MDK Preview

David Perry and the team at Shiny Entertainment attempt to tackle the world of PC gaming


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Tired of games that consist of level after level of mindlessly blasting anything that moves? Then you may want to stay on the look out for MDK. Although it was only 15% complete at E3, this fourth-quarter release promises to take first-person action gaming to a new level by combining high-resolution graphics and one of the most impressive assortments of weaponry to ever hit a PC game.

MDK is the work of Shiny Entertainment (of Earthworm Jim fame) and is the company's first game for the PC. President David Perry, who clearly intends for this game to push the action genre envelope, believes that that lack of experience developing PC games is an asset rather than a liability. "Instead of simply rewriting a game that's already been written and having to meet a set of expectations, we can shoot really high."

Perry believes that Shiny has overcome some glaring limitations of other first-person games and the end result is a much-enhanced gaming experience. In addition to the entire game running in high-resolution mode, MDK takes place in the midst of wide-open city, with a much more colorful environment than such games as Doom or Quake. Says Perry, "this is tons more work than most people are used to seeing a PC do."

In the game, players take the role of Kurt, a young protege of a scientist currently on an outer space mission. While away, Earth is overtaken by aliens that Kurt must eradicate, using the professor's inventions. Rather than charging down hallways like Rambo, MDK, with its wide-open universe, calls for a more "stealth-like" approach. To help accomplish this, players will enlist the aid of a "sniper helmet," which Perry calls the "most accurate weapon ever in a computer game."

While wearing the helmet, Kurt can zoom in on and shoot his victim from up to a mile away. However, Perry warns against those who would take the chicken way out and kill all the aliens via long-distance. "We realized that if you gave someone too good of a weapon, they would be impossible to kill, so there are risks associated with using each weapon. For instance, in sniper mode, you have incredible tunnel vision and can be killed by anybody outside of a very narrow field of view so you better be certain you get rid of your other enemies first."

Plans call for Kurt to be further armed with "the world's smallest nuclear explosion," to open that stubborn lock, and "anti-radar spray paint," which makes Kurt a bright yellow ¾ easily detected by the naked eye but impossible for radar to lock on to. Shiny has a great number of other gimmicks on the drawing board that may or may not make it into the game, but promises no shortage of high tech gadgetry in its final form.

Although it's still far to early to tell, everything Shiny has shown up to this point would lead you to believe that Perry's now famous design talents are just as well suited for the PC as they are to console gaming. If you've gotten tired of Doom, and want to see a game that combines smooth action with logical gameplay, then this may be the title you've been waiting for.

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