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Mortal Kombat (2011) Hands-on

Previews - Multi Platform

Written by Eric Dionne
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As you all know, Glitchy Tasty is back from PAX East 2011 and man do we have a lot to talk about. For starters, I have to go with the main reason I wanted to go to PAX this year... Mortal Kombat! The game is amazing. I played it six times and still wish I played it more! So, are you curious as to who was in the build I played (hint: it wasn't just the four characters from the demo)? Curious as to how it played? Well, come on in and read all about it in this hands-on article on the new Mortal Kombat game!

While many PSN+ users were busy playing the four character demo over the weekend, I was able to play as and see 16 total characters. Not only did this build have Mileena, Johnny Cage, Scorpion and Sub-zero (available in the PSN demo), but it had 12 more characters: Nightwolf, Sektor, Cyrax, Jax, Kitana, Kano, Sonya, Ermac, Reptile, Noob, Liu Kang and Kung Lao. I had the chance to play as all but Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Sektor, Liu Kang and Kung Lao. I'm just bored with Sub-Zero and Scorpion, I never liked Liu Kang, and always stunk with Kung Lao. As for Sektor... I have no problems with him, but I wanted to be Johnny Cage a 2nd time because he's my favorite character. Here's an image of the characters we could choose at PAX. I couldn't take pics of the game, but the only ones missing here from the build I played are Liu Kang, Ermac, Noob and Kano:


Let's talk gameplay. Mortal Kombat plays like a dream. It has the standard MK mechanics of special moves and the classic MK uppercut. But instead of long combos, you get maybe a 2-3 move chain that you can follow up with attacks and specials, with some even leading right into the new X-ray moves. These X-ray moves are so awesome. While some might get sick of them, I personally never get sick of anything in the Mortal Kombat universe as far as moves go. I saw many X-ray attacks and also used some myself. Every time it just looked so detailed, brutal, and awesome.

The fatalities were the best thing I have ever seen in Mortal Kombat. Not only do we get 3-4 per character, but they're all so violent and gory, it's amazing that this game will even be released. I was able to play 6 matches, performed 3 fatalities, and I only lost my 1st and last matches. Jax crushes your head and then rips off your arms, Sonya does her MK4 leg split in half move, and those aren't even the best ones. The winner of most violent fatality so far goes to Noob. Him and his shadow self each grab a leg and rip you in half. If this video that someone filmed at PAX still works, enjoy:

Graphically, the game is ridiculously clean. The character models are the best they've ever been. You can truly see the emotions on each of their faces, see blood drip off and stick to them, and they even take battle damage! Nothing is cooler than a hard fought battle, performing a finisher, and seeing Scorpion's skull peeking out from the front of his mask with blood all over him. The level designs looked amazing and the sound was perfect. The forest stage even had its MK 2 music! I also had the chance to see and play MK in 3D for a little bit, and it works very well. The 3D ability really gives the backgrounds and characters more depth (duh, right?). Kung Lao's deflected hat flies towards you, when a tag character is knocked out they fly towards or away from the screen but seem to go at you or off into the distance, and the gore looks even more intense due to the added 3D effects, making it feel more in-your-face.

I tried all three controllers, and I must say they all work very well. The Arcade stick, however, might need some remapping as hitting L2+R2 for an X-ray attack just does not flow. You see, L2 is on the top center of the stick near the start and dashboard buttons, whereas R2 is in the center of the buttons since it is also block. But if remapped, I'm sure it'll be fine. I personally liked the Xbox 360 controller, but I am a bit biased here as I don't like the analog placement of the PS3 controllers, and personally never liked Sony controllers going back to PS1. Oddly enough though, only one of my two losses were on the PS3 controller, the other was on Xbox 360.


The last thing to mention is the kick ass tag team mode. Ed Boon honestly knows what fans want when making games. As we know, all fighters have character specific intros and outros... In tag mode, they have specific tag animations. Sub-zero freezes and fades away, Scorpion leaves in hellfire, and Sektor hovers into the background and backs away Iron Man-style, with jets in his palms.

I cannot wait for this game. I'm going to go download the demo in a minute. Even though it'll be a dumbed down version of what I played at PAX, it's still going to be way too fun. April 19th just won't come here fast enough. This game may truly be my Game of the Year, and it already is my new favorite Mortal Kombat game. That itself is a hard thing to say, because I love MK2. So until you read my review of the final version of the game sometime after April 19th, rest assured that this game will blow you away. With its upgraded fighting style, graphics, and amazingly large supply of kontent, Mortal Kombat will be a contender for Game of the Year, and also Fighting Game of the Year. If it doesn't, then people truly do not know what great games are anymore. For fun, here's the latest Mortal Kombat vignette:

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