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Old 06-22-2010, 11:39 AM   #1
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[E3 2010] Mortal Kombat Preview

This seems to be the year of returning to roots for a lot of video game franchises. We’ve got Sonic coming back to a gameplay and style he never should have left, Need For Speed is getting an entire makeover from a completely different development studio and returning to what most fans felt was the peak of the series, and now Mortal Kombat goes back to make what was old new again and freshen things up in the series.

To start off, this isn’t Mortal Kombat 9 or Mortal Kombat: Return To Blood or whatever…it is, simply, Mortal Kombat. No number, no subtitle, just the name – that’s it. It’s a throwback to Mortal Kombat 1, 2, and 3 and will reference nothing beyond those three games. I’m not even sure they’ll introduce any new characters.

Speaking of characters, while being shown the demo I was able to glance at the character select screen. Eight fighters were available to pick from out of a grid of more than 24 (all the rest were blacked out, no image, nothing…just an empty square). Those eight fighters were Johnny Cage, Kung Lao, Mileena, Nightwolf, Reptile, Sektor, Scorpion, and Sub-Zero.

The characters are rendered in 3D while the backgrounds are 2D…well, more like 2.5D. The levels are definitely on a 2D plane so there’s no side stepping anymore and the 2.5D only comes into play on certain moves when the camera angle shifts slightly for a cinematic effect.

The game plays fast, faster than MK1, 2, or 3 and it also comes with a tag-team mode where you can start a combo with one character and finish it with their tag-team partner. The “rage” meter from the previous MK game (vs. DC Universe) is gone. In its place is a new meter, of which the name escapes me at the moment and come to think of it, I’m not sure they gave it a name. Anyway, there’s 3 sections to the meter that build up as you fight. The first section when used will enhance your basic power move having it deal a slightly larger amount of damage than usual while the second section, when used, is more of a defense mechanic – a combo breaker. However, let the meter build to the 3rd section and you get the X-Ray move. When used, the screen goes dark and we get nice cinematic shots of the bones and organs being broken and bruised inside your opponent’s body as you deal the damage. Cage’s split punch was a highlight of this feature.

That brings me to the point of blood. It’s back and in a big way this time. Character damage happens over the length of a fight and the more you get beaten up, the more it shows. After a fight is over you really do get a sense that your character was just in a pretty brutal battle. Blood on the body, the face, and ripped costumes all go in to add to the effect. And then there are the fatalities. They’re in, they are brutal and some are even over the top, but they are all bloody with hardly any of them lacking in dismemberment of an opponent. And the stage fatalities return as well.

Ed Boon said during the presentation that they were taking this one more seriously in what was going in. He’d said a lot of it had gotten comical over time, but when asked about the hidden fatalities that came in MK2 and MK3, Boon said that even if they were in the game, he wouldn’t say. Just like with those titles, any secrets he wants to be discovered by the players rather than being announced on a PR feature point list.

Expect Mortal Kombat for the PS3 and Xbox 360 sometime next year.
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Old 06-22-2010, 01:35 PM   #2
Adam Blue
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Sounds a lot like the three MK games on the last gen consoles, which I'm glad. Taking out the side stepping is fine, though it was a great way to dodge. I hope they keep in the mini-games and the adventure game.

So far, it sounds like exactly what I wanted - a more refined version on the last gen games.

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Old 06-22-2010, 05:26 PM   #3
Iron Past
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So psyched for this. Soooo psyched.
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Would you kindly?
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mortal kombat, playstation 3, warner bros, xbox 360

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