MDK

review by Robert Edvardsson for MacMagazine
english translation by Mattias Borgström


Have you ever wanted to fly, freely falling through the air and on the same time shooting arms of gigantic, selfish thinking robots that doesn't want anything for your own good? Probably not, but this is just one of the elements that fits so well in this type of 3D game.
MDK arrived to PC in the beginning of 1997, and was spot to become the next breakthrough within the gaming-market. The levels where original and well designed, at the same time it demanded so much more than just shooting and bloodbaths to finish the levels. On the contrary the PC users hasn't really understood how really entertaining MDK actually is, and the creators could also have put some more time behind the game to polish the details. The game is set in a kind of near future that reminds a lot like the scenes from Blade Runner and Total Recall, and one and another parallell with the story of the classic game Another World can also be drawn. The story is pretty badly presented, but in short terms it's about that Dr. Fluke, one of the few good characters in the game, owns a flying fortress that floats above Earth. (Don't ask me how or why). One day he spots some gigantic spacevessels that have locked on to destroy the Earths energy-reserve by taking over the worlds largest mines. He warns the leaders on Earth, but of course they don't manage to react untill it's to late. The spacedudes sends down enormous so called "Minecrawlers" that floats above the attacked areas. Dr. Fluke immediately sends down Kurt (you) who together with his six-armed dog that naturally is Earths last hope, and then the game is on.



Every chapter of the game starts with that you are diving down towards the Minecrawler that Dr. Fluke points out. Only this is a gamestyle of its own. At the end of each chapter is a endboss, that has its own tricky way of being beaten. The game is allthrough 3D, but is so much more than just an ordinary 3D game like Doom and all its clones. It reminds more of Tomb Raider, that in we right now unfortunately hasn't yet seen to the Mac. There are many kinds of playing inside the game itself. The usual walking-and-shooting way of course, but you can also ride different vehicles like flyingmachines and wierd snowboards. Then that you can go into so called "Sniper-mode" whenever you want and for example zoom in on the eye of a ugly beast, and with a simple click making him blind without him even have seen you, really raises the gaming experiece. That the 3D graphics doesn't loose the slightest detail when you zoom in as much as 10 times, but actually show very fine details, is clearly wonderful and entertaining. You really feels like you are in a wellmade movie.



During most of the game you see the player from a third-person 3D, and you can look freely up and down and walk whatever way you want. That the sound that is made when you jump and land sound like you break the ribs of a horse really enlarges the sense of violence, also indicates that this is a very violent game. But even if there is an awful lot of killing and shooting in MDK the game isn't directly as bloody that you will feel morbid. The enemies are mostly robots, and even if they are pretty smart, it still flies mostly pieces of metal through the air than blood and entrails. The robots that you are dealing with has a sort of AI (artificial intelligens), and doesn't always run straight at you as they would have done in Quake. Because of this you have to stop some times and think of how to proceed. The enemies also have a programmed sense of humor. If you hide from an enemy that you have encountered before, he starts to scratch his head and start looking carefully for you. This brings a bit more personallity to the enemies, if you are able to notice it before you kill the guy.



MDK has mostly been associated with the words "Murder, Death, Kill", but there is nothing that confirms that it is what it actually stands for. There is those who says that is stands for the first letters in "Max, Dr. Fluke and Kurt", the main-characters in the game. You are Kurt, a human that in his specially made protectionsuit mostly looks like a mix between a fly and an oildrill. Max is your faithfull sixarmed dog that always gets you out of messy situations for example dropping a whole bunch of bombs (airstrike), on a chosen target, and Dr. Fluke is the one that gives you your missions before you go down to Earth to fight.

Everything seems so different. The entire game seems to be built on comedy, which both gives a bit of joy and at the same time makes the game less serious. (Good or bad? Hard to tell). When in one moment you are aiming between the eyes of a nasty spaceman, and the second after you are in a something that looks like a scene from Animaniacs creates a lot of variation during the game, even though its mostly about killing. The music in MDK is also extremly well-made, and sometimes when you are playing late at night you can turn around and belive that you have complete symphonic orchestra in your room. Well.. maybe not... but its good, and that the music also is so variable and follows the actions in the levels isn't just a plus, but many. On the edge ofcourse. When you for example is rushing forward on the snowboard and shooting badies, the music reminds a lot of the James Bond theme.



MDK is a clearly violent and entertaining game for the one that want to test a truly different 3D game than Quake.

 Good stuff  Bad stuff
  • Good music
  • Cool concept
  • Cool zoom-ins
  • Sometimes gets boring after a while
  • Odd story
  • Sometimes bad joints between the polygons


  •  Test Computer  Requirements  Price
     Power Mac 4400
     48 MB RAM
     MacOS 8.1
     200 mhz
     Not Available
     Not Available
     Related links  Demo  Rating
     
  • Shiny Entertainment
  •  Not available

    (1-5 where 5 is the best)


    Review by Robert Edvardsson for MacMagazine
    English translation by Mattias Borgström