‘Mortal Kombat’ amps up the violenceWritten by Michael Siebenaler | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The latest reinvention of the “Mortal Kombat” game franchise, which began in the early ’90s, keeps fans in mind while ramping up the gore, violent content and, surprisingly, the profanity. Fighting game fans should not have any problems playing this game, as you can randomly “button mash” for a while — until you need to learn special moves, combos and fatalities for each playable character.
A new X-Ray feature lets players see opponents’ insides while fighting them while series standards remain including the shock value character deaths and scantily and impractically dressed female characters. Game features include the traditional 1 vs. 1 match plus online tournaments, “king of the hill” mode, new spectator participation and headset options. Tim Mackley and I weigh in respectively on the Xbox 360 version and the PlayStation 3 version, which includes an exclusive Stereoscopic 3-D feature.
Mackley: “Mortal Kombat” is visually impressive but to me seems very much like the same old fighting game.
Siebenaler: The visual production mixes 3-D action while retaining that 2-D feel. Even the familiar fighting arena format and the timing in the methodical movements feel the same.
Mackley: Players looking for the quick thrill still use great finishing moves and witness progressive damage as they pummel opponents. Clothes rip, muscles bruise and blood flows. As the game mechanic response time and quick reflex increases, so will the level of play. The effort is worth it when you experience the always entertaining results.
Siebenaler: Developers add a few scares for additional shocks. No room for a “gore off” option here. It’s all or nothing as veteran players just get more of the same game elements.
Mackley: Graphics are impressive, with fairly epic settings and backgrounds. Battle sequences are almost too bloody and cut scenes are graphic in the depiction of what would in real life be grievous death-inflicting wounds. It’s disappointing.
Siebenaler: The bone-crunching sound effects and 3-D effects help a little, but are not enough for a high recommendation.
“Mortal Kombat: Songs Inspired by the Warriors” music soundtrack is available as are Kollector and Tournament editions of the game (**1/2, rated M for blood and gore, intense violence, partial nudity, and strong language).
— Michael Siebenaler with Tim Mackley