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Slick sci-fi action
Sci-fi shooter fans in need of a fix should enjoy this slick retro effort which mixes some intense blasting action with a neat line in humour and an unusual plot to create a unique and inventive experience. The story here revolves the usual alien invasion, with the hostile xenos intent on stripping the Earth of all its mineral wealth, which will of course leave it a lifeless husk. However, as ever, there is one lone hero who can save the day and who just happens to have been given a hi-tech set of powered armour by a mad scientist. The game thus charges players with entering the alien minecrawlers, the enormous mobile factories that are ravaging the planet, and then destroying them from within. The game takes a third-person perspective, similar to the likes of Tomb Raider, with the player exploring a nicely diverse set of environments, seeking out the alien invaders and destroying them with weapons that include a sniper rifle and chain-gun, while also engaging in some platforming shenanigans. In many ways, MDK is very much a standard third person-shooter, but it also features plenty of elements to help it stand out. Unusually for such a game, it possesses a bizarre sense of humour which certainly lends it some personality, while the graphics are also highly distinctive, with some well-designed levels and enemies that remain impressive today. The gameplay itself is certainly fast and furious, with heaps of action and adventure on display, although there are minor issues with the controls and the game's length which detract slightly from its appeal. However, these are minor niggles and while the ride lasts, it is highly enjoyable and should be on the list of games to play for any retro shooter fan, as should the follow-up MDK 2.
Graphically impressive and fun shooter
Developed by Shiny Entertainment, a company founded by games legend David Perry who also created the iconic Earthworm Jim, MDK is a visually stunning sci-fi third-person shooter that thrills and entertains in equal measure. Taking a slightly humorous approach to a traditionally serious genre, MDK's plot is as bizarre as it is inventive but basically requires players to destroy hordes of vicious aliens before they can strip the Earth's mineral wealth and leave it a worthless husk. Aiding in this task is the 'Coil Suit', a powered set of armour which sports an arm-mounted chain gun and built-in sniper rifle, as well a 'ribbon chute', a combination of parachute and glider which is perfect for launching surprise attacks. What follows is a violent adventure through some graphically varied and impressive environments, with plenty of fast-paced action mixed with the occasional puzzle just to maintain the variety. The weapons on display here are pretty cool and add to the fun, while the humour elevates the game over its more serious rivals. Although MDK is not overly challenging, and certainly won't suit gamers looking to exercise their brains, it does stand up well as solid example of the third-person shooter and is fun while it lasts. If you like this, then it's worth checking out the sequel, MDK 2, which expands on its predecessor while retaining its sense of fun.