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Preview By: Joe Rolfe
Developer:   Bioware
Publisher:   Interplay
Genre:   Action
# of Players:    1
Release Date:   December 2000
Posted:   11-5-00

Unless you completely stay away from the mere sight of action and adventure games, chances are you’ve heard of the MDK series. More notorious for what exactly MDK stands for rather than the gameplay itself, the folks at Bioware have produced two high-quality action romps over the past few years that both have gone pretty much unnoticed by the average gaming crowd. Even with it’s thrilling combat sequences, dark mature themes and quirky humor that only the minds of Bioware could come up with, MDK and, to a lesser extent, MDK2, never really garnered a public approval despite the consistent high scores of media critics alike. However, the sequel has seen a respectable number of sales, so mass-market identity can only be a few more sequels off, right? Just kidding.

Anyway, MDK2 was published on both Dreamcast and PC platforms, once again receiving great accolade. In case you aren’t quite sure with what the game was all about, it was, bluntly, a humorous action-platformer with three strangely different anti-heroes to use. Here’s a quick rundown of the game’s features:

  • Play as all 3 quirky characters: the hero Kurt, the robotic dog Max, and the eccentric Dr. Hawkins, each offering a different gameplay experience.
  • Larger rooms, outdoor environments, trickier enemies, and more overwhelming odds.
  • 10 levels of 3D action tell the story of the Streamriders' return to take over the Earth
  • Loads of new gadgets and weapon additions!
  • Target your shots with enhanced Sniper Mode that lets you enjoy limited movement to avoid enemies, and includes new ammunition like Bouncing Sniper shots to catch enemies around corners.
  • Improved stealth abilities with Kurt's new suit's Cloaking Device and Chameleon Power features.
  • Fly, jump, and glide using the amazing ribbon chute.
  • Combat the enemy with such unorthodox munitions as:
    • The Smallest Nuclear Bomb
    • The Portable Black Hole
    • The World's Most Interesting Bomb

Even with those great features, was Bioware’s prime title perfect? No, quite not. From the start it was obvious that MDK2 was designed for consoles and partially for the platform genre. The game involved far too many jumping and hopping sequences that would make Mario proud. MDK2’s difficulty was unbalanced as well, being that some parts of the game were linear and easy to cruise through baddies, yet others seemed like a near impossibility. With this in mind, Bioware is going to tool Armageddon so that gamers don’t become frustrated beyond reality like most of us did with the previous ports. Customization of difficulty and control schemes are the name of the game, plus new in-game hints to help guide stuck players through those tough spots (and there were a lot of them). Plus, duel analog support will be included in Armageddon too, consequently giving the gamer a much more precise control over those hard jumping areas of the game.

Without a doubt, MDK2 is one of the most wildly individualistic games of this year. It shared a few problems, but no flaw could hide its true quality. Armageddon is supposed to ship to stores in December, so if you missed out on the Dreamcast and PC version, now has never been a better time to pick up Bioware’s incredible action frolic.

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