While making 2008’s Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, the development team at Midway Games quickly discovered the problem with making a Teen-rated crossover game involving iconic comic book heroes. They had to tame the over-the-top violence that the series was infamous for. Fans complained about the kindlier, gentler brand of MK and Boon’s team listened and vowed to return the legendary fighting game to its roots. It wasn’t easy.
“I mean, we couldn’t cut off Batman’s head or anything,” said Mortal Kombat co-creator Ed Boon. “That just wasn’t going to happen.”
Shortly after MK vs. DC was released, Midway Games itself was the victim of a Mortal Kombat-style fatality in the form of a bankruptcy that shuttered the company’s doors. Midway sold the MK license to Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment, who in turn, smartly snapped up the MK team in the summer of 2009 and formed a new studio called NetherRealm Studios. Almost two years later, the NetherRealm team is set to unleash a reboot of the old school, gory, fatality-ridden Mortal Kombat games of the early 90's called, appropriately, “Mortal Kombat.”
A Look Back: The Original Mortal Kombat Fatalities
“We really wanted give the players what they’d been asking for and then some,” said Boon. “We wanted to recreate that nostalgic MK experience with the most current sophisticated presentation that we can do.”
Here are some of the new features that caught our eye in an exclusive preview of the new Mortal Kombat:
Classic Characters: Almost every character from the 26-man roster is pulled from the first three MK games -- Liu Kang, Raiden, Scorpion and many of the old favorites.
New Game Modes: Beyond the traditional one-on-one matches, there is an in-depth story mode, Tag Team matches, the Challenge Tower and a variety of online multiplayer options.
Buckets O’ Blood: Over the course of fighting normally, blood spurts out everywhere and stays on your character’s clothes throughout the match. Even if you win, it's possible your character will be missing an eye or suffer a smashed jaw by the end.
New “X-Ray” moves: After filling up a special meter, you can pull off crazy moves where you can see damage being done though the skin and directly to an opponent’s skeleton and internal organs. One move involves Sub Zero freezing an enemy and then reaching in his body and shattering his frozen liver. Ouch.
Fatalities: About 50 to 60 brutal fatalities will make it into the games, including sick new twists on classic maulings like Kano pulling a beating heart out of an opponent’s body from behind. There are also stage-based finishing moves like a subway station where you can toss people in front of an oncoming train.
Ready for a fight? Mortal Kombat is launching April 19 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
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