#349 MDK

Posted: 17th August 2019 by Jeroen in Games
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807th played so far

Genre: Shoot ‘Em Up
Platform: PC
Year of Release: 1997
Developer: Shiny Entertainment
Publisher: Shiny Entertainment/Playmates Interactive

I’ve sort of played MDK before – it wasn’t loads, and mostly dropping into other people’s games rather than playing a full campaign on my own. The sequel stands out as being an early Bioware game, release shortly after Baldur’s Gate, as they were still getting settled. The first was made byย Shiny Entertainment, who also made future game Sacrifice, but co-designed by Nick Bruty, who later made Giants: Citizen Kabuto, a game I liked rather less.

The meaning of MDK isn’t as clear – at least officially – but we thought it was genuinely meant to stand for Murder, Death, Kill. The creators denied it, but it was such a cool sounding name that we had to go for it. The game itself wasn’t that aggressive from my momery, but even that didn’t really matter here.

Our Thoughts

MDK feels like a product of its time. Graphically it’s got some nice models, but it also has the lengthy brown unreadable ground textures in places and generally works more on creating bigger environments than making that readable. Beyond that, what you get is mostly a decent third person shooter, using smaller areas than we make get in current games but clearly designed to help with performance. It’s fine, but the amount of enemies in each place means that there were times where the whole thing can feel quite overwhelming, with not that much leeway for errors.

There’s a decent selection of weapons, which get pretty ridiculous – the “World’s Smallest Nuclear Bomb” is as deadly as you’d expect, but just as ridiculous. More notable for most of the game, though, are the other abilities. Each level starts with a freefall using the parachute in your suit and subsequent areas in the level let you use the same thing. The gliding gives you a nice bit of extra control when playing and works as a nice addition to make the world feel more 3D. The sniper scope is another nice addition – it does what you expect it to do, but is usable whenever you want. It feels incredibly satisfying and becomes a part of the core gameplay.

The levels themselves differ a lot in how engaging they are. Some are pretty standard, almost boring arenas, but others take place in these giant factories and testing facilities. Where it works well, you get a nice bit of world building, but despite there being a written explanation, the story never really gets shown well in the game. It’s a shame – considering there are voice overs, adding a few more might have made it all connect a bit better for me.

Final Thoughts

MDK is a difficult, unforgiving shooter that sometimes manages to pay it off with some amazing moments and nice sights, but at others drops the ball a bit and makes them less interesting. On the whole it was okay to play, but time hasn’t been as kind as it should have been, so it’s a case of needing to be careful with what you get into.