Mortal Kombat Demo Impressions

Mortal Kombat LogoThis reboot of the venerable fighting franchise seems to be hitting all the right notes judging from this demo, a one week exclusive to PlayStation Plus members. The Mortal Kombat demo features four characters—Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Johnny Cage and Mileena—and two classic arenas to fight in: The Pit and The Living Forest.

I haven’t played a Mortal Kombat game since Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks was released, so I haven’t been keeping up on additions made to the actual fighting game over the past few years. I went into this demo with fresh eyes and tons of arcade nostalgia and came away impressed and excited to get my hands on the final retail version in April of 2011. Read More…

The Mortal Kombat demo lets you play an abbreviated four match Ladder Mode using any one of the four available characters and plays a lengthy trailer once you finish. It only lasts for 10-15 minutes, but if you’re like me, you’ll want to play it through at least four times to see all the fatalities, x-ray moves and get a feel for each character’s skill set.

X-Ray moves require you to fill up an on-screen power meter before unleashing an ultra brutal attack during which you can see bones shattered and internal organs being mangled in slow motion. These attacks add a sort of cinematic flare to the already over-the-top action the Mortal Kombat series is famous for.

Of course, any Mortal Kombat game needs fatalities and in this demo you can execute one per character in addition to one for each stage. I’d have to assume that characters in the final version will have several fatalities each and more available as DLC.

I think Mortal Kombat looks great. Character models are very large and feature progressive damage to their costumes and bodies as you play through a match. Both stages will be instantly familiar to long time fans and have very detailed animated backgrounds.

The sound is pretty forgettable to me, but the game's developers do know that fans want to hear “Finish Him!” or “Get over here!”, and all the series hallmarks seem to be in place.

The control was a bit off for me, simply because the default scheme requires you to press the odd combonation of a face button and the R2 trigger to perform many quick-paced moves. I’m no fighting game expert by any means, but the game flow did feel smooth and responsive to me. The only real reason I’d miss moves was because my lack of proficiency with tapping the d-pad because of my palsy. I’ll be playing this on the Xbox 360 with my arcade stick for sure.

Based on the trailer, this iteration of Mortal Kombat has everything that its fans want. Tons of fatalities and brutal x-ray moves, interactive stages, limbless fighting and the return of Test Your Might are just some of the features fans can expect from the final retail version.