Jinkies! MDK 2 HD Trailer

By Andrew Smee on October 11th, 2011 at 10:11 am.

The goldfish bowl spacesuit helmet joke was the best puzzle ever

Oh man, the HD re-release of MDK 2 is almost upon us. It’s coming out on Beamdog tomorrow for $15 and the trailer is hiding over the hills and out of range beyond the jump.

MDK 2 was part of the minor explosion in mad third person shooters towards the end of the 90s. There seemed to be one every month: MDK, Project Nomads, Evolva, Giants: Citizen Kabuto, Sacifice, Oni, Heavy Metal: FAKK 2, Messiah. An arms race on who can invent the most unique mechanic and imaginative world to set it in. I mean, BioWare made MDK 2, taking the reins of the series from Shiny. BioWare! Can you imagine Commander Shepard fighting alongside a cigar chomping six-armed robot dog and a mad scientist armed with a nuclear powered toaster? It’d make the romance options profoundly more interesting at least.

It’s great to see MDK 2 back in this HD form. The funny thing about HD remakes is that they manage to make the games look like the memories I have of them. Nobody remembers jagged texture edges and flat polygons. I’ve gone back and had a look at some original MDK footage after watching this trailer and something’s wrong with history if MDK ever looked like that. No, it’s always looked like that trailer, hasn’t it?

After all, we get revamped blu-ray re-releases of old films and tv shows. And unless it’s George Lucas, the higher quality print is never a disappointment. Rather, it’s how we remember these stories as opposed to how they actually were. We don’t remember blurry faces and off-black shadows, we remember fidelity and substance. Re-releases of old games are giving our childhood back to us, without the twinge of remembering just how long it’s been.

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77 Comments »

  1. WoundedBum says:

    Ah yes, I have fond memories of completely sucking at this and watching my brother play instead. Good times.

    • WoundedBum says:

      Oh yeah, me too I remember finding the controls quite finicky (I was young, so not sure if that was so) and also getting stuck a lot on the Professor missions. Loving dicking around with the parachute though.

    • Eclipse says:

      yeah professor levels where the worst ones, or at least the most difficult ones, I remember a level in mdk2 that was full of tiny ledges you had to walk on, and the doc isn’t like the best character to control compared to max and kurt. It’s still a great game tho

  2. Stevostin says:

    Mouth animations are severely lacking.

    • Dave Mongoose says:

      I also noticed this… the small heads in the dialogue boxes are animated but not the actual in-game model?

    • Rich says:

      That’s how it was in the original. Interesting choice sticking with it.

  3. abigbat says:

    This was a splendid game. Great mission variety, suitable zany concept, and a nice blend of puzzling/shooting.

    In other news how much do we want remakes/sequels to ALL of the games Andrew mentioned? Giants and Sacrifice in particular are still two of my all time favourites, and it excites me far more than it should that anyone even remembers Evolva.

    • Rao Dao Zao says:

      Seconding a remake of Giants. I first played the demo with the sound off and didn’t realise it was a comedy until the old smartie said his balls were saggy.

    • Prime says:

      Plus 1 for Giants remake. What a fabulous game! Delphi’s turbo powers were the only way to handle those wonderful 3D landscapes!

    • MuscleHorse says:

      The issue with a Giants remake is that it absolutely bombed and only a select few remember it with any fondness. If it were released in this age of digital distribution it would probably fare better though come to think of it.

    • Premium User Badge

      Okami says:

      Giants remake? Why?

      The game still looks absolutely gorgeous, especially if you install the high res community mods. I replayed it a year or two ago and it still holds up today. Get the game at gog and then go to the gog forums to get all the current fan patches and updates. You won’t regret it!

    • Eclipse says:

      all those games are on GOG, my fav one is Messiah, but I loved every game Interplay and Shiny did.
      I think Sacrifice still looks great btw

    • Falcon says:

      Giants does hold up really well, but I would certainly grab an HD remake of it (and it would be great for people to get a chance to play it that might have missed it or passed it by the first time around). The humor was fantastic, as was the music by Jeremy Soule!

      I play through it every couple of years. I had to buy it off of GoG recently because the installer on the old CD wouldn’t work on Vista/7.

      Multiplayer was such a blast! I still have fond memories of flying low through the hills to avoid missile lock and drop teammates in to the opposing team’s base.

      I’m so sad that Planet Moon’s PC games didn’t sell well enough for them to continue making them. Giants really was wonderful, and though Armed and Dangerous had its problems with gameplay, the humor totally made up for it. (Armed and Dangerous had a really good soundtrack as well!)

    • Rich says:

      I just about finished MDK2, but god did I suck at Giants!

  4. Schadenfreude says:

    I never played the second game. I thought general consensus was that it wasn’t as good. Worth a run-through when this is released?

    • abigbat says:

      definitely.

    • Gnoupi says:

      It was really quite fun. I never played the first one, so I can’t say if it’s better or worse, but for sure I had fun playing this one.

      The trio of heroes is making for a nice change of pace during the game.

      - Kurt is the sniping/parachuting guy. I assume he plays like in the first game. You can’t always rush directly on monsters, you are usually better off using gadgets and sniping them.

      - Max is the four-armed dog, it’s usually a shooting gallery with 4 weapons at a time. It makes for relaxing killing around (although the way to select/equip weapons on the fly is a bit painful).

      - The professor is not really suited for combat, but he can combine objects. So moments with him are more of a puzzle/exploration.

    • hello_mr.Trout says:

      no way!
      the 1st mdk had that neat offbeat shiny humour going on
      and the 2nd went for ‘wacky’

    • InternetBatman says:

      Yeah, it’s still pretty good. It’s definitely light-humored instead of Shiny’s relatively dark style, but it’s bunches of fun. The dog levels are really fun run and guns.

  5. Inigo says:

    That fucking bastard fish puzzle.

    • Spacewalk says:

      That was where I stopped playing MDK2 (because I couldn’t complete it).

    • Gnoupi says:

      Yup, same for me. No wonder it’s not featured in the trailer :-]

    • Mollusc Infestation says:

      Me too. Bastard fish puzzle.

    • B1A4 says:

      The best thing about fish puzzle – after several deaths/restarts game spawns you near button which opens… something.

      So, just keep dying and checking your backs for big red button.

    • Acorino says:

      Yeah, that’s also how I solved the fish puzzle. I just kept dying over and over until the game spawned me directly in front of the button.

      But I got finally stuck in the fourth level with Kurt. You had to shoot at a wall so that the bullet bounced off and hit one of those floating orbs which then activates. As a result a bridge lowers, if I remember correctly.
      Never found the right spot to activate one of those orbs. I guess for some reason the game didn’t light the spot I should have shot at. I wanted to fight the boss so badly that I wasn’t willing to skip the level. What a shame!

  6. dandy-pandy says:

    that’s why Disappointment about Serious Sam 3 looms on the horizon, at least for me, your article said it too well.. Andrew

  7. Alexander Norris says:

    I’m unsure why I needed to watch a trailer for Rage before watching a trailer for the game I actually wanted to watch a trailer for. Stupid adverts.

    • RogB says:

      hah it caught me out at first. I though ‘by jove, they’ve certainly improved the graphics’. DOH.

      yesterday I had to sit through an Ad for Ace Combat 7, whilst waiting to actually watch a trailer for Ace Combat 7. you’d think they have might change that..

  8. faelnor says:

    MURDER!

  9. Eclipse says:

    seems like they used a modified Quake 3 engine, I mean, the original game ran on q3 engine, so I suppose they just upgraded it with shaders, maybe using one of the open source q3 engines around, and then they slapped higher poly models and textures. Too bad the levels still look the same: vertex color lit, few polys… well whatever, I’m all over it.
    For the ones unsure about Beamdog: it’s a great service, staff is always present on the forums, their client is small and unobtrusive and prices are in dollars for everybody, so they are fair.
    There’s DRM I suppose, but I don’t know how it works in detail, never had a problem with it anyway

    • Inigo says:

      the original game ran on q3 engine,

      I thought it was an in-house engine.

    • Premium User Badge

      PoulWrist says:

      It did. “Omen engine”, definitely not Quake 3.

    • Eclipse says:

      woops, if so I got confused with the bazillion of games using q3 engine in those years (Alice, Heavy Metal FAKK 2 and so on)! Sorry about that! :P
      If I remember well was still an opengl based game

  10. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    It’s coming out on … what?
    Never heard of Beamdog. :/

  11. MadMinstrel says:

    I don’t think this will sell very well. MDK2 wasn’t all that popular to begin with, and the majority of any remaining fans will probably be too old be interested in a game obviously geared toward teens outside of a small percentage who will buy it for the nostalgia factor. Personally I think it’s nice that they made this remake, but it might have been better if the had gone for something more profitable. That way the company wouldn’t be doomed. Doomed I tell ya.

  12. RogB says:

    lipsync would have been nice. failing that, at least a HL1 style ‘flapping jaw’

  13. Groove says:

    It’s good to remember that MDK is where sniping in games comes from.

    Goldeneye was the sniper rifle, but MDK was the sniper….suit.

    • Spacewalk says:

      Outlaws needs some recognition too.

      Actually, which one of these three was first, they were all released around the same time weren’t they?

    • GallonOfAlan says:

      If you want to count doing F11 in Quake and pinging things with the nailgun, that’s almost sniping ….

    • Groove says:

      Huh, I’ve learned something, thank you Spacewalk.

      I can’t find any exact details, but it’s Wikipedia page says that Outlaws was the first game, no citation. They were all released in 1997 (wow, that feels like it should be longer ago) but no details beyond that. I’d never actually heard of Outlaws before, I’d always thought it was as I said above, MDK followed by Goldeneye. I’m pretty sure that MDK was before Goldeneye, but again….I’ve nothing to reference on that except memory.

      People might say it’s MDK because in that game it was a core mechanic, since the sniper rifle was your HEAD.

      How much sniping was there in Outlaws?

    • Dervish says:

      Outlaws had the zoom, but it didn’t have headshots like MDK and GoldenEye. That’s half the appeal!

      I would also clarify that we’re only talking 3D games, here. There are older games than Outlaws with sniper scope sections.

  14. Gunrun says:

    So who else isn’t buying this simply because it’s on another download service that needs the client to run the game? I would totally be buying it otherwise, especially if it was on steam.

    • Premium User Badge

      PoulWrist says:

      I’m buying it specifically because it’s on a client that’s not steam! In fact, I collect digital distribution services, and buy wherever I can that’s not on steam. If something is only on steam, I will buy a disc copy instead and have that shipped to me!

      You’re so weird, not buying things because it’s not on steam.

    • Dave Mongoose says:

      I agree! I’ve got most of my digital distribution games on Steam but a couple are on Impulse, which is great because I often forget I even own them :D.

    • MFToast says:

      Yeah, I learned my lesson with that Green Man Gaming BS. Steam is stable and efficient.

  15. Kollega says:

    I wish there were more games where you get to quadruple-wield miniguns. Miniguns THAT SHOOT ROCKETS. Miniguns that shoot rockets that explode into bomblets that erupt into a rain of acid-coated shurikens and lightning.

  16. Ergates_Antius says:

    I have a sudden hankering for some toast.

  17. sneetch says:

    Loverly. Quite impressed with the look of Beamdog’s service I must say.

  18. LGM says:

    What is Beamdog and when is it coming out on Steam?

  19. Chorltonwheelie says:

    Ah. Autumn. Where did I store that leaf blower?

  20. GallonOfAlan says:

    Nice to see but it isn’t a patch on MDK. The first game was genuinely surreal and deranged, while this was like one of those “hey, I’m mad, me!” people who aren’t actually as unhinged as they think they are.

    • Urthman says:

      The bit in MDK2 where you have to make a bunch of jumps and there’s a group of aliens cheering for you is genuinely funny.

    • Urthman says:

      Just booted up the original and I have to say it still looks fine to me. The interface is stretched out at widescreen resolutions but the game itself looks good. I’d be happy to replay it this way.

      I’d buy the remake just as an excuse to replay this really fun game, but not if I have to install another stupid download/DRM client.

      Although I’ll say that “commission an exclusive HD remake of a classic old game” is a pretty excellent idea for a company trying to compete with Steam. If they did this for Heretic 2, I ‘d download their stupid client and thank them for the privilege.

  21. Premium User Badge

    c-Row says:

    I enjoyed MDK 2. It wasn’t as good as the first, but still much fun. I just hope they keep the soundtrack as it was in the original.

  22. newton says:

    If there’s a HD remake direly needed, it’s the first game. Number two was fun but the original is a masterpiece. The action? The art? The MUSIC? Poetry in motion, that one. The world it conjured was just something else.

    • GallonOfAlan says:

      The orchestral theme when you first get to soar above the minecrawler is one of the best things in gaming ever. As are the aliens which the HALO games stole, yes stole.

    • Wulf says:

      As much as I loved the original, I still liked 2 better.

      The original, for all of its merits, felt like a bunch of admittedly surreal events just thinly strung together. But what 1 lacked was a sense of world and purpose, and these are things that I personally require. Now, the lack of cohesion (thus providing a world) and purpose did make it more surreal, just as it makes Cargo! surreal, and that’s not a bad thing, but it still wasn’t as much of a world as 2 was.

      With 2, everything fit together, it was zany but it also had a level of believability to it, it had an ongoing plot, and it had likeable characters. 1 felt like “I am a guy who does stuff.”, whereas 2 actually had a plot, a raison d’etre, if you will. So whilst 2 was more zany on the surface, 1 was actually the ultimately much more shallow experience, with 2 having a deceptive degree of depth.

  23. _PixelNinja says:

    The HD trailler is so epic that it managed to make the Flash plugin crash!

  24. Atic Atac says:

    Ok am I the only one totally creeped out by this image? To me this is HD gone wrong :P

    http://www.beamdog.com/assets/products/9324/original/MDK2HD_Compare_CS1C_001.jpg?1318030913

  25. feighnt says:

    wait, wait, at 1:31ish, “good gravy, that’s Edmonton” – what’s thi-…

    oh, right, *bioware* made this one! was wondering why on earth MDK2 mentioned my city!

  26. TWeaK says:

    All I know of MDK2 was the MDK2 spell that you could get in Baldur’s Gate 2 if you used a game editor. All it did was crash the game though XD

  27. andytt66 says:

    I would pay a reasonable-to-large amount of money for an HD remake of Oni.

    I remember Oni being awesome. Ghost-In-The-Shell awesomeness.

    So, of course, I’m too scared to dig it out again.

    • unsane says:

      I’d pay for that too. I remember that as being pretty awesome. Only ever played the demo though, and haven’t found an actual copy…

    • Srethron says:

      Oni is substantially flawed, but there’s never been a better 3rd person martial arts beat em up shooter on the PC. I wish it had done better so we could have had some future titles iterating on everything it got right and sacking everything it got wrong. If there had been multiplayer, it would have been amazing.

  28. deadly.by.design says:

    Will this pave the way for Earthworm Jim 3D HD?
    Let’s hope not. (but yay for any other EWJ game or new content surfacing)

    Oh, wait… Bioware developed MDK2 and not Shiny? I was completely ignorant of that until now.

    • Wulf says:

      I remembered that, as it was one of the few instances of Bioware actually creating characters that I liked that I could remember. Mostly I’m very meh about Bioware’s writing, but something about MDK 2 just got me.

  29. JackDandy says:

    Holy crud, I loved MDK 1 and 2. This is good news.

  30. InternetBatman says:

    I gotta say, I don’t think the super realistic look is doing the characters any favors. It’s a little close to the uncanny valley for my tastes. Still a good game though.

  31. SquareWheel says:

    Big fan of MDK2, hoping it comes to Steam.

  32. Bobtree says:

    I love Shiny’s MDK to this day and completely hate MDK2 and will forever curse Bioware for ever making it and myself for bothering to play it. Not even going to look at this one.

  33. V. Profane says:

    I got a ‘free’ copy of MDK2 with my 64MB GeForce 2 Ultra. It was to showcase the shuttered 3D effects.