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MDK2 is a 2000 third-person shooter, action-adventure video game developed by BioWare and published by Interplay Entertainment for the Dreamcast, Windows and PlayStation 2. It is a sequel to the 1997 game MDK. First released for the Dreamcast in March 2000, it was later released for Windows in May, with newly selectable difficulty levels and the ability to manually save. In March 2001, a slightly reworked version, featuring level design modifications and gameplay tweaks, was released for the PlayStation 2 as MDK 2: Armageddon. The PC version was released on GOG.com in September 2008, and on Steam in September 2009. A port of the PlayStation 2 version was released for Wii via WiiWare in 2011. Also in 2011, a HD remastered version was released for Windows. Called MDK2 HD, this version features new 3D models, textures, improved lighting, and remastered music, and was released on Beamdog in October, and on Steam in July 2012.
The game begins moments after the end of the original MDK. Believing they had vanquished the alien invaders, Kurt Hectic, Dr. Hawkins and Max are shocked to find a single Minecrawler remains. Kurt heads to destroy it, but upon doing so, encounters a massive alien called Shwang Shwing, who reveals the invasion of Earth is far from over. The main difference between MDK and MDK2 is the ability to control three playable characters (Kurt, Hawkins and Max), each with their own strengths and weaknesses. As such, the gameplay in the sequel is more varied than in the original game, with more emphasis on platforming and puzzles than straight run-and-gun shooting.
MDK2 received generally positive reviews across all systems, with critics praising the graphics, variety of gameplay styles, level design, boss fights, the game's sense of humor, and its fidelity to the original MDK. The most commonly criticized aspects of the game were the difficulty level, which was felt to be too high, and the platforming sections, which many critics found frustrating and too exacting. Hawkins' levels in general were seen as inferior to Kurt's and Max's. In 2007, Interplay announced plans for a third game, but it was never made.
For the most part, MDK2 is a run-and-gun third-person shooter. However, unlike the original game, MDK2 features three player characters, each with their own unique set of abilities, skills, weaknesses, and style of gameplay. As such, the general game mechanics are more varied than in the first game, with the inclusion of more platform and puzzle-based elements than before. Except for the last level of the game, which can be played with any of the three playable characters, the player cannot choose which character to use in any given level; each level can only be played with a specific character, and as such, the level design of each level is specifically geared towards that characters' abilities.
Kurt's levels play very similarly to the previous game. As before, the player must frequently use his "ribbon chute", a parachute contained within his outfit that can be used indefinitely. The chute allows Kurt to make long jumps, survive long falls, and utilize updrafts. It deploys immediately, and retracts automatically when not being used. Kurt's weaponry includes, but is not limited to, grenades, decoy dummies and cloaking shields. Kurt's main defense is his "Coil Suit," a skin-tight armor made of a Kevlar-like material. His weapon is a chain gun, which is attached to his arm, and carries unlimited ammo. His other weapon is a sniper gun, which is created when he detaches his chain gun from his arm and mounts it onto his helmet. The sniper weapon can zoom up to a mile, and has the capability of supporting multiple types of ammunition, including homing missiles, mortar shells, sniping grenades and bouncing bullets. However, when Kurt is in sniper mode, he is only able to strafe, he cannot move forwards or backwards, and can thus be easily targeted by enemies.
Max, a two-legged, four-armed genetically engineered robotic dog, is the toughest of the three characters, with 200 health points. His gameplay is focused on high-impact firepower; standing on his two back legs, he can equip and shoot up to four guns at once. He has access to numerous weapons, such an uzis, shotguns, Magnums and gatling guns. Ammo is limited for all weaponry except his default Magnum. He is also able to wear two different types of jet pack. The standard jet pack uses fuel and when empty, must be refuelled at a fuelling pump. The atomic jetpack does not use fuel, instead refilling automatically when not in use.
Dr. Hawkins' levels focus on puzzle solving and platforming, with some elements of combat. He is the weakest of the characters, with only 60 health points. Most of his gameplay revolves around combining objects to create new objects, which in turn allow him to proceed through the level. He has two independent inventories, one for his right hand and one for his left. As such, each hand can hold a different item at the same time. Items from one inventory can be combined with items from the other, but items within the same inventory cannot be combined. His main weapon is an atomic toaster, which shoots radioactive toast.
The game begins moments after the conclusion of MDK, with Kurt, Max, and Dr. Hawkins celebrating their victory over Gunther Glut, and thus saving Earth from the alien invasion. However, in the midst of their celebrations, they discover a remaining Minecrawler heading towards Edmonton. Kurt destroys it, but as he awaits to return to the Jim Dandy space station, he is taken prisoner by a massive alien. Meanwhile, on board the Dandy, Hawkins discovers that communications with Kurt are being jammed by a nearby alien ship. Max heads to the other ship to free up the communications. However, upon doing so, he too is taken prisoner by the same alien. The alien then contacts Hawkins on the Dandy, telling him his name is Shwang Shwing, and the invasion of Earth is not over.
Shwing sends a group of aliens onto the Dandy, but Hawkins is able to fight them off and teleport Kurt back to the ship. He then sends Kurt to the alien ship to save Max. However, shortly after Kurt's departure, Hawkins is taken prisoner by the aliens still on the Dandy. Kurt frees Max, and together they fight Shwing. During the battle, they learn Hawkins has been taken prisoner. Shwing initiates the auto destruct sequence, and jumps into an energy stream, followed by Kurt, whilst Max heads back to the Dandy to save Hawkins. Upon destroying a robotic dog constructed by the aliens, Max frees Hawkins, and uses a device on the dog to open a portal into which he heads. Meanwhile, Hawkins remains behind to take back control of the Dandy. After finally ridding the station of aliens, he finds the co-ordinates of their home world and sets course.
Meanwhile, Shwing emerges from the energy stream on the home world, Swizzle Firma, with Kurt following close behind. Kurt destroys his ship, and an injured Shwing tells Kurt the attacks on Earth have been ordered by Emperor Zizzy Ballooba. Meanwhile, Max emerges from the portal on Swizzle Firma, and learns Ballooba plans to launch a doomsday device at Earth which will obliterate the entire planet. Max kills Shwing as he attempts to launch the device, and then destroys the device itself. He then meets up with Kurt and heads to Ballooba's palace. Meanwhile, Hawkins pilots the Dandy to Swizzle Firma and contacts his colleagues. Aiming the station's guns at the palace, he attempts to teleport Kurt and Max back to the Dandy, but accidentally teleports himself to the planet, and so heads to meet with Kurt and Max.
The three storm Ballooba's palace. Upon confronting Ballooba, he admits he's only trying to destroy Earth for his own amusement, because, since he mastered space and time, he has become bored. A battle ensues between the three heroes and Ballooba, with the heroes emerging victorious. The closing sequence depends on which character the player uses for the final battle. Kurt resumes his duties as janitor of the Dandy, perturbed by the idea of becoming a celebrity. Max becomes the new emperor of Swizzle Firma, forming an interplanetary alliance with Earth. Hawkins is welcomed back to Earth, no longer shunned by his peers, and gets to work on his lifelong ambition - creating an atomic robot zombie army.
Immediately after the critical and commercial success of the original MDK, publishers Interplay wanted to begin work on a sequel. They approached Nick Bruty, who had written and co-designed the first game for Shiny Entertainment. However, Bruty was reluctant to go straight into another MDK game, explaining "I hadn't liked rushing from Earthworm Jim to its sequel without a creative break, and I felt the game suffered because of that." In any case, his new development studio, Planet Moon Studios, was already working on Giants: Citizen Kabuto. Bruty asked Interplay if they would consider waiting until he was finished on Giants before beginning on MDK2, but they chose to press on without him, handing development over to BioWare.
MDK2 was officially announced on October 18, 1998 when Interplay confirmed BioWare was developing the sequel for Dreamcast and Windows, using its own game engine, the Omen Engine. At the time, BioWare was thought by some to be an odd choice to take over the franchise, as they were still a relatively young company (having been founded in 1995), and had yet to release their breakout game, Baldur's Gate, which was in the final stages of development. Greg Zeschuk, co-founder of BioWare, stated "our aim with MDK2 is to explore new directions and expand beyond the constrictive environments established in other 3D games." He later explained "Bioware is aiming to create the ultimate single-player experience with MDK2. We're carefully crafting a tight, but humorous, world inhabited by the most frightening and entertaining creatures yet seen in a 3D game." 781b155fdc