"Murder death Kill is no more. Welcome Max Doc 'N' Kurt."

The original MDK was quite a good game, gaining excellent reviews from all of the magazines that reviewed it. I have been wanting to play on it for a while now, but I can't find it anywhere. It did, however, cause many complaints from 'do-gooders' across the world. The initials originally stood for 'Murder Death Kill', but due to complaints, Bioware had to change this for the sequel. The solution, change Bones' name to Max, now making Max Doc 'N' Kurt.

The game starts a couple of minutes after the original game when the crew arrive back on their ship after stopping the alien invasion. Before Max can have a drop of gasoline, a minecrawler (a huge machine on rollers that crushes the landscape) lands on a city on the Earth. As anyone would, Kurt jumps off the crew's ship, and by pure coincidence manages to land on the hole on the top of the minecrawler. Although the plot seems to be like any other game plot, it eventually folds out into a wider and better story.

The graphics are beautiful with each level perfectly designed. One of the levels has millions of flying cars weaving through towering structures, while you run along the roads to each docking station.The other great thing is that you don't need an amazingly high spec PC to play it on. There is however one slight flaw. In some levels you can actually see where the skyline ends. At the beginning of the final level there is a great night sky with stars all over the place, until it goes too far out, where it becomes a bunch of yellow lines.

The soundtrack is amazing. When running along corridors, shooting at loads of enemies, guitars start playing, whilst when you're in a room, knowing that something bad is about to happen, there is silence apart from a few menacing noises, up until the point where the room will light up and you will find yourself surrounded by creatures. The voices are also very good, suiting each character perfectly.

The controls are excellent. You will never find yourself having to press too many keys at once and the keys are nicely spread out, not cramped into one group.

All of the enemies are completely unique. In a lot of games like this, you quite often notice that a few of the enemies are just like a few earlier enemies spliced together. There are no enemies like that in this game. They all have different attacks which you need to learn how to avoid, and some of the bosses are hilarious. They range from a range from a creature that looks like a giant snotball with two brains to three farting aliens in a telephone box.

You can, however, get bored quite easily. The game is extremely linear. This means that if you get stuck, you're stuck there until you can find a way out. You can't go do something else in another area whilst you try to puzzle out what you have to do. The only time it moves away from this linearity is when you have to find several parts for a machine to work and you can decide what order you will collect the three parts in.

The game is also going back to the roots of older platformers. The levels generally consist of you entering a room, solving a puzzle, moving through a door, getting into a new room, solving another puzzle and so on. There is sometimes a corridor with a few enemies seperating each room.

FINAL SCORE

Graphics: Beautiful level design and character animation, but the ending skyline lets it down. 8/10

Sound: Ace soundtrack and perfect character voices. 10/10

Gameplay: Greta controls. Not too easy and not too hard, but very linear and too much like older platformers. 7/10

Replayability: with four different difficulty levels, you'll be playing this for a long time. 9/10

Story: starts poor, but gradually gets better. 9/10

Buy or rent: If you prefer games where you decide what order you do things, then rent this first. Otherwise, buy it.

Overall, if it wasn't for those two slight problems, then this game would have been one of the best games on the PC. Those faults, however, shouldn't stop you from buying the game. It's well worth the money and now that it's on bargain, you shouldn't be too bothered about the linearity. But maybe rent it just in case. 7/10


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 06/12/02, Updated 06/12/02


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