Mortal Kombat has made its triumphant return to the video game masses.  After the PG-13 outing with the heroes and villains of the DC Universe, MK has returned with an over the top gorefest that fans have been asking for.  Aside from the blood and guts the MK franchise has been known for, this latest installment comes with a very in depth story and playability for beginners and experienced alike.

The game’s story begins with a defeated Raiden sending a cryptic message to himself in the past to prevent Shao Kahn from conquering Earthrealm and taking us through the events of MK 1, 2, and 3.  This new alternate take on the saga will bring those familiar with the games through stages and scenes they have experienced before, but with new modern twists.  New character origins are shown as well and more background is given to other favorite characters.  Going through the story mode will also give players a chance to become familiar with controls and give them a chance to try out fighters that they never have before.  The story mode will sometimes leave you saying,” wow that part was easy,” at times, but then you are pushed to your fighting limits in the next fight.

Much like Street Fighter 4 and Marvel vs. Capcom 3 this is a 2D fighting game on a 3D plane.  The graphics are smooth and detailed, and the fighting areas are a visual wonder.  There is so much going on in the background that it is very easy to get distracted with what is going on in the background.   It is also 3D compatible for those with 3D televisions.   MK will take you to familiar areas such as the pit, living forest, and Shang Tsung’s courtyard with a more detailed modern twist (as mentioned before) and it will take you to new areas to battle your foes.  Fighters will also take on battle damage during rounds adding to the great detail that went into creating the game.   A welcome addition to the game is the x-ray attack which allows you to see the internal damage caused by heavy blows.   The controls are very smooth and the special moves are easy to learn.  However, you can’t rely on those alone.  The games difficulty is just right for beginners, but at the same time can offer a challenge for experienced players.

Of course we can’t go on without mentioning the fatalities that made this franchise so famous.  This time around are some of the most insane, over the top, and gory you will ever see.  Decapitations, dismemberment, and explosions are among what you will find once executed.  In addition to fighter’s fatalities some stages offer fatalities of their own.  Ever see a tree eat someone or someone’s face get burned off with hot lava?  Well, you will here and with other stages offering even more to come to keep everyone’s inner sadist very happy.

Besides the story mode and arcade like “ladder” Mortal Kombat offers other types games to keep players occupied.  There is a 4 player tag team mode and a “challenge tower” offering specific challenges where you can earn rewards that can be redeemed in the “krypt” to unlock concept art, alternate costumes, game music, game modes and even new fatalities.  In the challenge tower mode players will be made to test their might by breaking blocks, test their strike by breaking certain parts of a block, and to test their sight with find an object under moving cups or skulls.  For something unexpected there is also the “test your luck” game where a slot machine will determine who you fight and under what conditions (blocking disabled, no jumping, headless kombat, etc).

There are over 25 different fighters to choose from with a few more that have been promised as DLC.  In addition to all the favorites Playstation 3 fans will get to play as Kratos from the God of War franchise.  He blends in very well and is just as brutal utilizing different weapons God of War fans will be familiar with.  Even his fatality can stand up to with the MK fighters dish out.  Unlike Street Fighter 4 when first released, almost all of the characters are available to play (but there are extra treats for players to unlock).

Mortal Kombat comes in three editions.  There is the standard with just the game.  A special “Kollector’s Edition” is also available that comes with the game, art book, and limited edition Scorpion and Sub-Zero bookends.  However for the serious/hardcore gamer there is the “Tournament Edition.”  This one comes with the game and a tournament joystick with a layout similar to the MK arcade games.

Now if only we can get those Primal Rage and Eternal Champions reboots…ok maybe not.

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