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Mortal Kombat (2011) Review

Review; Aug. 29, 2011; Channels: Video Games; By Ryan Goodman
NetherRealm brings back MK in all its glory

The fighting game genre has seen a resurgence over the last few years, spearheaded by new entries in classic series, such as Street Fighter IV. But one combatant that had been on the sidelines until just recently is arguably the one that’s changed video games the most: Mortal Kombat. Now the classic franchise is back in all its bloody glory, promising to bring it back to its roots. While some of this rebirth is more modernized than its 16-bit forefathers, the base line hasn't changed.

Mortal Kombat Screenshots
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This version of Mortal Kombat is pretty much summed up as a new beginning. WB Game has decided to start the series over at the beginning of the storyline by including a detailed story mode. The new story basically rewrites the events of the original arcade classic, up to Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. Much of the game’s story mode also uses some elements from the 1995 movie version of the original. One of the best things about this mode is that it gives you a chance to try out most of the characters in the game and is a great way to narrow your choices to a favorite for use online and elsewhere.

Like other entries in the series, this version of Mortal Kombat also includes an arcade mode in which you work your way up a ladder of preset opponents, with a few surprises thrown in here and there. Perhaps the biggest new addition has to be tag battles, similar to Capcom’s Vs. series. There’s also new modes such as the Challenge Tower in which you’re given a specific character and have to complete a specific task while in battle. Another old favorite returning is the Test Your Might minigames in which you have to button-mash so you can break a stack of blocks. Also returning from newer entries in the series is the Krypt where you can spend Kurrency that you earn in other modes to unlock various things, from concept art to new fatalities.

While the game play does take a turn to the past, there is a bit of adjusting to be made. The buttons for the high and low kicks and punches are now laid out horizontally, which may throw off some MK veterans at first. Once you’re used to the switch, you’ll have no problem pulling off combos and severing limbs. Another new addition is a throw button which you can use in front of or behind your opponent, as well as in mid-air. They’ve also added stronger special moves, similar to Street Fighter and X-ray attacks that can easily turn the tides in a hotly contested battle. There’s plenty of variety, with more than 32 characters to choose from, and if that’s not enough, the PS3 version also includes Kratos from the God of War series. There’s also four other fighters that can be downloaded as DLC, including horror legend Freddy Krueger.

Mortal Kombat

This is, by far, the best-looking entry in the series. The graphics for the characters and stages are at current-gen standards, and the blood has never looked as gory. This game also features what may have to be the most violent fatalities in the series, with several involving decapitations and splitting your opponent’s body in two. Other fan faves, such as friendships and babalities, are also on hand. The game’s online mode is your basic one for fighting games, featuring lobbies to meet up with opponents and an option to jump straight into a fight, while the music is your basic MK fanfare, with several martial arts-themed and techno tracks.

Overall, WB Games accomplished what it set out to do: bring the Mortal Kombat franchise to its roots, while also moving the franchise into modern gaming. While there are some minor unnecessary changes to get used to, such as the button layout, other new additions are more than welcome. If you are looking for a top contender in the fighting ring that can draw some good blood, then this is definitely the fighter for you.


Review Score


Titles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.

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