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e3 2010

Hands On With Mortal Kombat

by Matthew Kato on Jun 16, 2010 at 04:50 PM

The old Midway franchise returns with the help of Warner Bros., and this series re-boot goes back to what it does best - bone-crunching, nasty fighting.

Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe may have had Fatalities, but they weren't the old school, gory and over-the-top kind that we've come to expect from the franchise. This new Mortal Kombat will give fans the visceral thrill of beheading someone or cleaving them in two that they've been missing, and that's not the only nod to the past.

Mortal Kombat is returning to 2D, and it's bringing back old locations like the Living Forest and the Dead Pool. This time, however, they will naturally contain more detail, with stuff going on in the background like hanging corpses and trees strangling people in the Living Forest or a four-storey hellbeast marching around in Kahn's Coliseum.

Of course, no Mortal Kombat would be complete without its roster of beloved characters, and this game's got all the favorites like Johnny Cage, Sub-Zero, Nightwolf, Scorpion, and many more. In the demo's character select screen we counted 27 character slots, plus an extra slot for DLC.

The fighting is everything you'd expect from Mortal Kombat, and the game uses a series of Super attacks that you earn as you pummel your opponent. Each of these takes your characters' special attacks to the next level. So, Reptile's acid spit gets bigger and badder. All this culminates in the ultimate special attack, the X-Ray. When you engage an X-Ray you see a zoomed-in, X-ray shot of the damage you've inflicted on your opponent. This means spines cracking, tendons bursting (or in the case of Sektor it's electric cabeling), and eyes getting gouged. It's beautiful and badass.

Fatalities are certainly a part of Mortal Kombat's new package, and we saw one particularly brutal one, which had Mileena ripping the head off of an opponent and eating his face. Stage Fatalities are also back.

Mortal Kombat features tag teaming, and you can do this at any time. This fact is helpful since you can chain together combos with your partner as well as do Tag Assists, which are one-off attacks your partner will perform at your side.

Look for Mortal Kombat in the spring of next year.