The newest entry into the Mortal Kombat series is nearly upon us and let me tell you it will be a great one. Completely erase MK vs. DCU from your memory because as far as I am concerned that game should have never been made (A T-rated MK game, awful idea). MK is returning to its roots and with the gore and brutality turned up to 11. Everything about the latest entry screams nostalgia and brings back the classic MK aesthetic that we have all come to know and love.
The PS3 exclusive demo only offers a few different levels and 4 characters (Scorpion, Sub Zero, Mileena, and Johnny Cage), but they deliver enough variety to give you a great preview of the final product. The graphics in the new MK are very good as well and really create the extra detail needed to visualize the ass beating you have thrown out or received. Each character has unique “Kombat” damage that will show their deteriorating state over the course of a fight. For example if enough attacks are landed on Scorpion his ninja garb will start to show hanging flaps of blood soaked fabric. In Johnny Cage’s case an adequate ass whooping will result in him being completely drenched in blood (pretty amusing sight if I do say so myself). The stages also look fantastic and will look very familiar to MK fans.
The most noticeable difference in the new MK is the return to a 2D fighting plane. The last several installments tried their hand at a 3D fighting plane with some success, but it never felt like MK to me. Also with the return to the 2D plane also comes the return of the stage fatality (which fucking rocks). The demo features the return of the infallible spike pit as a stage fatality, which sealed the deal for me. There is a video at the end of demo that showcases some more of the other stage fatalities and they are glorious.
Some other new additions include X-Ray Attacks and Extra Special Moves. X-Ray attacks are MK equivalent of Hyper Combos from Street Fighter and deal out a very sizeable amount of damage if landed. And the Extra Special Moves are just enhancements of regular special moves. For example Scorpions Extra Special Harpoon attack shoots out 2 harpoons and has fire on them; pretty flashy.
I should probably talk about gameplay so here I go. The game runs at a very smooth frame rate as to not hiccup the blistering action that is going down on screen. If you like classic MK you will be right at home because that is how the characters move. They fighting style of each character has been slightly updated, but like I said earlier this game is returning to its roots in terms of design. This is a pick up and play fighter that will be accessible to all, but will also be very difficult to master.
I am really excited to see that Warner is letting Ed Boon and the other great folks at NetherRealm Studios do their thing with this new MK title. This game has the potential to be a classic for both the franchise and the genre. Also the Playstation 3 version is getting Kratos from God of War as a playable character. Mortal Kombat will be hitting shelves on April 19th for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. Stay tuned for a full review once the game launches.