Shiny Entertainment

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Although MDK has often been called by the press "Murder, Death, Kill", there are no indications of what these three letters really stand for. The obvious choice would be "Max, Dr. Fluke and Kurt", the three protagonists of the game, but again, it could be anything else. Only Shiny Entertainment knows the answer, if there is an answer. One thing is certain though, you will read these three letters on players' lips for a while!

If MDK is in keeping with the current trend of the 3D games, it has yet that difference which separates it from the rest of the games, exactly like Tomb Raider did in its time. Built in a 3D world that easily out beats the other 3D titles on the market in beauty and complexity, MDK features outstanding graphics coupled with a fantastic game play that will keep players out of breath from the beginning until the end.


Unlike most 3D action games, except a few such as Tomb Raider, there is a story behind MDK, the story of a strange scientist known as Dr. Fluke. From his vessel in orbit around Earth, he has discovered that something is coming towards Earth. Although warned by the scientist, Earth was not prepared for the invasion by the Streamriders, whose strategy is apparently to target mining cities throughout Earth, and strip all the energy contained in the deposits, leaving a burnt and black ground behind them. No one else than Kurt can liberate Earth from the Streamriders' threat. Armed with revolutionary weapons and useful gadgets designed by the creative mind of Dr. Fluke, Kurt will be confronted to a horde of alien robots and creatures throughout the inextricable galleries and levels of the alien mine crawlers.

Dr. Fluke
Even if there are only six different levels in the game, each one located in a particular city, MDK features an incredible diversity in terms of graphics and game play. Not only do textures change from one level to another, and even within the same level, but also the architecture which is a wonder of imagination. One time plunging the player into vast and wide open spaces with enormous structures, another time, bringing the player into narrow bowels, then later putting the player in a situation where only agility and dexterity will count for surviving. The other variety of the game is the number of different modes it offers. Besides the 3rd person perspective view (which is what you will play with during most of the game), there will be several other views you will need to get used to. The first is the Sniper mode. At any time during the game, pressing the Space Bar will enter you in this particular mode that allows you to make a precision shot at a great distance. With the help of a powerful zoom feature, you can kill an enemy without him noticing you by simply targeting his head. Or you can choose to shoot at his eyes to literally blind him, fire in his arms to stop him from firing at you, or even in the legs so that he won't be able to move. There is so much more in MDK than just shooting at will, which would have undeniably resumed the game play to another Doom or Duke Nukem. You won't be able to use the other modes otherwise than when offered the possibility by the game, which includes bombing sequences with a top down view from a spaceship and glides on some kind of snowboard through tunnels. Additionally, before entering each level, Kurt will need to fall down from Dr. Fluke's vessel to the mining crawler through the air, and avoid being detected by the enemy radars, which in itself is a different game mode.

If there is something certain about MDK, it is that you will never find yourself wandering around with no threats. Like the sword of Damocles, there will always be a danger lurking around, whether it is from your enemies or the place you are exploring. Shiny Entertainment made sure that the enemies won't act like stampeding beasts, moving straightforward in front of you, waiting to be shot. Instead they were given a surprising artificial intelligence so that you can't always predict their behavior. Moreover, as told by the company, each robot and creature is able to see within a certain range and field of vision, and communicate between them. You can of course lay your path in the game as if they were plain dumb adversaries, but my advice is to always check whether there is another possible solution than the direct assault, which will often lead you to a certain death. Killing a sentry before it triggers the alarm is for example much wiser, as you will discover for yourself. Hundreds of enemies await you in MDK, and thanks to Dr. Fluke's weapons and other power-ups, you will hopefully get rid of them. Among the power-ups you use are the world's smallest nuclear explosion to open sealed doors, a mortar to be used with the sniper mode, grenades, ammunition, a giant hammer, the fabulous tornado, and more, including health restoration. One particular power-up will have Max, the six legged dog genetically created by Dr. Fluke, drop a load of bombs on the target of your choice. Really amusing!

As you understood, MDK is firstly an action game, but it also requires strategy skills to reach victory, but that's not all. Several times during the game will you have to solve a few problems. No mind-bending puzzles though, but rather a simple visual analysis of the surrounding environment should help you to figure out how to exit. Most of the time in these situations, you will only need to use the special parachute created by Dr. Fluke. This parachute will allow you to jump, or to fly should you be able to take advantage of differences in height or ascending currents. But Kurt can also run, strafe on left and right, and look up and down.

The sound effects and the explosive soundtrack are a great addition to the game. Rarely has there been such a quality in a 3D game (except once more for Tomb Raider). From the weapons' characteristic noise to the alien growlings, everything has been thought of so that the player's senses are always kept awake, imposing an omnipresent tension, often enhanced by the gloomy ambiance of the various places.

Without 3D accelerators, MDK's graphics are already astonishing, but if you play with the Direct 3D patch released by Shiny Entertainment, you won't believe your eyes. Unfortunately, the Direct 3D patch can only be used when you install the Windows 95 version, but Shiny Entertainment announced that other patches will be released to support DOS versions as well, at least for the 3DFX chip-based cards. Another patch will allow European customers to save their game at any time, which for North American players won't be a problem since the US version has this built-in feature.


So far, MDK is the greatest game of 1997. Original, humoristic, graphically brilliant with a frenetic game play, it has everything to charm action players who thought that Tomb Raider was not brutal enough, and those who thought that Quake was just another 3D shooter. Shiny Entertainment is a leading game developer of the industry, but unlike many who claim the same, they show it with MDK!

Written by Frederick Claude

Click here for screen shots.



System Requirements:

Pentium 60MHz or higher (Pentium 90Mhz recommended),
Windows 95 or DOS,
Min 16MB memory,
Hard disk with 17Mb free space or more,
Double speed CD-ROM drive or faster,
SVGA video graphic card,
Adlib Gold, Gravis UltraSound/UltraSound Max, Roland, Soundblaster and compatibles.


Shiny Entertainment, Inc.,
The Laguna Design Center,
1088 North Coast Highway,
Laguna Beach, CA 92651-1338.

Web site: Shiny Entertainment


In North America:

Playmates Interactive Entertainment.

Web site: Playmates Interactive Entertainment

In Europe:

Interplay Productions Ltd.,
Harleyford Manor,
Henley Road,
Marlow, Bucks, SL7 2DX.

Technical Support:+44-(0)1628-423723
Fax Support:+44-(0)1628-487752

Internet Support: Interplay Europe Technical Support

In France:

Distributed by Acclaim Entertainment.

Rest of the world:

Interplay Productions.

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