Snappy Title, Eh? Any Game With a moniker like that is just begging to be looked at. Murder Death Kill (or MDK as it's 'officially' known), is the first pc-specific action title to spring forth from the US-based Shiny Productions team. It's also one of the most impressive-looking games it's been my privilege to witness in recent months.
In case the name 'Shiny' seems a little familiar, allow me to elucidate (I promise not to spill any on the pillows this time). Shiny are headed up by Dave Perry, which is yet another name to set some possible bells ringing. A few years ago, 'wor Dave' was the guiding light behind many a successful console title (Aladdin and Cool Spot, to name but two). Having acquired his fortune, he left the numbing climate of Britain far behind and skedaddled his stuff to California's Laguna Beach to start up Shiny. Right from the off, Shiny pioneered the use of some impressive graphical techniques, which led to in-game sprites that looked more like the product of traditional cell animation than the blocky, pixellated norm. They were also responsible for creating everybody's favourite invertebrate related cartoon-style platform game, Earthworm Jim. Indeed, EJ proved sufficiently popular to warrant his own televised animated series, an accolade previously reserved for the likes of Sonic The Hedgehog and, er, Pac-Man.
Still, rather than sitting on their backsides gazing at a pile of banknotes and cackling insanely, Dave and the Shiny team have been putting in some hard graft to create new titles - which means 'bye-bye' to the two-dimensional platform games of yore, and 'hello sailor' to the firmly three-dimensional action-packed carnivals of carnage we know and love today. This has entailed the hiring of additional artists and programmers from around the world, and had effectively doubled Shiny's workforce in a matter of months. And the first fruit of their collective labour is Murder Death Kill.
The first glimmer of the MDK demo left me particularly unimpressed. In fact I was downright uninterested. Stifling a yawn I figured it was just another boring FMV-backed shoot 'em up.
But then I discovered that it didn't have any fmv in it. The super-smooth three-dimensional action stuff I'd been watching was running in real-time, on a pc. Gumph. Good looking? You bet your sweet bippy it is. A smoothly-animated main character pegging it round a sprawling futuristic cityscape - with a visible range that extends miles further into the distance than what we're all accustomed to seeing. A viewpoint that swoops from here to there in a seamless arc. Hulking great robot basts having their arms and legs blown off, and then reacting accordingly. Nerve-mutilating explosions. Endless rounds of gunfire. Running in a crystal-clear svga mode (640x480, fact fans), MDK has been optimised for use on Pentium-only machines with a minimum of 8mb. And if you think it looks good in these screenshots, you'll more or less cream your pants when you see the thing in action. Shiny really do seem to have excelled themselves here. This is big stuff.
Riders of the stream
Of course you all want to know what you'll be doing in the game. Well, in a nutshell, MDK's storyline follows the human race which has discovered a bunch of gigantic 'energy streams' floating around in space. Needless to say the greedy so-and-sos are overcome with joy at the find, especially when it transpires that these streams appear to provide a limitless supply of energy -and a pollution-free one at that. Zip-a-dee-doo-dah.
But, as ever, there's a catch. These fabulous energy streams aren't just for freeloaders to launch their own worldwide fizzy drinks emporium; they're actually part of an interstellar transportation network for a race of weirdy pangalactic beings known as 'stream riders'. And the stream riders aren't very pleasant people at all, and they're certainly not the type to burst into tears during a matinee showing of Bambi. No indeedy, they're more likely to be found laughing out loud all the way through Make Them Die Slowly.
Understandably cheesed off by us lowly parasitic Earth-dwellers sucking off their power supply, they set about invading our planet with ginormous 'living cities' which stomp about all over the shop, squishing our crappy metropolises underfoot. Justifiably terrified, the human race ducks into hiding.
But fear not, mere mortals, because help is at hand in the form of a young fellow named Kurt. Kurt is assistant to an absent-minded inventor. Professor Fluke Hawkins, and he's borrowed a whole shedload of gadgets and gizmos with the intention of ridding the Earth of the alien menace - and also tracking down his pooch Bones, who inexplicably went awol following the invasion. Glad tidings for us humans then - and good news for Professor Hawkins too, since it provides the ideal opportunity to test all the ridiculous weaponry he's been working on...
Put your helmet on and go to war!
Possibly the most useful item in Kurt's inventory is the bizarre helmet he wears throughout the game. Looking rather like something the killer in Seven might have worn to Norman Bates' fancy dress party, it not only looks bloody scary (a whopping great detachable gun barrel sticking out of the front discourages any arguments), but it also doubles as a vision enhancer and targeting device. More on,this great gizmo later.
The warped sense of humour that served Shiny so well in the Earthworm Jim games (as anyone who 'launched the cow' and then made it to the end will tell you), is very much in evidence here. Aside from the ability to blow limbs off your enemies, you also have access to some weapons whose names sum them up pretty effectively: weapons such as 'The World's Most Interesting Bomb', 'The Human Mortar', and last but not least, 'The World's Smallest Nuclear Explosion'. That last one is also equally handy for getting dried egg off plates or ruining your neighbour's azaleas.
Rev up your spooge-sacs
It looks bloody smart, doesn't it? Well, sorry, but Murder Death Kill won't be available just yet. It's been pencilled in for release some time around Christmas... which gives those of you who still don't have Pentiums (and are instead relying on a scabby old clockwork 386 or something) plenty of time to save up for that upgrade you keep promising yourself (or at least to write a begging letter to Santa). And you can bet your cute little buns that we'll be bringing you more details and a 27-page review jam-packed with exclamation marks and expletives at the earliest possible second. So get those thumbs twiddling, because you're going to need them.
Brainiacs, ballistics and bastards
Not content with producing what looks like being one of the bestlooking PC games ever, Shiny are also working on a sophisticated artificial intelligence routine which should not only make the ingame enemies react with more cunning than is the norm, but will also render them vulnerable to certain types of underhand tactics. The example given in Shiny's pre-release bumph is a means of taking out two enemies you've just spied from a great distance: rather than take out each of them in turn, the sneaky way of knocking them both out is to target one, blow his leg clean off, and then wait until his partner in crime dashes to his aid - at which point you can wipe them out with a well-placed missile blast.
Who are you and what have you done? I'm Andy Astor. I have a Computer Science degree from Brown University and over ten years working in developing computer aided design and engineering software for automotive and aerospace companies like General Motors and McDonnell Douglas. I also worked at Virgin Interactive on tools for Aladdin, Robocop versus Terminator and others. I've been with Shiny since the start and worked on Earthworm Jim, Earthworm Jim 2 and Earthworm Jim Special Edition. I'm now the lead programmer on MDK.
You've done a lot of platform games... is that the sort of thing you like?
I really love Command & Conquer, Warcraft 2 and Duke Nukem 3D because they're great multi-player games and I like playing against an intelligent opponent. I also enjoy the singleplayer game.
In the past you've only worked on 2D platform games, how easy was the transition to 3D?
My experience both in college and in computer aided design was all 3D stuff so I already had the background knowledge. I also give credit to all the books that are out there and the game developer magazines. A lot of the difference is in the performance of the machine. The new machines are a lot faster, which lets you create much more complicated ai gameplay. For example in MDK, the aliens are aware of what's happening to each other and react accordingly. Commanders will direct their troops in coordinated attacks but if you kill the commander, the coordination will be disrupted. Aliens may also come to the aid of injured buddies.
What's the coolest thing in MDK?
The ai and the ability to zoom in and out to observe enemies from a distance. With the memory we are dedicating to high resolution textures when you zoom up on a enemy it still looks crisp and doesn't get pixellated.
What does MDK actually stand for?
Million Dollar KO.
Who are you and what have you done?
My name is Martin Brownlow and before Shiny I worked at Virtuality writing virtual reality arcade machines such as Virtuality Boxing and Buggy Ball.
Your mate likes multi-player stuff... what are you into?
My favourite games at the moment are Virtua Fighter 2, Terra Nova and Warcraft 2.1 also like the X-COM games and anything by Geoff Crammond. Has your experience in virtual reality helped you with MDK? Virtuality uses a set 3D engine which the programmers weren't allowed to touch, so we had to concentrate on getting the gameplay right. This in turn helped us to become very proficient at moving things around realistically in three dimensions. For instance, Buggy Ball has the most accurate car and ball dynamics I have ever seen in an arcade game.
I'm told that part of your job is to make sure that the frame rate is improved. That's quite difficult, isn't it? How do you do it?
The first task is to isolate exactly where the program is spending all of its time. Usually you would use a program called a profiler. After running the profiler, you get a list of how much time the program is spending in each area. I would then look at each of the sections of the program that it spends a significant amount of time in (there's no point in improving a section of code that the game only spends one per cent of its time in). The first thing to look at is whether or not the program section is written in the right way (there's more than one way to skin a cat - and some will take significantly longer than others). Then you see if you are recalculating things that are constant (for instance, if you are combing your hair, do you put the comb down after each stroke, look for it, pick it up and do another stroke? Or do you realise that the comb is still in your hand?). Finally, you go down to the machine code level and rearrange instructions to make the best use of Pentium processor instruction pipe-lining.
So, what else do you do on MDK?
I recently implemented improved explosions - pieces of what was shot now fly every which way when it blows up, some trailing smoke, and the pieces bounce realistically off walls and floors. It is now even possible to shoot an alien's arm off in sniper mode and watch the arm come off and fall to the floor - although whether or not we'll make it twitch when it comes to rest is a matter of taste. I also just wrote the 3D sound system which includes stereo sound positioning and the doppler effect (imagine a car going past you -its noise changes pitch as it gets nearer). Also, when you're in the sniper view, sound characteristics change so that you can only really hear what you are looking at - things at the edge of your view are quieter than things in the middle - and as you zoom in to the aliens, their noises become louder.
Crikey. What machine will consumers need to have to run MDK?
We're aiming for the game to run well on any Pentium. Obviously, an svga card is needed (since the game runs in 640x480 as standard), and the better your svga card, the faster the game should run (MDK will make full use of any linear frame buffers and advanced palettes your SVGA card has). The final game should also support some 3D accelerator cards. Since the game contains no fmv, the speed of the user's cd drive is unimportant -the cd is only used to install the game and to play any standard cd .v audio we decide to put in, so a single-speed cd-rom will suffice.
What does MIX stand for?
Obviously, MDK stands for Massive Dollops of Ketchup, and don't let anybody tell you differently.
Diary part 2
If you've been keeping close tabs on the development of Shiny Entertainment's MDK, you'll no doubt be aware that as well as some seriously impressive polygon-based visuals, one of the technical features that really stands out is the fact that both the central character and many of the creatures that inhabit the lands of the game have been motion-captured to ensure that they look and act in the most realistic way possible.
The systems used are many and varied, and we've featured Gremlin's motion capture studio in PC before - both Actua Soccer and Euro 96 made use of the facility and the company is using it in virtually all of their forthcoming titles. Shiny's motion capture facility is slightly different (although fundamentally the same) and is handily known as MoCap. Shawn Nelson, the team's expert on the subject, talks us through the process and even draws a little cartoon for us too.
Okay, so you've got this 'MoCap' system. Do you understand every-thing about it, or is it just a tool? And do you have a techie-bod background, or are you more arty-farty?
After obtaining a Bachelor's degree in sculpture at the San Francisco Academy of Arts, I went to the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia for a year. From there, I was drafted to the University of Southern California where I got a Master's degree in computer animation.
Oh. What about normal life stuff? Are you normal? Do you have a life?
I collect toys, especially the Spawn lineup and enjoy cartoons like The Tick. I don't always watch Star Trek but I know all the characters by heart. I love boogieboarding and soccer.
Do you have a videogame background?
I started playing videogames on a state of the art Atari vcs 2600 with Missile Command and Gauntlet. Next came a Sega Genesis, a Macintosh, an sgi and a pc.
Why use SGI? What's so hot about it apart from the hefty price tag? Is it really all it's cracked up to be for this sort of thing?
It's the only machine powerful enough to run the software that I need to use. I started with Softimage 2.5 and 3.0 and Power Animator 6.0. We're now using The Alias/Wavefront Power Animator 7.01.1 with a bunch of plug-ins like MS3 (Motion Sampler 3), Composer & Studio Paint 3D - so I decided to cancel my company Ferrari order and bought the $135,000 set-up instead.
Is it easy to get machines like that working? Is the system as simple as just sticking ping-pong balls all over someone's body and then hooking him up to an SGI box?
No way. I spent hours and hours and hours on the phone as I tried to get the calibration of our main character just perfect. Every time I thought it was right, our actor would put his hands on top of his head. Looking back at the screen, one arm might end up on the floor, the other might stick out of his mouth. It was so frustrating, but then suddenly it all worked, and the settings were perfect.
Dumbo question now for the people at the back... What is motion capture (exactly)?
Motion capture is a system where you put censors on an actor who then moves around within a projected magnetic field. The 3D point/space co-ordinate information is in turn translated to the data format required by your software - in other words, animating skeletons via joints that you then lay the skin of the final character onto. With motion capture you animate from the inside out.
What's good about it?
You can record hours of animation extremely quickly. If you do animation by hand with a pencil (like Disney), it takes years. The result is that we get much more movement than an artist ever has time to draw. All the subtleties are there, the joints work like real joints and - most importantly - you can feel the weight of the character as he performs his moves.
...and the bad stuff?
Basically it restricts you to humans or animals. If you want to motion capture a shark, then you are in a world of hurt, literally. If you have a 20-legged monster that you need to do back flips, then you'd better hope you have a great pet store near your office. I suppose you could tie ten actors together...
Besides all this, what restrictions are there?
Space is a big thing. I had to build a stage to cut down the magnetic interference from the steel bars in our concrete floor; that coupled with the cables tying the actor to the main computer restricts his movement, big-time. It hurts the actor if he does a dive and lands on the umbilical cable link, but I don't care about that!
How many frames per second do you get with motion capture?
A conventional motion capture system uses up to 16 censors, but we only used 11. Polhemus, who makes the MoCap system, says it's supposed to record at 50 frames per second but it only does 48. The silly part is that the Alias software can't take more than 30 frames per second. Although the data is sharper due to the 48 frames per second, we can't read it all. From that point on we give our data to Andy so that he can work all of his wonderful programming magic.
Do you believe that motion capture is the future of videogames?
More animation, more movements, more move options, ten times as much animation - yes, I think it's a good tool and I also believe that it does have a place in the future of videogames. Remember however that I am a traditional animator first - and you will never get rid of us.
Walkthrough: Part One
The second Kurt's dinky little feet hit the floor, turn round and collect 'the world's most cowardly power-up' - your well-being will be somewhat increased. Then run up the corridor and chain-gun the waving guard to death. Soon two more will appear - fill the mothers full of lead. That done, you can pick up the 'world's smallest nuclear bomb' from the left-hand side of the enclosed area and detonate it next to the locked door, which leads you through to...
You're in the practice room. If you can't work out what to do here, despite the on-screen prompts, then you're a bit simple. Just enter sniper mode, blow the heads off those target-waggling guards, then wait for the bomb crate to float down to the centre of the tower. Shooting this will destroy the tower and its inhabitants, after which you should exit sniper mode, grab the grenade which drops down, then throw it at the transparent red wall. Don't stand too close or you'll hurt yourself, knucklehead.
Here's the (slightly) tricky bit - you'll have to practise using your parachute in order to reach the mortar power-up which is squatting atop a pedestal like some kind of weird, rotating, tubular vulture. Once you've done that, enter sniper mode once more and lob a mortar through the hole in the front of the building before you. This will shatter the glass and allow you to enter. As soon as you're inside, concentrate your fire on the guard generator in the middle of the floor. Once that's been taken care of, re-enter sniper mode and kill the guards by shooting them in the head (not in the targets they're holding). Grab the decoy power-up, then hop up the platforms and you're into...
Enter sniper mode immediately, and target the area just above the closed door. Ooh, look at the pretty exploding crates... shoot any of them, blow the shit out of everything and open the doors. Leg it inside (avoiding the guards and the tank), and keep shooting the guard generator until -boom! A way out of here...
Hooray. It's the subway. As ever, concentrate on taking out the guard generator as soon as possible (it's on the left), then jump across the track and take out the one hidden in the alcove on the right. Fetch the grenades and then come back down to the train. Cross over to the other side through the train and approach the large door. When the tank comes at you like a big angry penis, smite it with your grenades. Run ahead et voila - le exit, monsieur. C'est magnifique, non?
Pay attention to this bit, because it's really hard unless you do what we say. Having brutally murdered the first person you see, shoot at the console. This calls a spaceship, which should arrive within seconds. Walk inside the ship and you're into the nifty bombing mode, where you'll be shown a view looking down at the arena with a targeting cross-hair. The ship will automatically fly you over the arena before dropping you back off at the starting point, so make the most of your airborne time by bombing the heck out of absolutely everything (you have infinite bombs).
Once back on terra firma, run towards the building in the middle (the ones on either side contain power-ups, mind, so it's worth paying them a quick visit). When you get close to the last building, a tank will show up. A second ship will then appear above the building and hover for a few seconds. Enter sniper mode and shoot the exploding crate, which dangles beneath it like a tagnut. This blows up the building, enabling you to enter. Destroy the guard generator and a nuclear bomb will be revealed. Get this and the turkey power-up, then leave the building. The exit door is located in the far wall at the back of the arena - use your atom bomb to open it up.
This bit's quite hard. Follow the passage to the right and kill the guards. Then stand behind the last block on the right to shield yourself from the cannon. Assuming you grabbed the decoy earlier on, throw it to the left, then chain-gun the cannon while it fires in the wrong direction. If you have any grenades left, use 'em jackass.
Now prance up onto the block and enter sniper mode. Choose the mortars from your inventory, and loose one off into each of the four 'funnels' (practice makes perfect). These lead down to the glass-fronted rooms and will blow up the four obnoxious, taunting guards. If you don't have any mortars, or you're so crap and rubbish that you use them all up, backtrack a bit and you should find some more have turned up.
After each guard has been destroyed, the entire structure blows up, leaving a hole in the floor. Obliterate the two tanks, then stand at the highest point on your side of the hole. From this position, jump and float (with your chute) to the lowest point on the other side. If the gods are smiling on you, Kurt will grab hold of the ledge and pull himself up. Follow this section of the canyon and collect a 'cowardly' power-up to restore your health level. Then return to the edge of the hole and float down again using your ribbon chute.
Jump off the glass platform at the start of this arena and glide down, avoiding the spikes as you do so. Destroy the target dome in the centre of the room with your grenades, and an air vent will be revealed - just hop onto it to be carried up into the air. When you reach the top, turn around to face the long glass platform sticking out of the wall. Land on this, then jump from platform to platform to reach the top of the room (this is fist-clenchingly hard, but persevere, okay?). Once you're at the top, collect the power-ups and vamoose.
Follow the passageway round to the left and shoot the alert droid till it opens. Walk in to the droid, then drive it back down the passage and around to the door which leads into the corridor filled with sentries. Now, while inside the alert droid, you can drive between them with no trouble. Once you get to the end of the corridor, avoid the very big guard and jump past him to the room beyond. Collect the 'world's most interesting bomb' and throw it into the centre of the room. When all of the enemies have crowded round it, press Enter on your keyboard to detonate it, remembering to stand well back!
If any of the sentries survive, take them out with your chain-gun 'til they have all been destroyed. Leave the corridor and collect the nuke pick-up which drops down to the left of the entrance door, and use it to blow the atomic lock off the exit door.
After floating up the air shaft, stand on the highest section of the arena and face the distant tower above the glass walls. Zoom into the boss (he's in the tower) and select sniper grenades. Target his face. Shoot him and, if successful, you will kill him with one shot. If you miss, or if you don't have any sniper grenades, just try again. If you do hit him, keep shooting at him with normal bullets, and a supply of sniper grenades will eventually drop down into the arena. Once he's bought the farm, the landscape will disintegrate, heralding the end of this level. Congratubloodylations.
Wait around a second and a sniper grenade will float down behind you. Grab it and make your way down the ramp to the next room. As soon as you spot the floating guard, use sniper mode (and your new grenades) to rub him out. Then get the alert droid. At this point the ceiling should shatter and a nuclear bomb will arrive. Lovely. Pick it up and hurl it at the door.
Ahh, the shooting gallery. Immediately turn to the right to face the gunfire, then side-step into the arena. Dodge the blasts and work your way across to the other side of the range. Simple.
Peg it up the ramp and wait for the mortar to float down. Take this, then turn to face the glass wall. Using sniper mode, fire a mortar through the rectangular hole with the striped sides.
The mortar will drop down to the guards and cause the floor to shatter as detonates. A nuclear bomb will tl fly out of the hole and float down in front of the ramp. Lob it at the door and skidaddle, daddy-o.
Ooh. An arms factory. Walk to the edge of the glass platform and fire a mortar at the ringleader (using sniper mode, dum-dum). Then take out the two grunts carrying giant missiles. A big explosion should ensue. Make like a porn star and dive right into the hole.
Without moving, chain-gun the first guard, then enter sniper mode and zoom in on the second one (he's hiding behind one of the far cannons). Pop the sucker in the god-damned face, then walk down to the middle cannon. Get the turkey power-up, and turn to face the shooting range. Fire repeatedly with your chain-gun, and the cannon will recoil, smashing through the window in the process...
Simply leap across the platforms to reach the exit door at the rear of the arena. Avoiding the cannons is easy if you memorise their firing sequence. If you fall off, there are two air-vents that can be used to reach the platforms again. One's at the start of the arena, the other is in the middle.
Drift down to the first of the floating platforms, where the leaping guard is waiting. As you approach, fire and he'll prance away. Stay on this platform, as you'll be able to attack the leaping guard without being hit by the pendulum from here. Plenty of sniper mode headshots will finish him off, at which point a ramp will appear, leading to the exit. Jump across to this using the platforms, being careful to dodge the pendulum.
Kill as many people as you can and grab as many power-ups as possible. After a certain number of kills (which is randomised each time), a nuclear bomb will head for the back of the arena, behind the gigantic white tower. Kill the sentry and the two alert droids, then throw the nuke at the door. You hateful twat, you.
Walk round to the landing bay and wait for a sky sled to land. As the two guards jump off, jump onto the sled and turn to shoot them. The sled should now take off and fly around some battle arenas, where the guards are practising their skills, before moving into the mine controller's tower. Once the sled has stopped, it will drop you to the floor and allow you to enter the last arena. For a bonus health power-up, wait at the landing bay and run into the left-hand rear corner when it is empty. If you do this correctly, you'll be teleported to one of the battle arenas. Wait for a moment, and one of the sky sleds will drop off a health power-up. Collect this, then stroll into the centre. This will teleport you back to the landing bay.
Follow the passageway up into the arena, then climb the ramp to your right to reach the upper platform and a health power-up. Face the window on the other side of the room and enter sniper mode. Shoot once to break the glass, then zoom in and shoot repeatedly at the boss until he closes the window. For a bonus shot, try to target his nose and eyes - ha ha ha ha ha. Once the window has closed, exit sniper mode and wait for the boss to reappear in his glass ship. Shoot the ship repeatedly as it flies around the arena. Eventually, it will explode and the boss will drop to the floor and start running around like a swine, releasing guards into the area as he does so. Chain-gun him to death and you've completed this level. But before you get all smug and self-congratulatory, bear in mind that you only got this far because you read this little cheater's guide. So you're a sad-arse really.
Straight away, enter sniper mode and zoom in on the two sentry guns. Kill 'em both, then exit sniper mode and use the chain-gun to kill the flying guard. Some more guards will appear. Chain-gun them to death, then position yourself in the centre of the arena and use sniper mode to zoom in on the two locks either side of the large door in the distance. Shoot both of these off and the door will crash down, killing the sentry. Stay in sniper mode and wipe out the two bomb-tossing swines as they run out. Next, find the ramp on the right-hand side of the room and jump across to the upper platform. Kill the guard standing there, then climb onto the slanted platform on your left. From here, jump over to the platform with the chain-gun power-up. Grab that, then float across to the bones' air-strike power-up. Drop back down to the floor and exit the level (through the door, turkeyneck).
Kill both of the sentries, then use your chain-gun to destroy the guards to the left and right of the entrance. Run to the two alcoves behind the guards and collect the two pick-ups - homing sniper bullets and a decoy. Hop into the empty pool and collect the super chain-gun. Jump out again and kill all the new arrivals. Walk behind the diving board to find the pool annex. Kill all of the guards in here and collect the apple. Wait for the two flying drones and the sled-riding guard to break into the room through the window, then kill the two drones. Chuck the decoy back towards the pool area to distract the guard on the sled, then enter sniper mode and blow his goddam head off. Exit sniper mode and jump on the sled to collect the 'world's most interesting bomb' from the top of the room. Then leap down the shaft.
Get both the sentries, then enter the glass tunnel. Kill the guard in the tunnel and the glass will break, enabling you to float down into the room. Run to the room at the rear of the arena, grab the twister power-up, then chain-gun the glass containers. Once they've all shattered, run back out and hop on the platform in the centre of the arena, which will whisk you away...
Collect all of the pick-ups in this deceptively cheerful room, then shoot repeatedly at the walls until they fall away. Use your grenades to blow up the seven guard generators in this room, then take out the guards themselves with your chain-gun. Use your twister power-up if necessary. Finally, kill the sentry at the exit to unlock the door which leads to the next bit...
The 'Cow' room. Walk to the edge of the platform which looks down into this arena, then use sniper mode to shoot the two sentry guns in each corner of the room.
Next prance onto the blue platform to your right, and enter sniper mode again. Target the blue exit in the top right of the area and wait for the floating sentry to rear his ugly head. Using sniper grenades (if you have any), teach him a thing or two about pain.
Leap onto the floor and collect the health power-up. Then leap into the blue cave on the left-hand side, pick off the baddies from within. Once they're deadified, jump up to the red cave on the left and follow the red passageway up to the green platform. Destroy the generator and the alert droid, then stand at the base of the arrow which points out into the arena. Follow the arrow by jumping across to the yellow platform in the middle room. Kill the two guards, and use the platform to jump across to the exit.
Stand at the top of the slope that leads down into this arena and murder the guards at the bottom. Next, target the rotating gun pod and zoom in closer. Fire one shot to put the wind up it, then quickly shoot through its open front section to get the operator in the face.
Leg it down the slope and kill everybody like the murderous wretch you are. When you reach the end of the trench, jump into the air current to be lifted to the upper levels of the arena. Once at the top, run forwards and kill all the guards at the top of the air-shaft.
Stand at the rear of the arena, so that you are facing the sentry and the two guards at the other end. Enter sniper mode and zoom in on the sentry. If you have a sniper grenade, use this to perform a one-hit kill. If not, simply use normal sniper bullets. Always remember you can side-step while still in sniper mode. Next, kill the two guards, then move up the trench's edge and collect the apple. As you move to collect it, four drones will fly down the length of the trench, followed by two guards on sleds. As they reach the end of the trench, they will pause and turn around to fly back up. Zoom in on them when stationary and pop one in the face. This should leave a sled floating in the air. Run back down to it and jump on board. This will then fly you over to collect the thumper and the health power-up. When the sled stops zooming around, jump off and exit.
After floating up the air-shaft, stand in front of the glass window and select the thumper from your inventory. Shoot the glass, then throw the thumper down into the arena. This will take care of most of the guards in the arena. Jump down and finish off the rest.
Once all of the enemies in this arena have been destroyed, jump up onto the block in the middle of the floor. Once on top, turn around 'til you can see a dark hole in the wall, above another block. Jump across to this block, then enter the hole (tee hee, snigger).
Inside you will find a three-pointed object at the bottom of a slope and a health power-up. Eat the power-up, then shoot repeatedly at the object to make it spin. Leave the room and the large door in the arena will now have opened. Walk through this door and collect the sweets.
At the end of the corridor you will find a large room with a strange alien structure guarded by two guards. Kill both of them, then shoot at the front left-hand side of the structure. Once this has collapsed, destroy the opposite side in the same way. When both sections have been destroyed, shoot the exposed inner structure to uncover the exit.
Follow the passageway to the right until you reach the arena entrance, guarded by an alert droid. The right-hand passageway is a dead-end - but hey! - it does contain a health power-up.
Kill the droid, then wait for the sledsurfing guard to enter. Kill him and nick his sled. As the sled flies you around, turn on the spot and chain-gun all attackers. The sled will eventually bash through the far wall of the arena, taking you on to...
This is tricky. Munch the turkey power-up hidden on the right-hand side of the room, then stand in front of the big metal wheel. A wave of violent alien dogs will appear from beneath the wheel, which will spin as the end-of-level boss appears. Chain-gun the dogs, then wait for the wheel to come to rest. When it does, quickly enter sniper mode and pick off one of the four red domes on the wheel's rim. The remaining domes will shoot at you, then disappear as the wheel starts to spin again. Repeat this process until all the domes have been destroyed, at which point the boss will fall out of his room and die like the undeserving bastard he is. Ptu! I spit at him! May he writhe in agony in godless oblivion ever more.
The story behind MDK revolves tightly around streams of energy. These are electrical discharge paths, spanning the universe like an intergalactic freeway. These ballistic freeways allow evil beings known as "Stream Riders" to travel anywhere they please at near infinite speeds. After these beings wreak havoc on Earth, three loyal compadres band together to see what they can do to help humanity. Their names are:
Max, Dr. Fluke Hawkins and Kurt (MDK?). Considering Shiny's reputation for quality products, it already has something many others are lacking. It's no wonder it has grabbed players' attention as much as it did before it even hit the market.
Shiny Entertainment's soon-to-be-released PC game, MDK, has sparked plenty of interest in the gaming community. This high-tech third-person, 3-D shooter boasts many innovations in design and artificial intelligence. Ever since Shiny first showed the game earlier this year at E3, we wondered if MDK would make it over to the gaming consoles. Wonder no more. EGM got a sneak peek at the PlayStation version of MDK, and the game has a lot of potential. Although the concept of MDK was born at Shiny and the company is developing the game for the PC (their first foray in the PC market), the PlayStation port is being handled by Neversoft Entertainment, the producers of Skeleton Warriors on the PS and Saturn.
The MDK universe takes place on Earth (and partially in outer space) in the year 1999. Dr. Fluke Hawkins and his protege, Kurt Hectic, have rocketed from Earth on a five-day mission into space to study the source of some flange orbits. While in space, alien beings known as Stream Riders invade Earth and force the entire human race into slavery. The Stream Riders are now busy creating massive mobile mining cities that strip-mine the surface of the planet by the ton, destroying any sign of civilization in its path.
It is Kurt's mission (the player), to return to Earth and destroy the leader (or driver) of these mobile mining cities and prevent them from wreaking further mayhem on our beloved planet. Dr. Hawkins will remain on the ship researching and inventing new ways and weapons to assist the player in his/her efforts to continue destroying the aliens and saving planet Earth.
MDK has 60 levels spread out over six different mobile mining cities. Kurt's weapons consist of 1) a form-fitting suit of blast-proof material that allows the player to take a hit (but not indefinitely and not without power-ups); 2) a high-tech composite reusable parachute that allows players to float during escapes and attacks and 3) a helmet-mounted sniper rifle and vision goggles that train on an enemy up to two miles away. This allows players to zoom in and pick off enemies from long distances.
One of the features that makes MDK so unique is that the game has a completely reactive environment. Each enemy has its own distinctive personality and artificial intelligence. Some may react to the player's actions aggressively, while others might be more passive. What's even more unique is the fact that the environment will react to the player's level of activity and respond accordingly. A Dirty Harry technique will draw a lot of heat, while a stealthier approach won't alert security forces and might permit a player through an area without firing a shot.
Neversoft has gone to great lengths to ensure that the PS version of MDK captures the look and feel of its PC brother. At this point, the two games look almost identical. Overall, the graphics in MDK have a dark and evil sci-fi feel, and although the game is still very early, what we saw looked impressive. MDK is a third-person shooter (the first-person Sniper Mode is the exception), with a viewpoint similar to the one found in Mario 64, Tomb Raider and Fade to Black. The ability to zoom in from a mile away within the Sniper Mode is remarkable. All the enemies and the environment are completely polygonal.
MDK, one of the most anticipated games for the PC is also heading to a PlayStation near you. As you may or may not already know. MDK is the creation of Shiny Entertainment, although Neversoft Entertainment is handling the PS conversion.
Due out in May, MDK. the game that couldn't be done on the PlayStation is coming along quite swimmingly at the moment. The game will include all the weapons, power-ups, enemies, gameplay and levels of the PC game. Graphically,
MDK is nearly identical to the PC original. Although the PlayStation version is only about 60 percent complete. MDK already runs fairly smooth, features good-looking texture maps and not much polygon pop-up was evident...keep in mind, this game is incomplete and is bound to improve even further. The developers at Neversoft insist MDK will be nearly indistinguishable from its PC brethren and judging from what we saw. we have no good reason to doubt them. Acclaimed video game musician Tommy Tallarico is producing the musical score for the PlayStation version of MDK, so great things are expected from this game in the sound department. MDK is a unique game in that it is fully 3-D and incorporates some traditional action/platform elementsfa la Mario 64 and Tomb Raider) plus it includes the shoot-shoot-run-run activity and intensity of a first-person shooting game (which cannot be said in the case of either TR or SM64). Look for more coverage on this hot title in a future issue of EGM.
- MANUFACTURER - Playmates
- THEME - Action
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1
This heavily hyped shooter/platform hybrid is ' intense, fun, funny, over the top--and over way too soon. What's ironic is that the game's ultrafrenetic pace is what sets you up for a disappointing finale. Every level forces you to hustle or be vaporized by an army of some of the goofiest-looking goons ever assembled out of polygons. You're kept moving throughout the entire game, whether you're on foot or launching napalm death from a bomber or darting down a gully on a snowboard (game-play variety is one of MDK's strengths). Then, just as things are getting interesting, you beat the final Boss and that's it. Despite the addition of a few warp areas not found in the PC version, you can easily whip through this sucker in a weekend--especially since MDK's not particularly difficult. As long as you keep moving and shooting, you'll do fine. The game's a blast while it lasts, though. Neversoft has packed this port with all the style and humor of Dave Perry's PC original. You get all the wacky weapons (including your inflatable-doll decoy and an explosive simply called "The World's Most Interesting Bomb"). And then there's the Sniper Mode. Used mainly for taking out Bosses and solving puzzles, this mode is useless 80 percent of the time, but it looks great and is fun to use. MDK has all the right .stuff. It's just too short, too easy.
Yeah, the Sniper Mode is cool...blah, blah, blah, but what about the rest of the game? It can be summed up like this: MDK could've been great. It's a very unique action game with very original ideas. In fact, I kept wanting to go on to see what the next stage had to offer. I can't help but think, however, that MDK was rushed. The poor control, polygon break-ups and (some) awkward level designs take away from what should've been a great game.
Visually MDK's graphics show an impressive array of transparency, reflection and all-around polygons. Accompanying these techniques are equally innovative and action-packed game-play. This PC port has retained everything and even added the warp rooms per each level. With all these attributes, this was heading for a top spot on my list until it was over so quickly. The rooms are rather linear and the whole experience is over way too soon.
Whenever a game comes along that breaks the mold (or at least cracks it a bit), I stop to take a look. MDK is one of those games. Even with its uniqueness, it still retains its fun factor. The main thing that I didn't like about the game is the graphics. I found them to be dirty-looking and crude. The whole idea behind the game is pretty damn weird, but I liked it. MDK may not be as original as Abe's Oddysee, but it can stand its own ground.
Unlike many highly publicized games before it, MDK easily lives up to all its rampant hype, delivering one of the year's most creative, engrossing, and just plain fun games. Replete with a humorous flair, eye-popping graphics, and intense, varied action, MDK's a blockbuster that every PC gamer should play.
Murder Death Kill
Once again, aliens are ravaging Earth--this time they're traipsing across the continents in six mammoth mobile cities called Minecrawlers. Humanity's only hope lies in an orbiting research station, where an inventor/genius clads his assistant, Kurt, in an armored stealth suit and sends him out to save the world.
It's none too original as far as stories go, but more importantly, the tale creates a rock-solid backdrop for MDK's gripping gameplay. Each Mine-crawler makes up one of the game's vast levels, and at the start of each, Kurt parachutes into the Minecrawlerto shut it down. Once he lands, he must penetrate and destroy the Mine-crawler's nerve center, playing mostly from a highly effective floating third-person view.
Kurt's equipped with somev seriously smokin' armaments. His sleek suit sports a sniper helmet and a reusable parachute that enables him to glide. The awesome sniper helmet adds a whole new dimension to the action, enabling Kurt to zoom across large distances and plunk a round directly through an enemy's eye from a first-person perspective. Power-ups augmerit the helmet with fierce firepower like mortars, sniper grenades, homing bullets, and more. Kurt also packs a less accurate but potent gun in the third-person view, and he can collect cool extras like grenades and dummy decoys.
Shiny Entertainment (MDK's developer and the creator of the classic Earthworm Jim) took advantage of this open-ended setting with impressive creativity, fashioning enormous levels with widely diverse looks and equally diverse styles of gameplay. You tackle everything from gunning through hordes of aliens to crawling inside an enemy droid to sneak past your foes. Some levels even pose challenges like going on bombing runs or snowboarding across a Minecrawler while blazing away at aliens. A few areas focus too much on the stuff of standard platform adventuring (long series of unnecessarily tricky jumps and the like), but on the balance, MDK keeps the surprises and the fun coming at an unrelenting pace.
The sniper helmet adds another layer of intensity and depth because in many situations, it's smarter to hide in the shadows and snipe away until you're no longer outnumbered. Never fear, though--MDK serves up enough tension-ridden combat to quell any action junkie's battle frenzy.
Throughout it all, the controls handle with intuitive ease. Kurt moves and shoots smoothly, and the sniper helmet's not only easy to use but it's a blast, too. Flying with the parachute is so fun that you'll probably spend a few hours just gliding around.
Vision of Violence
Visually, MDK's flat-out breathtaking. Designed with a lithe, futuristic look, Kurt moves through the levels with liquid grace. Gorgeous backgrounds really make the game fascinating to explore--one area even dazzles the eyes with mirrored terrain that reflects all the action. The comical enemies moon and taunt you when you miss but erupt with gore when you connect.
On the sound side, the enemies keep up the taunts by jeering and hooting, while superior weapons sounds make your speakers rattle. Nicely themed music paces the action.
Run Don't Walk
MDK's one of those landmark games that instantly ensnares you--there are fresh, innovative surprises around every corner, and playing through them is always a blast. Snap it up the moment it hits store shelves. You'll be parked in front of your PC for weeks!
- When entering a new area, always stick to the shadows and use the sniper helmet both to scout ahead and to take out enemies until you're spotted.
- Always focus on destroying these structures as soon as you come across them--they create new aliens rapidly.
- On bombing runs, concentrate your fire on large tough-to-destroy targets.
- When plummeting into the start of each level, it's generally worth taking some damage to collect the power-ups as they often provide a key edge.
- The parachute halts your fall even if you open it an instant before you land. Use this to surprise enemies by jumping in fast Or glide in slowly while firing steadily from above.
- When facing stationary targets, shoot continually while quickly alternating between running toward and away from the target. When timed correctly, you'll duck underneath the incoming fire.
- When encountering crowds of mobile enemies, shoot continually but use the Strafe key to circle around them and stay ahead of their fire.
As MDK opens, aliens are using six gigantic mobile cities to strip-mine the Earth. You play as humanity's only hope of shutting them down: Kurt Hectic, a super soldier decked out with some of the coolest weapons ever. Kurt's sniper helmet enables you to zoom across incredible distances to spy or to unleash shots precise enough to sever an enemy's arm or send a round through their eye. Three additional cameras trail behind your shots, providing further spying opportunities.
A potent handgun and a solid array of cool power-ups round out your firepower, while a reusable parachute enables you to glide through the levels. Spectacular graphics heighten the effect with a captivating, sleekly futuristic style.
MDK separates itself from the Doom of the world by layering an intriguing strategic element into the shooting. Sure, there are plenty of enemies to mow down, and buckets of gore splash across the screen when you do. However. MDK balances that by implementing the need for stealth: If you storm through the front door, guns blazing, you'll get wasted in a heartbeat. But if you stick to the shadows, move silently, and use the sniper helmet wisely, you'll survive.
The action never gets tame as you'll inevitably turn the corner and find a roomful of enemies.
Such deep gameplay will surely send hordes of gamers in MDK's direction--this scorching-hot prospect is worth waiting for.
It seems like ages since I first heard about MDK. I have been anxiously awaiting its arrival on the Playstation for months. Strangely enough, the game hit the PC scene 3 or 4 months earlier and due to GameFabrique's stellar review from the PC side of the house, my impatience only grew. The day has finally come that I can play MDK in the comfort of my PSX gaming chair. Was it worth the wait? Hard to say.
The story of MDK is quite involved and detailed so I will summarize. You play as Kurt, the assistant of Dr. Fluke. You and the doctor have been in outer space looking for something or another when you notice that there are several "streams" shooting from space to the earth. You come to find out that these streams are from an alien race called the "Streamriders" who use these streams to attack worlds and deplete them of mineral and metal deposits. It is up to you, as Kurt, to save the earth. The only thing you have going for you is a special suit and a few weapons designed by the doctor, and as usual, the world is resting on your shoulders.
MDK is one of the more unique games I have played. The strange thing about it is that everything has a very familiar feeling even though the combined parts of MDK are unique. This game is a cross between a third-person shooter, first-person shooter, and an action adventure game. All of these genres fit together nicely, but the levels did drag out a bit.
The coolest part about MDK is definitely the Sniper Mode. The Sniper Mode is what makes this game resemble a first person shooter. The idea of the Sniper Mode is that you can attach your chain gun to your faceplate and it turns into a long range weapon. This gun gives you the ability to zoom in on enemies that are far in the distance. All you have to do is zoom in close, aim the gun and watch the enemy drop. I have never seen anything like this before in a game, and it adds tremendously to the action.
Of course the Sniper Mode does have its problems. Since your are zoomed in on such a specific area or target, you can't see anything else that is going on around you. It always seemed like when I went to the Sniper Mode, a bunch of new enemies would appear nearby and pummel me while I was trying to shoot the one bad guy in the distance. I guess this was good because it kept you from sitting back and picking off enemies in the distance without really much effort.
The normal view in MDK is the typical 3rd person perspective. You will use this view to navigate your way around the worlds and shoot close range enemies. There is plenty of territory to explore and many items you must find in order to progress through the levels. For example, you must find the world smallest nuclear weapon to blast open an otherwise unmovable door.
Now let's talk about weapons for a minute. You already know that you have your Sniper gun and the worlds smallest nuclear weapon, but what else do you get to wreak havoc with? You have your standard Chain Gun which fires off round after round of bullets, and you'll find many different types of pick-ups along the way, including bombs, an earthquake-causing hammer, and even a decoy of yourself. These are just a few of the basic items you will use, and believe me, there are plenty more to be found.
The main thing that I did not like about the game was that the levels just got a bit boring after playing for awhile. I would have liked to see the levels a bit shorter because they were designed well but just started to drag. I will say the training screens that appeared during the gameplay were quite helpful, but it still did not help the drag.
This is the other area of MDK that disappointed me some. The overall tone of the graphics was dark. It was not dark in a mood-setting way either—they were just dark. There were times where I could not tell for sure what object were or where I needed to go. When you zoomed up close to an enemy in the Sniper Mode, the graphics were decent-looking and it was cool to see the bad guys up so close. Overall, I wish the graphics were a bit lighter and more polished around the edges.
MDK is a pretty good game that has definitely come up with some new and inventive game ideas. The Sniper Mode is one of the coolest things I have seen in a game in a long time. I think this game gets caught in the longer-is-better type of thinking. But this is not always the case. If the missions were a bit shorter, and the graphics a little sharper, this would be a great game. As it stands, it is a good game that shooter fans will enjoy.
Aliens invaded the earth, but fortunately for the rest of humanity you happened to be on an extended "holiday," floating through space with your eccentric inventor father and a six armed, bio-engineered, super-intelligent dog. You personally had been bored and in need of some excitement, having been along on this sabbatical not entirely of your own free will (as kids often are), so it would seem a perfect opportunity for the earth to be saved.
The aliens ride across the surface of the planet, pillaging Earth's natural resources and destroying populations in their gigantic, city-sized mining machines. Of course, as is usually the case when the earth is invaded, you are our only hope against this terrible thing. Dad is inventing some weapons and building you a keen black suit of space armor, which (he's sorta sure) should protect you as you dive through space and into the mine-crawler to destroy the invaders. There's a firearm (and in this case that's a literal term) built into the suit which is mostly adequate, but you'll need more. He'll parachute supplies down to you as soon as he can invent and build them.
Given that MDK is, basically, a 3D shoot-'em-up like Tomb Raider, it starts with something of a surprise -- instead of being in a room, a field, or a flat surface of any kind, you're hurtling towards the earth, free falling in the direction of the mine-crawler. You have to avoid the radar or else you'll get zapped. The game has a few more moments like this -- if you lose your footing while walking down an air shaft, for instance, you'll start to slide out of control and have to maneuver the length of the shaft while on your back. Or you might find yourself on a makeshift surfboard, shooting it out at high speeds, anti-gravity style.
There might be, generally speaking, a bit of a learning curve when it comes to the controls. While it isn't the first game with a sniper option (although I haven't seen one this cool before), the capacity to jump, or a parachute, you do have to do these things pretty often in MDK, while in most other games they're "special" and not required with regularity or in such rapid succession. Once you have the hang of it, though, it's a blast. You can use the sniper mode to take out the big cannon at the back of the room, then leap through the air and parachute to the ground -- raining death on all the aliens below.
Unfortunately, the game occasionally falls into the same trap so many of its kind have in the past: Where's the damn door?!?! Everybody's dead but me, and I'd like to leave now, pleeeaazzeee! This is rare, though, and as far as I'm concerned, a disagreeable side affect of 3D shoot-'em-ups to which I am resigned.
The evildoers and bad guys all have nice, fluid movement, and zooming in on them in sniper mode is especially impressive and fun. While the usual blockiness of 3D games is present, it seems less noticeable here than in many other recent games, and the overall impression of the environments certainly isn't one of an alien ship constructed of gloomy Legos. In fact (speaking of gloomy), the game uses a wide variety of colors and concepts to design its spaces. Ranging from harsh to zany to downright creepy, the use of color in MDK is a welcome relief after so many games that seem afraid to go beyond one or two color schemes because they might compromise the game's "personality." I went from beige and light red to sharp primary colors to lush blues and purples, and never forgot what I was playing.
Both the music and the effects are, in a word, fantastic. I can't think of a game in which the musical accompaniment seemed so notably well-designed -- at turns adventurous, suspenseful or fantastical, and perfectly appropriate to the setting. Also, when you enter a new room or (more impressively) open a saved game, the first thing you hear is the ambience of the room -- machines rumbling in the distance, wind from a tunnel, and so on. Then, at the first peak of suspense or mayhem, the music fades in -- a rhythmic pulse with a simple gliding melody or a one-two-three punch of synthesized horns. All in all, the music compliments the action in an extraordinarily rare fashion, and it's a tremendous treat.
As if that weren't enough, the sound effect design, complete with a nearly subliminal "dog and cat" motif, is great, too. The assortment of alien noises is interesting and, unlike some other games, manages not to become irritating after having been heard over a thousand times.
There are some thirty pages of back story included, and more than enough instruction on how to move, shoot, and so on (including a "quick start" guide on the back of the disk packaging), but details concerning the weaponry and aliens are intentionally sparse. This is by design, of course, and doesn't hinder gameplay at all. (Remember -- your equipment is being conceived and constructed on the fly, and the bad guys and evildoers you're trying to destroy are new to this planet. What's more, you're alone in your efforts, so there's no network of scientists or military to supply you with information.)
Recommended: Pentium 90, SVGA video card, 100% SoundBlaster compatible sound card, 16 MB RAM
Reviewed on: Pentium 150, SVGA video card,100% SoundBlaster compatible sound card ,24 MB RAM
As far as I'm concerned, advances in technology -- including game engines, graphics and stuff like that -- are a given, and don't really impress me. The folks at Shiny could probably have made a fair amount of money on this title while taking longer lunches, scrimping on design and contracting second-rate music, but they didn't. They worked for a living, and it shows.
You've heard the hype in the pages of "PC GamePro" (see February; watch for the "PC GamePro" review in the June issue). Now PSX owners can also rejoice!
MDK for the PlayStation is due in May! MDK is probably the most innovative, funniest, and original PC port to entertain gamers in a long time. An action game played from multiple views, it combines accurate shooting, quick thinking, and thoughtful strategy. What you get for your trouble is a wild ride from the very creative mind of David Perry (of Earthworm Jim fame), who is overseeing the project with the dictum that if the PlayStation version of MDK isn't as good as the PC original, then heads will roll. Although the PlayStation game was less than two weeks into production at press time, these early screens show a work in progress that'll certainly come close.
Umber up that bigger finger--oh, and don't forget your thinking oap! MDK, one of the most original PC games of the year, is getting ready to revolutionize 3D action/adventure gaming on the PlayStation.
Brains and Brawn
MDK also challenges the player with a strong puzzle element. Not exactly Myst-like enigmas or complex brain-benders, but things like figuring out how to get past a seemingly impenetrable wall, or how to grab a grenade power-up floating high above. Almost right from the game's opening sequence, you'll find yourself stumped with frustrating--though rewarding--regularity. Graphically, MDK lacks a bit of the sharpness of its PC predecessor, and the booming orchestral score is also absent from the latest version we played, but the control is lightning quick and precise. From the looks of things, MDK is shaping up to be one of the premier 3D action/adventure games of the season.
Lara, Meet Kurt
Not since Tomb Raider has the PlayStation seen an action/ad-venture title this groundbreaking, this ingenious, and this much tun to play. Although largely overlooked by the PC community since its release earlier this year, Playmates' explosive MDK will no doubt bring 3D gaming on the PlayStation to a new level.
Despite the tired aliens-have-taken-over-the-world plot, MDK offers a truly unique gaming experience. Set in a dark, shadowy, Blade Runner-esque environment, MDK gives you complete control of Kurt Hectic, a gun-toting, mortar-hurling, grenadelaunching young warrior thrilled at the prospect of wiping out an alien race. In addition to a hearty stash of weapons, Kurt also comes equipped with a built-in parachute and an innovative "sniper helmet" that lets you zoom in and target an enemy from up to two miles away with pinpoint accuracy.