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Mortal Kombat (2011) Preview

Previews - Multi Platform

Written by Eric Dionne
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Finally, in just three short weeks, Mortal Kombat will arrive! It's been almost 15 years since we've had a 2D-style Mortal Kombat game, and I for one cannot wait! We've all played the demo, I played the 16 character PAX demo, and we've all been patiently waiting for April 19th.

So here, I will tell you all we know so far about this game. You'll find out who's in the game, what arenas there are, and some rumored but most likely accurate content. Be warned, there is a huge spoiler alert for this preview. But if you're like me... you want to know anything and everything about this amazing new Mortal Kombat. So choose your destiny, because here is the Mortal Kombat preview!

So I bet many of you are wondering a few things. First of all, yes, I have played the hell out of the four character MK demo on PS3, and the demo alone is amazing. But, when Glitchy Tasty went to PAX East 2011, we all had the chance to play a 16-character demo of the game, and it was awesome. But rather than list those (since you can read it on my MK Hands-on article), here's a screenshot of the character select menu in the game. I'll list them below, for those who for some reason do not know every MK character there is like the fanatic that I am (and there's a big fat spoiler right in this image):

charselect

So here it is, the character select screen. From left to right, starting at the top, we have: Scorpion, Liu Kang, Kung Lao, Sub-Zero, Sindel, Ermac, Reptile, Kitana, Johnny Cage(hell yea!), Jade, Mileena, Nightwolf, Cyrax, Noob Saibot, Smoke, Sektor, Sonya, Jax, Kano, Stryker, Shang Tsung, Baraka, Kabal, Raiden, DLC slot player 1 (which currently shows Cyber Sub-Zero...yes... Cyber Sub-Zero), Sheeva, Quan Chi, and DLC Slot Player 2.

Now, the DLC slots are there so both players can cycle through DLC at same time. As you can see there's an arrow on each side of the DLC slots, indicating that if you press it, it will cycle through. In this game, Kratos and Cyber Sub-Zero go in this category, plus any hidden characters or future DLC. We have also seen Goro and Shao Kahn, and it's been proven that Kintaro is confirmed to be in the game.

In the next image it shows Kintaro as DLC, but it's since been mentioned that the article got that wrong, and he's just hidden. This image also shows the first two DLC characters; good old Kenshi (who I predicted would be in), and the "Lady in Red" who is most widely assumed to be named Skarlett. Skarlett was initially a glitch in MK2 that was simply a red Kitana. This occurred because the woman who portrayed the MK2 palette swapped females wore a red outfit when doing motion capture work. Sometimes this red would appear. Now here she is, finally a character, just like how Ermac was an accidental red Scorpion.

dlc_magscan

We still do not know if Shao Kahn, Goro, and Kintaro will be playable characters. Most likely they'll be unlocked in the game, since Shao Kahn isn't much bigger than the others, and Goro hunches downward, making his height comparable to the others. If only they'd arrange it so they had normal damage ratios in comparison to the other fighters in VS mode, but keep them stronger in Arcade and Story mode. I think that'd be wise. Smoke and Sheeva have recently been confirmed with the character select screens, but we have yet to see them in action. It's cool that we see human smoke, but I wonder about something. Since Human Smoke is in, and we get Cyber Sub-Zero despite already have a human Sub-Zero AND Noob Saibot (spectre of MK1 Sub-Zero), will we get Cyber Smoke? Let's hope so.

Now that you know all the characters (with Boon also rumoring Rain for future DLC or even hidden in the game as well, being he's the only one missing from UMK3), here is a list of all the arenas, complete with renders:

The Armory

armory

The Bell Tower

belltower

The Training Dojo

trainingdojo

The Courtyard (Day) and (Night)

courtyardday

courtyardnight

The Deadpool

deadpool

The Desert

desert

Flesh Pits/The Lab

fleshpits

Goro's Lair

goroslair

The Graveyard

graveyard

The Nettherrealm/Hell

hell

Kahn's Arena

kahnsarena

The Living Forest

livingforest

The Pit (Night) & (Day)

pitnight

pitday

The Pit Bottom

pitbottom

The Rooftop (Dawn), (Day) & (Dusk)

rooftopdawnrooftopday

rooftopnight

Shang Tsung's Throne Room

shangsthroneroom

Shao Kahn's Throne Room

kahnsthroneroom

The Flame of Olympus (PS3 Exclusive)

flameofolympus

The Soul Chamber

soulchamber

Shang Tsung's Garden (Day) & (Night)

statuegardenday

statuegardennight

The Street

street

The Subway

subway

The Temple

temple

The Tower/Evil Monastery

tower

The Wastelands

wastelands

Wow... That's a lot of arenas. Even if we include the day/night arenas as 1 stage, that's still 24 stages (23 for Xbox 360 due to Flames of Olympus being a PS3 exclusive). That's about 4x the stages than Marvel vs. Capcom 3... pretty staggering. That's not including future possibilities with DLC. But if we DO include the varied times of day (as some are drastically different, like the rooftops), that's 30 levels for PS3. That's amazing. I for one cannot wait to fight in the classic MK 1 courtyard, or in the bottom of the pit.

So now that that's all out there, let's talk about game modes! As we all know there's a Story mode, which we still know little about. The only thing I know for certain is the story starts during MK1's tournament, and will progress through the UMK3 storyline. Things will obviously change due to future Raiden sending a message to MK1 Raiden (or is it Rayden? I mean that's how he spelled his name in MK1). We already know instead of Smoke being captured and turned into a cyborg... it happened to Sub-Zero, who previously escaped this fate. The question is, since Noob Saibot exists... and he is the undead spectre of MK1 Sub-Zero... is Cyber Sub-Zero merely an extra character for VS mode like Kratos? Is he in the actual storyline? Is he the reanimated corpse of MK1 Sub-Zero without a soul? I am excited to find out!

challenge_tower

One new feature in the MK universe is the Training mode/Fatality Training mode. Finally, we can practice with our characters! Now I can be a truly dangerous force with Johnny Cage in combos, moves, and fatalities. This will benefit many of us who have trouble with fatalities. The trick is, hold Block. Many people don't realize that since MK1, you can get into position, hold Block, input the directions, release Block, and press the final button. Usually this makes the fatality more likely to work, and you won't randomly throw an attack at the end; at least they don't when I do it.

Also in this game, we have good old Arcade ladder mode. In this mode, as always, you face a number of opponents until you get to the boss; in this case it seems to be Shao Kahn and a battle with Goro as well. But on top of this, we get Tag Ladder mode. Same basic premise, but you use two characters in a tag battle format. It's been rumored that two human players can play this mode together, which makes sense to me. Then there's VS mode. Here you can choose 1-on-1 or 2-on-2 matches, plain and simple. Then we move to online mode. This is basically VS mode, but online.

As a treat, here's a video of most, if not all of the X-ray moves and Fatalities we've seen so far:

The mode we're all waiting for, though, is the challenge tower. Here. you face off against 300 different challenges, each with their own unique stipulation. Some involve throwing grenades into a bucket, others are mini-games such as Test your Might, Sight, and Strike. In Test Your Might, you have to break the object, and in Test Your Sight, you have to play a shell game (severed head game?), and find the ball. In Test Your Strike, your character attempts to break a specific brick and not the whole stack of them. But the best one in my opinion, is Test Your Luck. Here you have a slot machine wheel that randomly picks stipulations, as I mentioned in the hands-on article. This mode, where you never know what insane stipulation you may face, is just awesome to me. The best part is, it's confirmed to be its own mode in the game thanks to the challenge tower video.

On the PS3 side of things, we get a special treat, good old God of War "hero" Kratos. He has his own arena and set of God of War 3-related moves. He uses his bow, his Hermes boots, Helios head, and in his X-ray he even uses the Nemean Cestus gauntlets, my favorite weapon in GoW3. Here's the Kratos gameplay video:

When all is said and done, come April 19th, this will mark the best day in fighting game history. Mortal Kombat returns with a vengeance, and will blow away the competition. I honestly don't see me playing anything else. I was super addicted to MK1-UMK3 back in the day as a kid, and once again will be addicted this time around. Watch out for me, I'll be the one destroying people with Johnny Cage, Kabal, and Stryker (or any 2-character combo of the 3).

I want to end this article with a little treat. Here are all the known VS screen fighter poses for the characters listed earlier. I compiled them into one large image:

all_renders

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