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Mortal Kombat Demo: First Impressions

Thursday, March 10th, 2011 by

PlayStation Plus members were given the chance to demo the upcoming Mortal Kombat reboot, due to hit stores on April 19. I sat down with it and I’m pleased to report that the bitch is back.

And by that, I mean the spirit of Mortal Kombat. For years the series has been marked by lackluster offshoots of what Mortal Kombat once represented: bloody good times. After spending a couple of hours with the demo, I can say with confidence that the fighting series has returned to its roots at last.

The demo allows you to play only a handful of characters from what looks to be a giant roster: Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Mileena, and, of all people, Johnny Cage. The 3D models are well-done and manage to evoke the same kind of kitschy grandeur that the digitized sprites did back in the 90s. Even the controls feel as they did back then, albeit smoother, with most of the special moves requiring the series’ signature style of directional taps.

The inclusion of a power meter allows you to execute juiced up versions of your special moves, at the expense of meter, of course, and a full meter allows you to pull off your character’s “X-Ray Attack”, which is a brutal combo that shows your opponent’s bones shattering and splitting from the impact. It sounds much crazier than it actually looks; Street Fighter IV’s ultra combos are a lot flashier by comparison. But it’s still a nice addition.

And of course, Fatalities are back and they’re every bit as gruesome and ridiculous as you might imagine. They are, after all, the most defining aspect of Mortal Kombat. The demo only allows you preview one for each of the four characters. Rather than describe them to you, I’ll just let you watch:

(If you aren’t fond of entrails and decapitations, then you may consider not watching)

These are in stark contrast to the watered-down finishers we saw in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, and seemingly more violent than the fatalities of yore, though that’s probably because of today’s superior graphic capabilities.

Each character in the demo seems to have a solid move set and everything appears to be balanced relatively well. We’ll see for sure when the game finally hits retail in April. I think I’m actually looking forward to playing it, though I can’t imagine picking it up at launch while I’m so far behind on all the other stuff I want to finish.

The Mortal Kombat Demo is available now for PlayStation Plus members, and will become available for non-plus members on March 15th and sometime later for Xbox Live.

About the Author

Mark A. Brooks uses the A. initial in his name so as to seperate himself from the teeming legions of other Mark Brookses (there are at least 65,000 in the state of Michigan alone). Keep up with him on twitter, because why not. @unoriginalG

Mark A. Brooks has written 633 posts on Delta Attack
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  • Markham Asylum

    Those fatalities are hilariously overdone. This does indeed look like a return to the glory days of MK.

    Still waiting for the gaytalities, though…