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With so many fighting games out there throughout the years of the industry; It’s safe to say that Mortal Kombat is arguably the most iconic in the genre, for many reasons; Unique and iconic immortal/mortal characters, the combination of weapons with physically impossible special moves, a dark and almost hellish universe that is unrivalled by any other Beat-em’-up, Sonya Blade (mmmmm), and, of course, the Fatalities, ALWAYS the Fatalities. It’s these aspects that have led Mortal Kombat to be the genre-defining franchise it is known to be now. So knowing that Mortal Kombat is making a mighty comeback, a lot hangs in the balance.
2008’s Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe was surprisingly… decent. But it was the lack of ultra-violence within the game that prevented it from receiving any more respect, particularly from hardcore MK fans that will see the violence being just as important as the gameplay itself. Well, fans can rejoice. 2011’s Mortal Kombat returns to what it does best, overly-unnecessary and gruesome ways of disposing your rival, even after you have beaten them into a great big bloody pulp.
Just like MK vs. DC Universe; there’s a very satisfying fighting system with all playable characters. Anyone who has played Mortal Kombat (for those of you who haven’t… *sigh*) will find both the basic and advanced combos to be pretty familiar, and very accessible to both newcomers and veterans of the series. The only problem is the powerful moves may perhaps be easy to exploit. Either way, whether it’s the most basic moves, or the relentlessly savage combos, each and every hit looks like it really hurts, courtesy of the great looking character models and booming audio.
The visual presentation of the game is very impressive. With all the classic arena’s that we all love from the years of PS1 and SNES, they have received a dynamic HD makeover, alongside the character models. More gruesome touches are added to the gameplay, including visual injuries. Just like in MK vs. DC Universe, but with more graphic detail. So even after succeeding from a challenging battle; you could come out of it looking like a broken wreck of a mortal. Another welcoming mechanic for the bloodthirsty is “X-ray moves”. Fill up a bar at the bottom of your screen by beating up your enemy (or receiving a few hits yourself), and you will then be allowed to initiate a move that zooms up close to see the damage made under the skin of your victim, from stomachs rupturing, to skulls and ribs shattering, not to mention the nauseating knee in the groin. Although easy to achieve, they are very satisfying, particularly when fighting a friend in multiplayer, and can sometimes make the difference between winning and losing.
Essentially, impressions tell me that this is pretty much THE Mortal Kombat game that fans have been waiting for; super gory attacks and mental moves, a dark and delicious art direction, and a satisfying and very accessible combat system. Mix all this with a “Tag Team” mode newly introduced to the series, and God of War’s ultra-savage baldy Kratos as a playable character exclusively on PS3; it’s pretty damn unlikely that you’re going to find a greater comeback of 2011 than this.
Will this game be a flawless victory? Find out once it’s released on April 21st.