Mortal Kombat Preview
By: PlayStation Pro 2.0 Staff on February 15, 2011
The ninth installment of the Mortal Kombat series shares the same exact name as the first game that started it all, so as you can guess, it's more or less a reboot of Mortal Kombat 1 through 3. In a nutshell, after the events of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon (the 7th game in the series), Raiden is about to be killed by Shao Kahn. At the last moment, he uses his powers to send a mental message to himself back during the Mortal Kombat 1 time frame.
The Raiden from Mortal Kombat 1 receives the message from himself in the future and he doesn't quite understand the message yet, but as the story continues, he begins to understand and his knowledge of the future changes his actions and thus alters the familiar timeline of Mortal Kombat 1 - 3. We're not going to spoil any of the changes in the story -- you'll have to play the game and find out for yourself.
However, we will gladly talk in detail about the gameplay and graphics, which should please old school fans of the series, while still be accessible to casual players.
First of all, the fighters and levels will be rendered in 3D but will be restricted to a single 2D fighting plane. We admire that the developers were always trying new things and ideas with the last few titles in the MK series, but having the game completely in 3D just didn't work very well. It was something that long time fans missed having in their Mortal Kombat games. Bring the gameplay back into a 2D fighting plane like the original trilogy with modern 3D graphics is considered by most to be a huge step in the right direction.
Perhaps the most obvious disappointment among fans in the previous Mortal Kombat title, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, was the toned down violence, which resulted in a "teen rating" by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). This 2011 reboot of MK will retain the violence, gore, and over the top fatalities that fans adore. All and all, each character will have two fatalities to choose from.
A new addition to enhance the gameplay is something they are simply calling a "super meter." This meter has 3 levels to it and it charges when you dish out damage or take damage. Charge up your super meter high enough and you will be able to enhance a special attack, interrupt a combo, or perform an x-ray move that is essentially a super combo that will have the camera zoom in on an x-ray view of your opponent's insides as you attack them. You can see their bones break and organs quiver like Jell-O as you hit them. See the Mileena video below for a demonstration.
Two vs two tag team mode will make an appearance and when you tag in another character, it will drain your energy bar a bit, but you can build it up again by damaging your opponents.
How about an online mode? Yes, it's here too. And NetherRealm Studios is promising that it will be something that they will focus on heavily, instead of making it something they put together at the last minute. For example, one online mode will be "King of the Hill" with up to 8 players taking turns watching matches and playing against the winner.
The Challenge Tower mode is like an arcade ladder. And finally, let's not forget the beefed up story mode that will be more involving than previous Mortal Kombat titles.
The PlayStation 3 version of Mortal Kombat will contain two exclusives not found in the Xbox 360 version. Kratos from the very successful God of War franchise will be playable in the versus mode with most of his signature moves. The PS3 version will also have stereoscopic 3D support.
Here is the current character list for the 2011 version of Mortal Kombat:
Mortal Kombat 2011 Character List
Kratos (PS3 Version Only)
Shao Kahn and Goro will be bosses but it's unclear if they will be playable. Expect other unlockable hidden characters in the final game.
Soon after release, there will be downloadable content (DLC) that will add even more fighters to the roster. Other possible DLCs include extra arenas and maybe even extra fatalities. And for those of you who despise paying for downloadable features, look forward to a huge assortment of unlockable extras already on the disc. MK co-creator, Ed Boon, says it will put other fighting games to shame in terms of unlockable content.
Reboots of games and movies have been popular these days and while most of them have been a miss, we have a feeling this will be a hit. We'll have more on the 2011 version of Mortal Kombat at a later date.