The Mortal Kombat franchise has withstood the test of time. One of the few fighting franchises that decided to stick through the lull in the genre during the early 21st century, the Mortal Kombat series has gone through a reboot for the next generations of systems with moderate results.
The thing about this installment is that it seems to be a game for the fans. All the characters for Mortal Kombat I, II and III are in the game, with a few extra surprises to be thrown in. Fan favorites such as Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Johnny Cage, Jax and Kung Lao return.
The character selection is massive, with more downloadable characters soon on the horizon. With all but two of the characters unlocked from the start, there is not one overbalanced character that will be spammed by everyone online.
The fighting engine has been revamped, but kept similar to previous Mortal Kombat games. Instead of only controlling whether the character is throwing high or low punches or kicks, this new engine assigns a button for each limb, similar to the Tekken series. Massive combos are still the name of the game, but they are not as easy to pull off as before.
Mortal Kombat also debuts a “super bar,” which can either be used to enhance a special move, break an opponent’s combo or unleash a devastating “X-ray” move on an opponent.
Although the online modes will be the main draw for this game, a lot of credit must be paid to the story mode. Mortal Kombat sports the most comprehensive plot to be seen in a fighting game. Spanning over five hours, the story mode takes gamers through the first three games in the series, but through an alternate timeline.
Aside from the story mode, there is also the standard arcade mode, where players take a certain character through several combatants before taking on a sub-boss, of either Kintaro or Goro, and finally, Shao Kahn. You know it is Mortal Kombat when the sub-bosses and final boss are as cheap as computer-controlled characters can go. Mortal Kombat also sports a challenge mode, which takes players through 300 different challenges, something that will be enough to keep the new players entertained for a while, but gives the veterans an objective to conquer.
Online play is strong as well, offering a king-of-the-hill setting, like an old arcade. Winner stays, everyone else gets to watch.
Although it’s not perfect, Mortal Kombat has more than enough to keep even the most casual fans entertained for a long time. You know the fighting-game genre is back in all of its glory when a very good installment of the MK franchise hits stores. The story is strong, the gameplay is stronger and the content available in the package is out of this world. So whether you’re looking to rip your opponent’s head off or just looking for some good nostalgic fighting action, Mortal Kombat is your game.