MDK2 HD Via Beamdog In September

By Jim Rossignol on August 13th, 2011 at 9:09 am.

What a strange game that was.
Now that is an efficient headline. But just to unpack it a bit: Interplay and Overhaul have remade offbeat 3D action-adventure MDK2 with modernised graphics. They’re going to be releasing it next month for $14.99, and it will only be appearing on Beamdog. Seems like a bit of an odd decision to me, but I suppose the smaller games portals have to find some way to drive traffic to their sites.

We’ll take a fresh look at the game when it comes out. I wonder if it will cling on to the same problems as the original.

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82 Comments »

  1. Terr says:

    I loved that game, can’t wait!

  2. elmuerte says:

    Looks very plastic. So, it’s no longer cartoony, but now action figurey.

    • edgeblend says:

      Well, it is a Shiny game.

    • negativedge says:

      Bioware, actually

      parade: rained on

    • edgeblend says:

      Well, it is a Bioware game… That doesn’t work.

    • The Sentinel says:

      C’mon, pedants – despite the currrent publisher’s reconstructive surgery it’s still a Shiny game at its core. edgeblend’s comment is still valid, amusing.

    • edgeblend says:

      Yey!
      parade : back on!
      Edit: I also find this thread is better if you read negativedge’s comment out in a nerd/trainspotter/John Major voice with the prefix “I think you’ll find its…”

  3. Srethron says:

    I’m more surprised they aren’t remaking the first one than I am by the Beamdog thing. Doesn’t it seem like if they remade the first one, MDK2 would be a natural followup?

  4. Inigo says:

    Apparently “HD” doesn’t apply to pipes. Or walls.

  5. patricij says:

    I liked the first one more…

    • J. says:

      I found the first one to be way niftier as well. And groundbreaking. And stuffs.

    • 8-bit says:

      same here, the first was like doom 1, no nonsense shooting of the alien things and it was better for it. the second tried to change the gameplay up way too much and a lot of the funny stuff fell flat to me.

      this doesn’t exactly look like the usual HD upgrade though, if they have actually worked on the gameplay rather than just upgrading the graphics it might be worth a look.

    • Gnoupi says:

      But the second one allowed you to kill people with 4 guns and a jetpack. And with radioactive toasts.

      It wins by default.

    • karry says:

      All Shiny games had great visual design, but gameplay mechanics were…questionable at best. I cant honestly say they made games that were actually any good. Except maybe Aladdin or something.
      Second one definitely plays alot better, even if it doesnt have that “spark”.

      Edit: Oh, and that part about great visual design ? With the exception of Sacrifice, that one was ugly as sin.

    • Heliocentric says:

      @Karry Sacrifice, ugly? Go die in a chip pan fire.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Karry’s mind is broken.

    • The Sentinel says:

      …Karry has a mind?

    • 8-bit says:

      @Gnoupi
      awesome ideas true enough, but the controls were awful, and you don’t win prizes for good ideas.

    • TheGameSquid says:

      Yup, I thought the first one was VASTLY superior to the second one. MDK1 was a genuinely awe-inspiring action romp, but the second one just felt… I don’t know… forced?

      Of course, I suppose that might make a good argument for remaking MDK2 instead of MDK1. Why remake a game that’s perfectly fine to begin with?

    • Vorrin says:

      I played both,but somehow found the second one much better.. I found the story somewhat more prone to toss funny bits for you to laugh at,and really liked the graphics much much better in the second one…also it seemed to have quite more varied levels (have a half memory of a bit where you had to climb a really massive tower with e jetpack or so,was quite awesome).

      So yeh,I seem to be the only one though :)

      And sacrifice was so damn amazing,especially graphics wise, I’d say, well,surely way way more striking than Aladdin…

    • JackShandy says:

      Guys my mind is foggy with time but I distinctly remember spending hours trying to jump to a single infuriatingly-placed platform before having the game crash and wipe my save.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I thought MDK1 just had a much better visual style. There’s something about the bitmaps looking better now than the horrible polygons in the second game. Though that could be my nostalgia.

    • Wooly says:

      AIMS: complaining about sequels since the 1990′s.

  6. pupsikaso says:

    Why the second? Remaking the first would have made sense since it was much better than the second.

    • Inigo says:

      I don’t think they’ve “remade” it so much as ported all the 3D assets into a new engine and updated a few of the character models with higher-poly versions. I’m guessing it was easier to do with MDK 2 than with 1′s older, polygon/sprite based engine.

  7. firefek says:

    So the biggest question for me is… What does MDK stand for? I never managed to find out. Is it Murder Death Kill or Max, Dr Hawkins and Kurt or Mother’s Day Kindness, etc?

  8. karry says:

    Is it that hard to make a black spot on the specular map ? Why does every developer forgets this, and faces always look greasy ?

  9. Corpekata says:

    You know, I was just thinking to myself this morning, I really could use another digital store username and password to remember, as I don’t have nearly enough.

    • The Sentinel says:

      Well, seeing as how just about every browser can either sync passwords itself or has extensions available that do that for you, maybe it’s time to pull yourself into the 21st century?

      I use Lastpass. It’s pretty awesome.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Doesnt the fact that you have to download an app to deal with all your passwords and log ons just prove his point?

    • Zenicetus says:

      For me, It’s not just the login info, it’s how far and wide do I want to spread my credit card info.

      I’m not one of those “won’t buy anything if it isn’t on Steam” dudes, but I do buy most of my games there, or through a few of the big outfits like Bioware for DLC, just to minimize cc risk. I have to be *really* interested in a game to create a new account at a new online store for it. Especially if it’s a small outfit that may or may not be around in a year (and taking my cc data with it). I mostly only do that for flight sims and related add-ons.

    • The Sentinel says:

      @Dr Gonzo. No, not really. He’s bemoaning the fact he has too many passwords and accounts to remember. Of course it would be easier to not have to go through this annoying register-and-login rigmarole for every single website out there but the fact remains that while this is the de-facto standard there is an incredibly simple and effective solution to the problem, now actually built into the fabric of most browsers.

      Zenitecus: I hear you. I try and keep my actual credit card details offline as far as I can, too, using Paypal for as many transactions as possible. Still, it’s a worry. I’d be far happier if any of my details weren’t stored by any sites, but what can you do?

    • Matt says:

      Beamdog is fine… I bought The Precursors through them a while back when it was on super-sale. They aren’t trying to be some all-encompassing community like Steam or Origin, so you only need to run the launcher when you’re downloading or playing a game.

      As for the MDK2 remake, let’s just say their D doesn’t look very H to me.

  10. Inglourious Badger says:

    All I remember from it is blowing a door open with the ‘the world’s smallest nuke’ which I found hilarious at the time, but dont really get it now…

  11. Spacewalk says:

    It certainly was a game that had a dog that shot beams.

  12. Spider Jerusalem says:

    Beamdog. Also known as: that place I got The Precursors from.

  13. Tretiak says:

    Another master move by Herve Caen.

  14. I4C says:

    inb4 “if its not on steam i am not buying it”

    • The Sentinel says:

      Ah yes, the oft-quoted “No Steam, No sale” which, incidentally, is how I chose my first car.

  15. The Sentinel says:

    Shockingly, I’ve never actually played MDK 2. How lovely to do so in “HD”. If this one sells, do you think they’ll go back and do number one? I loved that game very much, not least because the Aliens attacked Kirkcaldy, the town my brother was studying in at the time the game was released.

  16. Eclipse says:

    to the ones saying “no steam no buy”, I was one of you guys. But then I really wanted this game called The Precursors and Beamdog was offering it for really cheap. So I said to myself, ok let’s try it.. and I was amazed at how good Beamdog is.

    First: The website is really nice and usable, full of funny characters in almost every page. Not a mess like GFWL.

    Second: Their client is small, damn small, and it’s just a convenient downloader, you install it, and you forget about it until you want to download another game.

    Third: They actively support fan mods\community patches, The vanilla version of Precursors was a buggy mess but they host the patch alongside the game, so you can buy it and patch it in an instant.

    Last but not least: They listen to the community, you can write on their forums and expect a reply from a staff member even during the same day.

    I’m on my fifth game on Beamdog now and I’m quite happy of the service. It’s not steam, but I have all of their games as shortcuts on my steam list and they work flawlessy even launched from Valve’s famous client. In most of them Steam overlay gui works too.

    Don’t miss the opportunity to play this masterpiece with modern graphics only because it’s not on steam!

    • Kaira- says:

      Sounds neat, I’ve been meaning to check Beamdog from time to time but haven’t got around to. MDK2 would probably be really good chance to get around trying Beamdog.

    • The Sentinel says:

      “to the ones saying “no steam no buy”…”

      Are you aware that so far no-one has actually said that and meant it? We’ve been making fun of it, is all.

      I’ve not yet bought from Beamdog but have just discovered I have an account already! Thinking back, I think I tried to get the English patch for Precursors, that I bought from Gamersgate. Annoyingly, Beamdog only give their free patches/enhancements out to people who bought the game from them. It makes a kind of sense but I’m really not a fan of this walled-garden approach to gaming – my principal objection to Steam, the service that introduced this bold new era to us unlucky PC gamers.

      /rant.

    • Eclipse says:

      The Precursor patch on Beamdog is Wesp’s one, so it’s freely available on other places around the web, just google for it

  17. Navagon says:

    Does Beamdog accept Paypal or some other non-credit card kind payment? The closest thing to a credit card I have is a Visa debit.

    • airtekh says:

      If they accept Visa cards, they should accept Visa debit.

      I’ve used my Visa debit in quite a few places that don’t explicitly state you can use a debit card, but do accept Visa.

    • Pemptus says:

      Debit cards act as credit cards, only without the extra banking shebang. I don’t have a credit card, and have been buying stuff with my dinky Visa Electron since the dawn of time and never had any problems. Are there places where debit cards are explicitly forbidden?

    • Navagon says:

      Thanks, guys!
      There are places that explicitly state the requirement of a credit card, yes. But hopefully the fact that this card is a Visa will overcome the fact that it doesn’t look like Beamdog have gone out of their way to accept debit cards.

    • Pemptus says:

      There’s a difference between explicitly forbidding the use of debit cards and just not mentioning them. Steam “explicitly states” that a credit card is required, and doesn’t mention debit cards. And yet they worked just fine – same as with other sites and shops and services. Your Visa should do just fine.

    • malkav11 says:

      I do not own a credit card, and I purchased Precursors and White Gold from Beamdog.

  18. Rancorist says:

    YUS! My dad was the producer for the first one :D

  19. Chizu says:

    I loved MDK2 first time around.
    But why is that screenshot so plastic. That makes me a little sad.

  20. Hulk Handsome says:

    Hopefully this is based on the PS2 Armageddon version of the game, which fixed a lot of the terrible design that plagued the original Dreamcast and PC versions. It made a huge difference! The PS2 version was uglier than the other versions though… textures were all muddy.

    I liked the second game, but the first one was so much more fun. It was very much a product of its time though… I don’t think a modern audience would go for it as much as they would go for MDK 2, which is a bit more coherent.

    Of course, the incoherence of the original is part of its charm. There is a pretty good retrospective here:

    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/103/mdk0.jpg/
    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/44/mdk1.jpg/

  21. Metonymy says:

    For a second there I thought it was Dr Wily and the cover-art version of Mega man.

    Hopes, dashed.

  22. Teddy Leach says:

    OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH GOOOOOOOOOOOOOD.

  23. Tretiak says:

    They’ve got some interesting games I didn’t know, like Darkness Within 2 (looks like Penumbra) or Adams Venture, a Christian game with Unreal engine!

  24. Arathain says:

    This is excellent news. The original MDK2 had some astonishing vistas. It’ll be excellent to see them again all prettied up.

  25. Git says:

    Awesome. I was just thinking about how great it would be if they made another MDK, but this’ll do. Either way, it’s more space janitor in weaponised gimp suit action.

  26. TT says:

    One off the best games ever, the action, the changing pace, the soundtrack… the moment you jump down the vortice/ hole and all sound stops… fall in the dungeon below, the sound picking up again a drum cadence from the big boss chariot down.. lurking in the dark unbelievable!

    PS: MDK, ther was a rumor claiming it sanded for “Murder Destroy Kill” promptly negated by the devs..

  27. tikey says:

    YES!

    That is all.

  28. Wulf says:

    I think I’ll stick to the original MDK2, as those aesthetics would ruin the game for me. MDK was always over-exaggerated and silly. It’s sort of like that Megaman cover where they tried to make Megaman look like an American action film and it didn’t work.

    MDK thrives on being exceedingly OTT. Those graphics would just bring it down to earth… that would kill it. For me, anyway.

    *plays his GoG bought version of MDK2.*

  29. Metonymy says:

    On the European box art for megaman 2, megaman looks precisely like that, and that’s also very similar to Wily in all his incarnations.

  30. kibayasu says:

    So since I’m someone who can actually not have enough digital clients due to the crazy sales almost all of them have, does anyone know if Beamdog’s games (besides MDK2 HD, obviously) are optimzed for modern OS’s?

  31. matrices says:

    As I said elsewhere:

    This is nice, but MDK HD is what would be amazing. MDK 2 was just a diluted experience – I never wanted to play Max or the Prof in the original. There was also, apart from the comic zaniness, a subtle but very dark undercurrent to the environment, music, and atmosphere in MDK. That could have really gone interesting places but the sequel riffs on just the goofy stuff.

  32. Ergates_Antius says:

    Jinkies! I made toast.

  33. TrentO says:

    Hey guys thanks for all the comments. We chose MDK2 to “Overhaul” as we were familiar with the code. The lead programmer on MDK2 at Bioware is the lead programmer on MDK2 HD and a cofounder of Beamdog
    . We looked into doing an MDK HD, but were unable to get the source code.

    We’re still working on MDK2 HD and it continues to get better daily. The plasticy look is a result of an early specular map that is too hot. We’ll tone it down and have at least 47% less plasticy looking characters.

    With Beamdog, we want to make PC gaming a better experience, I think we were a fair bit naive when we started and failed to properly understand how entrenched the existing services were. We also underestimated the effort involved in getting games on our service. So far, I’m happy about what we achieved and I’m really looking forward to our future exclusives and future platform enhancements.

    Regards,
    -Trent

    Co leader dude at Beamdog

  34. Araxiel says:

    I got MDK 1 with a graphicscard back then. But it always crashed after the first mission on my PC. And with the rusty internet back then patching was something that wasn’t as popular back then.

  35. vodkarn says:

    I don’t know why but I find it so, so amusing that “HD” means “plastic-faced”.