Death, taxes, the comedic value of pets in silly hats, and Mortal Kombat’s focus on guts over gameplay: life’s certainties. But by sticking with the game’s gore-soaked core values, this series reboot gets a lot more right than it does wrong, and developer NetherRealm has been true to its word by making this feel every bit the classic MK experience.
With a raft of gameplay modes and a schlocky-but-fun story campaign there’s a lot to get your hooks into… and then tear them out of, with dripping intestines on the tips. Anyone who’s played a previous Kombat title will feel at home, with ‘juggling’ – battering your opponent into the air and playing a quick game of human keepy-uppy – still the main combo focus.
The most significant fighty change comes from the addition of a three-sectioned power bar in the bottom left (which definitely wasn’t, uh, borrowed from SF IV). Filled by performing special moves or taking a pasting, the first stage of this allows you to perform ‘enhanced’ specials, the second activates a combo-breaker, while the third triggers your X-ray move.
A brilliant new addition, these gruesome attacks let you see your opponent’s skull shatter as you thrust your foot into it, or watch as you crush their innards in your hands. Lovely.