Mortal Kombat has been to some strange worlds and seems to be coming back again with the demo that was showed off at E3. After waiting in line for about an hour to get into what appeared to be a section of dungeon with corpses decorating the outside, I was treated to what looks to be one of the best MK’s since the first two.
There were only a handful of characters available for the demo but those that were listed were: Scorpion, Sub Zero, Reptile, Nightwolf, Kung Lao, Mileena, Sektor, and Johnny Cage. I got to see a few stages as well from The Pit to Kahn’s Coliseum and all were nicely detailed with updated graphics and background animations. Instead of a 3D fighting plain the series has gone back to the traditional 2D plain which means no more sidestepping attacks, it’s all back to the basics baby. The characters themselves also looked great with loose clothing moving appropriately and blood staying on the characters throughout the entire fight. Not only were the characters looking good but they moved and performed with fluid attacks that led into each other. You won’t find any canned animations in any of the characters either, each character has his/her own unique set of animations that determine how they will react to attacks and dish out the punishment.
The visuals aren’t the only things getting a make over, new to the MK series is the ability to tag team. You can choose two different fighters to play with but it was said that you want to choose two players that compliment each other, not just your two favorite characters. Having the tag team system built this way adds just that much more depth to the fighting system. Also within the tag team system is the ability to call in your alternate to deliver an attack while you are juggling an opponent or being juggled yourself. This allows for a way out of a corner should you find yourself in one. There are also different entrance moves for each character when you switch them in so you can keep up the offensive.
Another new mechanic is a gauge on the bottom of the screen that fills up when you perform a number of offensive or defensive moves. If you save it up enough you can perform an “X-Ray” move which delivers a nasty and brutal combination of blows that can do up to 66% damage.
And of course, fatalities are back in all their glory, each character having their own finishing move which are extremely deserving of the “M” rating. Look forward to this comeback of the classic fighter in Spring 2011 on Xbox 360 and PS3.