Mortal Kombat is not to be confused with the original MK on the arcade system this game acts as a reboot or the original trilogy, but takes place after MK: Armageddon. The game won many awards at E3 2010 but is currently banned in Australia for excessive and extreme violence. I was surprised by this game; the story is actually enjoyable and well executed. Mortal Kombat is known for its interesting mythology but lack of storytelling. This game changes all of that.
To be more specific the story of Mortal Kombat takes place after MK: Armageddon, but then “rewinds” to the story or the original MK. Raiden is about to be killed by Shao Kahn and in an act of desperation Raiden sends a message to his past self in hopes of changing the past so Shao Kahn doesn’t rule Earth Realm as well as Outworld. As you progress through the story mode you will see characters in their prime, like Cyrax and Sektor not being cyborgs and Jax not having complete robotic arms. Raiden can’t seem to change the future as he misunderstands his future self’s plea of “He must win.”
Gameplay: Mortal Kombat plays like a normal fighting game, but the difficulty of combos has been scaled down, polished and essentially perfected. Fatalities were always a pain to perform, but now they have a level of difficulty while retaining simplicity. In addition to fatalities, babalities have returned. I personally do not approve of this much as I like animalities the most. Every character is different and no two are the same. The game is very challenging and it is great to play a game that doesn’t feel like it is playing itself. There are some mechanics that are buggy but they can be overlooked. Downloadable content is available for the game as well. Returning characters are Kenshi and Rain, but a new challenger has raised from the depth of oldschool MK rumors. Years ago there was a rumor that one could glitch the game to make Kitana red instead of blue. This was never possible, but playing off those rumors Skarlet has joined the fight. In August king of nightmares and murder, Freddy Krueger will join the roster. A classic costume for many of the original fighters is also available giving them an extra fatality. In previous MK games there was something else other than just arcade mode, like Konquest. That has been taken out and replaced with “The Challenge Tower”. This has you perform various levels with certain win conditions to progress up the tower and gain new costumes and coins. Coins can be spent in the Krypt to gain fatality unlocks (although the other fatalities can be performed without them), alternate costumes, sketches and renders. As a niche to get people to buy the game for the PS3 Kratos is a playable character exclusively on the PS3 version. He has his own story on why he is in the game and to find out you must beat arcade mode with him. Online is also available and the matchmaking works well and there are little problems with connectivity. A new feature in regards to fighting has been added, “X-Ray” attacks. These attacks are special moves every character has. They do various amounts of damage depending on the character and can drastically change the outcome of the match if used. A new Tag Team feature has been added and when playing online four people can play at once. Two characters on each team and when there is a tag out the other player takes control. This is an awesome feature and adds to the gameplay very well.
Visuals: MK looks better than ever. The fights are brutal and damage really shows on the characters after prolonged fights. The fatalities look fantastic and today’s technology allows for detailed violent killing scenes. The environments are also quite different. Although not all of them have a special fatality associated with them. New and old stages are present in the new game and they do not disappoint.
Sound: The fight sound effects are awesome although the voice acting is below average. Of course no one expects MK to have stellar voice acting it works for the game. Whether a body is sizzling in a pool of acid or bones crunching from the X-Ray attacks they all sound gruesome and satisfying.
Overall the new Mortal Kombat surprised me and showed me that there can be more to a fighting game than just arcade mode. The game has about 350 hours worth of gameplay if you wish to 100% the game so the replay value is high. It is a fighting game so playing against your friends is always a treat. The game gets an 8/10 for being nostalgic and a refreshing look at the series. The game is available for the Xbox 360 and PS3. Happy Gaming.