Beamdog is a new service similar to Steam, offering games digitally in exchange for your cash. The service itself is quick and easy to navigate, but I’m not a big fan of it’s home menu simply being genres of games with a sample of a few titles in each category. There also aren’t many games offered at the moment, just a couple hundred according to the list numbers but I’m sure that will go up soon. I didn’t recognize a lot of the games there (either they were way too old for me to recognize, or they were some odd game I never heard of) but some of the few I did know did have much lower prices than Steam which did make me consider buying a few.
They were kind enough to give us a preview copy of MDK2 HD so that I can tell you how it is, so I suppose I’ll go ahead and do exactly that.
MDK2 was released in 2000 and is the sequel (duh) to MDK which came out in 1997. From what I gathered in the preview some aliens invaded and it’s my job to show them my sweet parachuting skills and killing them all. In MDK2 you play as Kurt Hectic (has a sniper rifle and can glide), Max, a six legged dog, and Dr. Fluke Hawkins, a scientist, in the full game.
Kurt has access to a basic machine gun, grenades, and a sniper rifle. The rifle is where things get a little interesting since you have a couple different types of bullets such as mortar, homing, bouncing, and more. He also has pickups that give effects such as creating a decoy, black hole grenades, and cloak. Kurt’s levels balance a bit of platforming with combat with some areas mixing them both. His boss fight involved sniping orbs to slowly open up the armor of a giant ship that’s firing at you.
The next level puts you in the paws of Max the dog, who enters an enemy ship by flying a torpedo and crashing it right into the ship. That section is an actual controllable sorta mini-game which was a nice bit of variety from the previous platform heavy stage. Max is definitely my favorite character to play as since he has a jetpack for some quick platforming sections, but the neat thing is that he can equip 4 guns at once to rain fire on those aliens. You’ll find Uzis, magnums, shotguns, missiles, and Gatling guns. His stages are a bit more action heavy, but the action is fun so it works. Dr. Fluke Hawkins plays quite a bit differently from Kurt and Max since he can’t really fight as well as those guys. With Hawkins you’ll go around levels collecting items to fix doors, create new paths, and kill enemies with. One spot has you collect a leaf blower so you can blow enemies into a giant Venus flytrap. You’ll switch between characters every so often so the game really keeps things fresh by switching it up with the characters.
From what I’ve seen of the original MDK2 the graphics have gotten quite a nice update (unlike the barely noticeable RE4 ‘HD’ update Capcom). Everything has a nice shiny look to it and the effects from the weapons look pretty nice. Also loved the bullet casings falling out when you shot your gun and the little particles that bounced on the floor when you shot things, I’m just a sucker for that kind of shit.
Overall MDK2 HD looks to be worth a quick purchase to relive some nostalgia or just to try an old classic for the first time. Personally I don’t see the Beamdog service competing majorly with Steam or GoG who is also known for offering classic games for sale and I don’t really want to have 4 different services with different game libraries. MDK2 HD IS exclusive to Beamdog though, so if you want it you’ll have to shell out the dosh over there.
You can expect MDK2 HD to be released exclusively on Beamdog on October 12th.