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A Brief Overview
Comic book games have not made the limelight for sometime now. Games like Batman, Superman could never actually reach the point where they could fuse into the heart of a gamer. Well there are exceptions but as a whole there was rarely a comic book inspired game that really got going, but Shiny Entertainment came up with a game that actually made a difference. Difference being, they designed a game that could easily inspire a comic book. The game unfolds like something that just jumped right out of a four-color panel to your 32-bit computer monitor. A game that was given a comic book feel, that can make, anyone who doesn't know about MDK, to believe that a comic book influenced it. The game is MDK2, descendent of MDK from Shiny Entertainment, which was again a game that was really ahead of its time. An epic tale of a hero named Kurt, all dressed up in a coil suit fighting to save Earth from stream-riding aliens. A common plot but the game's unique gameplay got itself a deserved place in the hall of fame of games. But when gamers heard that Shiny had nothing to do with the sequel and Bioware is making the sequel, they were concerned… Will Bioware be able to retain the originality of the game? Will the action-adventure-comic gameplay still prevail? Well, with the release of the sequel all the questions were answered and boy did the game meet all the requirements. It actually exceeded the 1st game by some huge margin. The game didn't run on my Windows ME operating system and I had to change it back to Win 98, and that meant a full format of my entire HDD and believe me it wasn't a walk in the park. But the game was very much worth all the trouble!!! Read on to find out more about the sequel.

The Story
MDK2 takes up from where MDK left off. The heroes have just finished butt-kicking the aliens from Earth and are enjoying some celebrating time on board The Jim Dandy, spaceship of Dr Fluke Hawkins. But a hero's work is never done, the aliens decide to attack Earth on a return leg, and our mild behaved hero Kurt is sent to make short work of the aliens. 
      
      The story unfolds in the form of a comic book and it gives you brief flashback of the first game. The loading screen feature a comic book cover corresponding to the loading level. It's a pity cause you cannot take a screenshot of this very well done comic book covers. However the game starts and the game kicks of with a mini-game of Kurt dodging the rockets and lasers from an alien mine-crawler (recall the original game's starting). On board the mine-crawler, Kurt is given a brief direction of how to use his coil suit. And the gamers are on their way to excitement world. Most of the level starts off with a mini-game and they are really well done.

Gameplay
The game features three characters all from the original game- Dr. Fluke Hawkins, Kurt Hectic and the six-legged canine, Max. In MDK the players just got the chance to play as Kurt, while Max provided occasional help and the doctor provided the directions. But in this game the players get the opportunity to play with all the characters. It is decided beforehand which character to be played with in a certain level, and the players can only choose their character in the last level according to the player's gaming abilities.
      
       Kurt retains his sniping abilities, the ribbon chute and the chain-gun, all the characteristics of his coil suit from the 1st game. He relies on stealth and precision to take out the enemies. Max on the other hand downloaded an action hero personality into his program and now is a cigar smoking, gun-wielding canine. He can wield four guns in his four legs, leaving out the two legs he uses to get about. He relies on pure firepower to eliminate his adversaries, and Dr Hawkins is a man of science. He has his brain to take him through the levels. His ageing legs doesn't provide him with the energy that it used to but he makes up for that by making the weirdest but most effective gadgets and gizmos out of normal household things he finds along his way. The game thus provides a variety of gameplay to satisfy different types of gamers. The game is a 3rd person shooter but in the Kurt level the sniping mode allow a 1st person shooter feel. You cannot move about while sniping, though. The choice of the character in the final stage actually reflects a gamer's preference in gaming- whether he is an action lover, or prefers stealth as the weapon or is strategic about his about his approach. The game requires a lot of puzzle solving, whoever you play with. The guys at Bioware tried their level best to make the player's life a living hell, as some of the puzzles takes you several hours to figure out, and when you know what to do it takes around half an hour to finish. I specially remember one in level 8, it left me with the wish to bang my head with the Bioware developers. It took me a whole day to figure out what to do and when I did figure out it took me another hour and half to get past the puzzle. Let me tell you this requires a lot of patience, as it can get really annoying at times. The game is tremendously difficult even in the easy mode. The game provides different ending for different characters, and that is really great, giving the game some replay value. The game plot is really engaging and its difficult to foretell what is to come. There are a huge variety of enemies, lots of new ones and they have great AI. The boss AI is also great and one has to do some puzzle-solving to get past these baddies. Players will need to use the stage resources to the fullest, while fighting the bosses. The save anywhere feature helps the gameplay, but gamers will tend to choose the trial and reload method to solve some of the puzzles.

Graphics, Game Controls and Sounds
Now for the graphics, it's absolutely fabulous. There were times when I stopped playing just to look at the beautiful level design, specially the levels where the players have to travel to Swizzle Firma, the alien home planet. The game uses its 3D engine to the full capacity. All the levels are well done. The graphics is pretty dark and that adds up to the mystery of the game. The player and enemy details are fabulous and they blend with the environment with great perfection. The boss designing is exceptional, especially that of Shwang Shwing and the evil Emperor Zizzy Ballooba. The cut scenes are made using the game engine and it helps to keep the uniformity of the game. The sound effects are really cool, the voice acting deserves a big hand and the music is also great. Bioware guys really know how to get people hooked to a game. The game performs well with a 16MB S3 Savage4 3D card (that's the one I have) and gives an appreciable framerate throughout. I had to suffer minor screen losses, but the game ran smoothly on a computer with a 32MB Riva TNT 2 Value. Players will prefer to turn up their speaker volume to get the total action. The mouse-keyboard combo is the ideal choice for the game, it being a 3rd person shooter. The controls are easy to perform, most of them common for all the three characters. There are a few special controls for each of them. Like the sniping controls for Kurt, jetpack throttle for Max and item combine for the Doc.

Conclusion
This game certainly lives up to its predecessor. Already crowned as the best action game of the year 2K by many game sites and established game magazines this game has won the heart of the gamers with its unique style of gameplay. All thanks to Bioware and they most certainly deserve a pat on the back. This is a must play game for all the gamers out there.

 

Game Info

Game Name: MDK2

Genre: Action.
Publisher: Interplay
Reviewed by:
 Sami
Mail him.

Game Score: [Five lightning rating]

Graphics:                          
Gameplay:                         
Sound:                            
Story / Plot:
Reviewer's Tilt :
Overall:

Game Tested on:

- PIII 550 MHz
- 128 MB RAM
- Savage 4 16MB
- Windows 98

The Good: Gameplay, Graphics, Controls, save anywhere feature, humor and the mini-game.
The Bad: This game rocks throughout except the annoying puzzles.
The Ugly: - Farting...