There have been many fighting games over the years, but none have ever come close to the violent and graphic detail in Warner’s latest, Mortal Kombat. This is one bloody, violent and cringe worthy game, however that is certainly no bad thing, in fact quite the opposite.
The latest Mortal Kombat is certainly feature packed, including what is one of the most comprehensive story modes ever seen in a fighting game, as well as a whole load of other offline and multiplayer options. When you consider the stereoscopic 3D support for the PS3 and its full HD graphics, you can also add some pretty stunning looks to that list as well.
Mortal Kombat’s story certainly won’t have you gripped to the edge of your seat. Basically Shao Kahn is trying to destroy the world and Raiden ends up convincing everyone that fighting in the Mortal Kombat tournament is the only way to stop him. The result is an adventure which sees you fight all manner of enemies, from two arms to four. Some of the fighters also have rather big teeth (yes big enough to eat you with my dear). It’s a ridiculous plot if truth be told, however it’s not the plot that matters it’s the fighting along the way, and I tell you what, that couldn’t be any better even if you were zapped into the game and taking on the fighters in real life.
As with any fighting games it’s all about mastering your characters moves. The beauty of the story is that in each chapter you will take control of a different fighter, therefore you are already getting some good training in with each of them. Pulling of the basic moves is also fairly simple, most characters have a reasonably power move which can be executed easily and if you want to go all advanced against the enemy then there is always the list of character moves which can be found by pressing the start button.
Besides pulling of the moves, during the fight there is also the super gauge to make use of. The gauge can be filled in three parts, filling one segment makes your special move stronger, two helps you get out of an opponent’s combo and spending the lot pulls off a quite stunning X-Ray attack which shows every bone breaking hit; warning look away when you pull this move off if you are of a squeamish nature.
Elsewhere in the single player mode, apart from the usual options such as Arcade ladder and the like, you also have access to The Challenge Tower which includes 300 specific challenges, asking you to Test Your Might, Sight, Strike and Luck. When you complete a challenge you are rewarded with in-game currency. If you wish you can use the currency as an option to by-pass some of the tougher challenges, which believe me is a blessing in disguise.
On the multiplayer side Mortal Kombat is absolutely packed with features. As well as the ability to play offline with up to four friends, you can also take part in the Tag Team Mode which sees you team up with a friend against up to two online opponents for some four on four tag team action. There is also the new The King of the Hill mode, seeing up to eight players watching in on fights, before playing against the winner. Also included here is a rating system allowing spectators to rate the battle after it’s over. It all feels a bit like having your mates around and waiting patiently for your turn, which is of course rather awesome.
Fatalities do of course return for this round of Mortal Kombat, although they are not available in the story mode. Instead they are left for all of the other modes, bringing some of the most stomach churning, over the top gore we have seen in a fighter yet. While these moves when pulled off are not for the light hearted, there is still something which tingles inside when you manage them. If you are worried about getting the Fatalities to work, there is a training mode which has been specifically designed to help you. Now you have no excuses.
Graphically Mortal Kombat looks absolutely fantastic. The environments in which the fighting is set are colourful and outlandish in nature, while the fighters have never looked so good. The X-Ray effect in particular is both gruesome and extremely detailed, making you cringe every time you see these moves pulled off. If I had one complaint it would be that you can’t skip the cutscenes in the story mode, which is particularly annoying if you have saved the game and have to go back to watch the same scene again.
The sound is also of highly quality, with every bone crunching hit sounding like it was happening right next to you, making you almost stretch out to call an ambulance. Add to this the excellent voice work, and presentation wise you have a pretty great all rounder.
As well as all the single player and multiplayer modes, you also have access to quite a few extras, ranging from concept and design art to alternative costumes, game modes, new fatalities and parts of the soundtrack. There really is plenty to unlock, so you should be kept quite busy should you be a bit of a perfectionist.
Mortal Kombat is a stunning fighter, the moment you turn it on there is something special about it and not for one minute does it let up. Sure there are plenty of fighters out there but Mortal Kombat is head and shoulders above the rest, well providing it can keep its head on its shoulders.
You can order Mortal Kombat from ShopTo here.