Mortal Kombat is the revamped and revitalised ninth instalment in the legendary and world renowned Mortal Kombat fighting game series, developed by NetherRealm Studios and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. The game brings the trademark style of the series with a bang by perfectly fusing this 2D fighting game with 3D graphics, and making it jam-packed with aggression and extreme violence, bringing the franchise back to its fantastic and well loved roots.
The emperor Shao Kahn has brought the thunder god Raiden down to his knees in battle, finally defeating him and about to deliver the final blow to end his life for good. Raiden knows he cannot let Shao Kahn win, and casts a spell upon his now shattered magical amulet, sending it back to the past to give a message to his past self... “He must win”. In order to save the future of the world, first he must change the past, and his past self receives a premonition of the future from the amulet. Coming to the conclusion that in order to prevent the events he foresaw from becoming true, Raiden must now decipher his future self’s message, and save the future. It is up to you to rewrite history.
The combat system has been re-engineered and refined, making it a highly competitive experience that can appeal to both newcomers to the gameplay, as well as those more skilled at Mortal Kombat that want to incorporate more strategy. Each character has a basic set of moves as well as standard special attacks and combos that are easy for any player to use from the get go, whereas stringing together attacks and juggling moves require more skill and experience. Gameplay has been designed to be both deliberate and savage, making each special move and Fatality that you execute more visceral than the last, appealing to even the most bloodthirsty of Mortal Kombat fans.
The fighting engine brings back all the incredible violence and gore that the series has become renowned for, as well as adding in gruesome sound effects that accompany the grisly kills that will make your skin crawl. An interesting new feature has been introduced called the super gauge that fills as you both give and receive damage, and which is split into three segments that you can spend in different ways. Spending one segment enhances your character’s special moves, spending two segments means you can break out of your foe’s combo, and spending three will unleash a devastating, bone crunching x-ray attack. The x-ray attack can completely decimate your opponent and also turn the tide of a fight, showcasing the damage your character does to an enemy via x-ray, even showing bones breaking in the most painful of ways.
Alongside the single player storyline, the game can be played in both traditional one-on-one or in a two-on-two tag battle that allows up to four people to play at once, which adds for variety in gameplay as more characters playing introduces a range of tag battle specific moves. There is also the single player Challenge Tower, which is a collection of three hundred tasks that aim to put every gaming and combat skill you have learnt from playing Mortal Kombat to the test. With such a wide range of gameplay, combat, modes, multiplayer options, and vast amounts of bonus content to buy, this ninth instalment of Mortal Kombat is easily head and shoulders above the rest. Finish him! (Cat Emerson)
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