"Aim a little lower...no, lower...there, right there!"
Ever want to be a sniper after watching some of those movies? Ever want to experience the control over another's life looking through a little scope? Does watching the bullet camera as the projectile slice through air to smack into a forehead and pierce the skull turn you on? Would you deliberately pull the trigger while aiming below the belt, even if it makes you close your knees and think "OUCH! That has got to HURT."? Well, if you answered yes to any of the above, please feel free to take matters into your own hands and try MDK.
This is it! Non-stop 3D shooting, killing, exploding, dodging, parachuting, running, ambushing, assassinating, jumping, mind blowing (pun intended) action! Did you think that the 3D gaming style in Mario 64 was awesome, but the game just too soft for you? Try it again with a twist of Doom and you can say "up yours" to those soft-core, non-violent, weak-ass kiddy games.
"Oh, you blood-thirsty monster! How dare you promote violence to our youths!!" Well, even though MDK officially stands for Max, Dr. Hawkins, and Kurt (the main characters), it really isn't far from murder, death, kill. Any questions?
"Enough with all the hype from the media and the gory violence, what is this really about?"
Basically, you take a great 3D engine, throw in a story with a futuristic background, change the main action from stomping mushrooms to blasting extraterrestrials, and you get MDK. Huge mine crawlers from outer space have landed on earth, bulldozing everything in their paths, including cities. Max is your canine companion who can fly aircrafts, and the doctor developed the cool suit you're wearing. Your objective is to drop into these metal fortresses and send the main controller of the machine to alien heaven. Of course if you're too slow, many people die.
"Yeah, so what if it's just another 3D shooter switched from first person perspective to third?"
MDK is not a shooting game in the same sense as Quake. There exists an enormous potential to develop and practice skills required, such as jumping on the right ledge or using the right item. You're equipped with a parachute that can be opened anytime you're off the ground (after jumping), which is useful for gliding, controlling land point, and reaching high spots using air vents. This high-tech chute folds itself into your armor suit. Neat!
"Ok, but I don't really like 3D games anyway, and I don't know why the industry is so crazy over 3D stuff."
Hehehe. Let me say that the best part of this game is not the 3D angle. You are allowed to toggle between Regular mode and Sniper mode. Simply put, Sniper mode RULES! First of all, it simulates the view you get when looking through the aiming scope. Now you can look around and aim at things. You can zoom into anything within two miles! Everything you see up close is extremely detailed. Stare at an unsuspecting target for hours and pull the trigger when you become bored. Simple point, click, and croak. Sometimes the game goes into other modes. My favorite one is when you're in an aircraft, dropping bombs on the enemies.
"What about the gameplay? Is it just senseless violence?"
MDK is fun to play and has a great sense of humor. In many ways, it's not that violent because you're shooting aliens that are made more of metal than flesh. The game retains its freshness by being funny. After taking too long to complete a level (as a result, people die, cities are destroyed), the command center debriefs your failure, but then immediately dismisses it and gives you the next assignment. Just looking at the dog Max giving you the thumbs up sign makes you laugh.
Let's not forget to mention how the game helps you train in the beginning. First, it provides some live targets at a distance to help you practice your sniper skills. These aliens taunt and jeer while holding a target sign (yep, the circled one with the big red dot in the center). At one point you find some of them hiding behind a protective glass barrier. They actually have the nerve to turn around, bend over, and show you some alien behind. The overall wacky mood of the game keeps things from becoming too serious and dead.
"Alright, you sound convincing enough. By the way, how much did they bribe you to write this propaganda?"
For a game reviewer, the biggest reward is not monetary (Ed note: Damn straight. ). The most satisfaction comes from seeing high quality stuff on the market. MDK combines sweet graphics (I'd recommend playing in the dark) and 'revolutionary' gameplay and design concepts to put it in a class by itself. Thank heavens someone decided to create something revolutionary rather than dupe others' successful ideas. Now stop reading and BUY THIS GAME!!