Recently I was invited for a preview event in my city for the upcoming and the so called reboot of the Mortal Kombat franchise. Admit it or not, ever since the dawn of the new century, the franchise has been sinking and it desperately needed an effort from the developers to save this legendary franchise from turning into nothing but a game that will collect dust on my table.
Mortal Kombat was first shown at last year’s E3, promising a return to the roots of the original 1990’s classic gameplay. Being a Mortal Kombat fan for years, I am very glad to report that the latest build of the game ensures that the final retail version will mark a historical change for the franchise. At the event I was able to get hands on the Ladder Mode which is nothing but your classical Tournament mode where you will select a character from your favourite roaster of fighters. The one thing you will notice straight away is the look and feel of the game which will remind you of the old Mortal Kombat games. The Ladder Mode has three difficulty levels: easy, medium and hard, though I will really like to see more options in the final retail version as most of the modern games have moved on from the classical three way approach to the difficulty settings.
The most amazing thing that Netherrealm Studios have implemented is the realism factor. It’s safe to say that this reboot is perhaps the most realistic fighting game in the series. Every character has a different set of moves, some new and some old classics returning. Much of the gameplay remains the same as compared to its predecessors with a much better approach to technical fighting. Whether it be the freeze move from Sub Zero or the “get over here” slang from Scorpion, this is Mortal Kombat, finally true to its roots. Each of the characters have a multiple number of moves, all accessible via an in-built command list. It’s nice to see the developers moving away from the complex combos to simpler ones, whilst maintaining the fun factor at an all time high in the game.
Much like Marvel Versus Capcom 3, Mortal Kombat also employs a power meter which will fill if you are being hit or when you are inflicting damage (albeit a bit slowly) to your opponent. When you will fill up the power meter, you will be able to perform X-ray moves. These moves are nothing but scripted events and trust me, they are insanely brutal. For example when the X-Ray move is initiated for Kitana, she will take out her daggers, poke them at opponents’ head and then the eyes. All of this looks insane, and even though I would have liked to have more user interaction in the form of quick time events, it still is very satisfying. X-ray moves may get repetitive after some time but I am pretty sure it won’t get old for many users.
Any Mortal Kombat can’t be a Mortal Kombat game, if it does not have fatalities in it. As you guys know that ever since the 1990’s, fatalities in the franchise were becoming bland and Netherrealm Studios have made sure that the unfortunate trend won’t continue in the reboot. Fatalities are immensely satisfying and brutal (colour me red!) with the likes of Kung Lao using his “legendary” hat to cut off his opponents’ head. Then you have Scorpion using his sword from “hell” to chop off limbs and toss his opponent’s head in the air and cut it two pieces. All in all, Fatalities are back with a bang.
After playing through Mortal Kombat for an hour, I am very pleased with the way the developers are handling the game. The graphics are shaping up nicely with catchy, familiar background scores from previous Mortal Kombat games. I also witnessed some frame rate issues, the game would lag if there is too much going in the background. I hope that the final version will be bug free and these irritating lag issues won’t be present. It will be interesting to see how this one will churn out. Till then, keep it here at GamingBolt.com.