Release Date: 

April '2000





The original MDK was developed by Shiny Entertainment and had great promise when it was first introduced to the media. Unfortunately the final product somehow lost its appeal and didn't really fare well.

Almost two years later, Canadian developer Bioware, known for their best selling RPG Baldur's Gate, picks up the license and continues the adventures of Max, Doc Fluke Hawkins and Kurt Hectic. Make no mistake, Bioware hasn't just simply picked up the game to grind out some mediocre sequel. They have taken their time and their efforts continue to shine brightly with each build of the game we receive. MDK2 is shaping up to be possibly one of if not the best action/adventure game on Dreamcast.

The storyline picks up shortly after the end of the original MDK. In that game, the evil Steamriding aliens attacked the Earth. In order to combat the assault, Dr. Fluke Hawkins developed a Coil Suit in which Kurt Hectic, the hero, utilized in order to eliminate the threat. In MDK2 Doc, Kurt and Max the six-legged dog with an attitude are on their journey into the universe when the Steamriding aliens show up unexpectedly on Earth again. Doc suggests the three of them work together in order to rid the aliens once and for all. What ensues is a crazy and entertaining adventure where players must play as all 3 wacky characters with each offering a different gameplay experience. Kurt utilizes his famous coil suit with sniper mode in order to defeat the pesky aliens. Max's powers include the hilarious ability to hold up to four weapons simultaneously for some serious ass-kicking firepower. Dr. Fluke Hopkins manipulates materials in order to make them useful. Quite a departure from the other two characters yet he offers a 'thinking' challenge that isn't found in many games these days. The control of these characters takes some getting used to but after a couple of hours you will find the control quite appealing and very accurate. Throughout your journey you will come across a wide range of weapon upgrades and utilities to help you through.

The visuals are simply breathtaking. Bioware has created a very large universe for players to interact with. From the depths of spaceships to the sprawling planets, MDK2 covers a lot of ground. Not only is it covered but it is covered in style. The textures are tight and vary according to the surrounding. Everything looks and feels right, that you will swear you are in some twisted SCI-fi flick. While not as detailed as games like Code Veronica and Shenmue, the characters and enemies in MDK2 are done quite well. The version we previewed had the game mostly running between 30 FPS and 60 FPS. If Bioware can pull off a final constant 60 FPS, this game will rock.

Perhaps one of MDK2's greatest strengths is the challenge that is put forth to the player. There are approximately 10 main stages which are then branched off into sub-stages giving a total of just over 90 areas to conquer. Each with its own unique set of challenges and final goal. There were many times where I was just stumped on what to do or how to solve a dilemma. This holds especially true for the Doc's stages. Finally a game comes along where you have to actually think. MDK2 appears to mix a number of playstyles into one comprehensive package. Players will find difficult puzzles, utmost accuracy and just old plain good fun shooting.

Finally a preview of MDK2 is not complete without mentioning the tongue in cheek comedic value found throughout the game. On more than one occasion I found myself falling off my chair in laughter. Bioware has integrated pure Canadian humor into MDK2. From the exploding toilets to farting enemies, the laughs never stop. MDK2 is expected to hit store shelves in early April and we will be back with a full review close to its launch. In the meantime pick up the March 2000 issue of the Official Dreamcast Magazine and play the MDK2 demo included on the disc.

Preview By: Micheal Weatherup

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