MDK2 HD is Overhaul Games’ high definition re-vamp of the classic title originally developed in 2001 by BioWare. The game is an action 3rd person shooter with a quirky personality, attempting to bring together fast-paced adventure and
The game follows on from an attack on Earth by an aggressive alien race, portrayed in a neat little comic book storyboard cut scene, at which point the hero of the game is forced to change from a simple janitor to a warrior with the fate of the world in his hands. However, shortly after succeeding in earth’s liberation another attack begins and you are thrown into action once again.
Following a short freefall from your spacecraft to your enemies, you begin with a short control tutorial and are then left to roam freely and dispose of your enemies. The controls of the game are fairly straightforward, but also a little unusual. For example, the standard keyboard settings break convention by mapping jump to the right click, instead reserving spacebar to enter “sniper mode”. Your main weapon is a machine gun attached to your arm: other items can be picked up to complement your arsenal such as decoys and comically shaped grenades. None of the weaponry is overly impressive; the grenades in particular are huge, very bouncy and have a very long timer on them before exploding, making them difficult to utilise.The sniper rifle, used in first person, is a strange tool required to activate switches and elements of the map to proceed through the game. This also comes with unorthodox improvements which can be picked up along your journey, such as homing and exploding ammunition. All in all, the weaponry is rather eccentric, and therefore takes some getting used to; although even with the skill-curve don’t prepare yourself to be too impressed by the combat. On the other hand one good thing that can be said is that the humour in the game will likely bring you a giggle or two. Yes it is a little old and cheesy, but for a game that makes a point of being quirky it’s welcomed and expected.
Graphically the game is quite disappointing, the character faces being the only real visual improvement that stands out in the revamp, but not with any particular flair; the character mouths still remain static when they speak. I have not played the original game to make a solid comparison, but having seen some footage online there has not been a huge improvement in graphics. Credit where it is due, the game looks better than it did, but I feel more could have been done given the opportunity for overhauling a classic title. Objects and scenery in the game are still jagged-edged and a distinct lack of special effects becomes obvious against the current generation. The hero ‘Kurt Hectic’ still retains his unsettling cosmetic weirdness, with the impossible parachute and elongated helmet that remains symbolic of the series. Nonetheless, compared to other recent high definition updates to older games, for example Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD on the Xbox Live Arcade or Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary edition, it is a poor visual update.
The game has very sparse display options, only a simple resolution selection: an unusual lack of customization for a PC game. Nonetheless the menu interfaces are simplistic and intuitive, although unattractively retro and gaudy, whilst the in game screen is bordered only by indicators for health and weapons: a simple but effective means of displaying the required information without being overwhelming.
Audio-wise the game remains trapped in its original era. This may be a calculated sensible move: many of the original fans in the series would have felt alienated by the loss of the endemic cast. Unfortunately this leads to his very dated weapon sounds, its crudity limiting immersion in this day and age. As the game did not boast updated audio these elements are excused, but it remains a flaw in the title as it takes a shot at the new generation.
MDK2 HD has not satisfied what I would expect from a revamp of a classic, particular elements going untouched in its re-emersion. The graphics have not been improved to a level which should be deemed high definition in today’s gaming industry, particularly when compared to other recent re-releases. For fans of the original game, this may at least allow them to pick up an old classic easier than trying to find a copy of the original. Although any new players may be unfortunately underwhelmed by the age the title suffers despite the upgrades.
A very old style of gameplay, suited to past fans and players of classics but less so to gamers who expect cutting-edge action and adventure. The game does however live up to its quirky claim with some cheesy humour.
An improvement on the original game but to call it high definition is a stretch, particularly compared to other recent HD re-releases. Unfortunately unimpressive to look at: a lot more could have been done.
Classic sounds maintain a feeling of nostalgia, but some poor recordings of voice actors and unrealistic sound effects are disappointing.
MDK2 HD is a game which has sadly failed to deliver what it promised to gamers, especially in its HD claim, but for a fan of the original it may well bring some nostalgic entertainment.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.