious visuals or even into outside areas where players can stare out at the vast space. Within the corridors is where the game introduces the third-person shooting portion. When not in the corridors a player can find themselves anywhere from standing on a floating platform trying to snipe their way onto the next platform or walking outside a spaceship evading incoming fire. Later on you will even find yourself on Dr. Hawkin’s ship, The Jim Dandy. These locations, along with the others, offer great anticipation to see what is next.