Anyone who ventured into an Arcade in the late 1990′s will no doubt remember Mortal Kombat and still get a shiver down their spine when they hear the words ‘Get Over Here’ – the mutterings from a masked man before he launches a spear at his opponent. Or maybe ‘fonder’ memories will be cast over the huge debate about blood and violence displayed in video games. But now we have the reboot, will we be left with memories of a game that once was or is this a worthy champion on its own?

When playing Mortal Kombat for the first time we were immediately impressed with the bold, chunky fighters on screen which almost look 3D against the superb backdrops. This first impression lasted right through to the combo’s and special moves that each fighter has in their arsenal that have been faithfully recreated and even enhanced.
Mortal Kombat 2011 game review PlayEject
Before we get into the fighting we do have one gripe – as soon as the game loads the downloadable content screen appears and asks if you want to purchase anything. It feels a little bit cheeky even though you can quit out of the loadup of this dlc screen. But get past that and you are given a decent amount of options and game types ranging from the standard ‘Story’ Mode to the Arcade Towers and the Tower Challenge – all of which add to the fun.

If you’ve played Mortal Kombat 3 onwards before then you’ll probably be familiar with the set up of the progression – simple enough, you start at the bottom of a tower and must fight each opponent in turn to get to the top where you are crowned champion. Different levels of difficulty set the tower height and opponent’s toughness.

The Tower Challenge is a new addition that sees you also start at the foot of a long list of Kombatants which must be defeated but by completing different objectives on the way. We found this was an ideal way to get back into the swing of the Mortal Kombat series as it introduces you to the characters, moves and special moves gently but also adds a sense of accomplishment.

Then there’s the all-new Story mode. A nice addition to the game modes that sees the Mortal Kombat tournament played out like a film as you take control of each fighter for a series of bouts which progresses the entire story as a whole rather than each character having silly individual mini-plots. Its a good idea to do this as fighting games with ‘story modes’ rarely work whereas Mortal Kombat works very well as you get to play as each character in a series of different challenges.

As you fight and complete objectives in the different game modes you will earn Koins that can be spent in the Krypt as you see fit. Here you will unlock various goodies from concept art or music to new game modes. Its nothing amazing but does give you another sense of something worth accomplishing.

But how do the characters fair in a fight? Well given the series has always been about Kombo’s, special moves and Finishers, this Mortal Kombat reboot captures everything brilliantly. All the original moves have been revamped to look brilliant in HD and the new moves, especially the X-Ray moves, are a great addition.

The X-Ray moves is a special Kombo that can be unleashed after you’ve done enough damage to an opponent and filling your power meter at the bottom of the screen. Once you’ve maxed this out you can perform a series of bone crunching impact moves that do massive damage. The icing on the top of this is the way the camera pans in to an X-Ray shot of the poor individual on the receiving end where ribs can seen cracking or arms breaking. Great fun in the spirit of the Mortal Kombat name.Mortal Kombat 2011 game review PlayEject

We did notice that using the dual action stick to move our fighters around could go horribly wrong. Being a bit too sensitive at times, the stick might cause you to jump when you just wanted to dash forward or back, for example. Using the d-pad is a no-go as you just can’t recreate the famous diagonal moves. Its a minor gripe though as after a mammoth Tower Challenge session we found ourselves doing more of what we meant to do on purpose.

Online, Mortal Kombat excels. Join up with a tag match and the fights can last twice as long with a decent opponent (who’s not just learned every single move for one character alone). Plenty of game options for online sessions means there’s always a few good games available to join.

While doing the Mortal Kombat review we found the main beauty was the ease of being able to pick any character and pull off a decent about of Kombo’s and learn a couple of special moves which is enough to have a decent fight. Kombine that (too many K’s!) with the gorgeous graphics and audio as well as the little attention to detail in the areas that count and this is a Klassic!!

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