MDK2 is a 2000 third-person shooter video game developed by BioWare and published by Interplay for the Dreamcast, Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 2. It is the sequel to the 1997 game MDK.Developed primarily on the Dreamcast using BioWare's Omen Engine, MDK2 was originally released for the Dreamcast in March 2000, with a Windows version following in May. In March 2001, the game was revised and released for the PlayStation 2 as MDK 2: Armageddon. The main difference between the Windows/PlayStation 2 versions and the Dreamcast version is the ability to select the difficulty level.
A remake of the game for Wii, developed by Beamdog, was released via WiiWare on May 9, 2011, and a high-definition remastered version, developed by Overhaul Games, was released for the PC, called MDK2 HD. This version features new 3D models, textures and music, and was released for download via Beamdog on October 12, 2011 and via Steam on July 30, 2012. Much of the game is the same, however the music was changed in a majority of the stages, with specific parts of the soundtrack playing in different parts of the game.
One point of confusion comes from the title name "MDK". Used for the first game as well, MDK appears to be an anagram of sorts, however the actual meaning of these letters has never been shown in game. Said anagram is not explained in MDK or MDK 2, and not found in the game manuals.
One of the more common assumptions of the meaning of MDK is "Murder, Death, Kill", implying your actions against the aliens or the aliens attack on Earth as violent and dangerous. Because the player could only play as Kurt in the first game, the popularity of this theory was common. Following the release of MDK 2, a new theory came that asserts the anagram stands for "Max, Doctor Fluke Hawkins, Kurt Hectic", a three letter title for each one of the characters involved. All three characters were present in the first game as well which further supports this theory, and each letter does coincidentally connect to one character.
As Bioware nor Interplay never officially stated what it means, the title is left up to speculation and currently means little more than confusion.
The story starts with a summation of the characters and the plot of the previous game
"Kurt Hectic never wanted to be a hero". The player is told of Kurt and his employment to the eccentric but unpredictable scientist, Doctor Fluke Hawkins. Hawkins saw himself as a man of brilliance, having managed to create such wonders as the robotic six-legged canine Max. At some time, the doctor was labeled a madman. Upset by this declaration, the doctor fled Earth to his personal ship the Jim Dandy, refusing to return to his home planet until his genius was proven and he was hailed as the great mind he knows he is. Kurt followed Hawkins into space. Somewhat xenophobic and preferring the company of his eccentric friend to that of the planet, he left as well.
At some time, aliens arrived to Earth in powerful vehicles called Mine-crawlers designed to bulldoze planets. Outmatched and outgunned, Earth stood no chance. The doctor saw the perfect opportunity, and outfitted Kurt in his new invention: The Coil Suit. Complete with a sniper rifle and chain gun, Kurt was sent into these vehicles and disabled them one-by-one. Eventually, Kurt fought the leader: Gunter Glut, and ultimately ended his life. The invasion was thwarted, and the aliens retreated. The Earth had been damaged, but survived undefeated in the conquest. The comic flashback ends with the three heroes standing aboard the Jim Dandy celebrating their victory.
Max and the Doctor are both enjoying a drink as Kurt overlooks the windows. While the doctor is certain the invasion is over, Kurt seems hesitant to believe this. It turns out Kurt is right, and the doc performs a spit-take as the alarm goes off and he is alerted to a mine-crawler about to strike Edmonton, Canada. Kurt is once again thrust into the action (much to his chagrin), and he space-dives to the planet and lands in the mine-crawler.
MDK 2 is a third-person shooting focused around combat and platforming. Using the various weapons on hand, players have to use them to either shoot through large crowds of various aliens, pass platforming sections of various design, and solve puzzles that utilize a characters specific abilities. The game's puzzles do not utilize item collection, solely focusing on what the character has on hand to perform the task required.
The major change from MDK to MDK 2 is the ability control three characters, each one have a specific play style that requires different approaches. The character the player gets is pre-chosen, and cannot be changed between stages. The characters cycle from Kurt to Max to the Doctor, and back again for each stage. Stage 10 is the only stage where the player can actively choose their character, which changes the stage approach and how to defeat the final boss.
Initially Kurt Hectic was the only playable character in the first game, but has returned as a playable character in MDK 2 alongside his compatriots. He has the best maneuverability out of the characters with the highest jump arc, the fastest ground movement, and the quickest side-step. Kurt also gains use of his Sniper Scope just like in the first game. He can also still use his coil suit parachute to descend from high heights and negate fall damage. This can also be used to float in updrafts. Many of Kurt's stages use Lock Balls for puzzles. Kurt is playable in stages 1, 4, 7, and 10.
Max was present in the bonus stages of MDK and makes a playable appearance here. Max is by far the strongest of the crew with 200 health (double Kurt's), and with the ability to simultaneously wield four firearms at the same time. Much of Max's stages focus around firepower and enemies, and it isn't uncommon for puzzles to require Max destroy specific objects to progress. Max is slow to jump and move on foot, but makes up for it with immense firepower. Max will also get a jetpack in each stage, with it being the standard Jetpack in 2 and 5, and a special Nuclear Jetpack in 8 and 10. Once gathered, Max's stages tend to turn into midair flight and platforming challenges with enemy combatants present. The boss almost always has some way the jetpack can be used in favor of the player.
Doctor Fluke Hawkins is by far the weakest character, have a measly 60 health. Additonally, while Kurt and Max can pull themselves up onto platforms should they graze the edge, the doc cannot and will fall to his doom. The doc is also significantly slower than his friends when sidestepping and cannot jump very high. The doctor's levels are focused around puzzles, platforming, and minigames rather than brute-force. While specific sections of his stages typically require his Atomic Toaster to defeat enemies, his stages don't tend to have large-scale attacks, and even when present the doc is always given the option to run. Doctor Hawkins gets two inventories, one for each hand, and is taught from stage 3 to combine items and try out new ideas to create special weapons and new items of progression. The doctor is playable in stages 3, 6, 9, and 10.