Mortal Kombat: Undead Monday

Posted by Grey Monday, June 28, 2010

Déjà vu time: Has the infamously ultra-violent fighting game series, Mortal Kombat jumped the shark when it went against the DC Universe last fall?

With "Mortal Kombat: Rebirth" (the independent "sales pitch" short film that appeared almost everywhere online earlier this week) gathering interest from gamers unfamiliar from the franchise while triggering nostalgia from long-time fans, what better timing would there be to announce a brand new title to the everlasting series? And especially when it is E3. Set to be released in 2011, "Mortal Kombat" is currently in development by NetherRealm Studios (formerly known as Midway Games) for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

And why yes, the original gang are back. Meaning the dread Johnny Cage is still alive and kicking, unlike what was depicted in the short film. Damn. Along with Cage, series co-creator Ed Boon and team are looking into popular characters from Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat II, and Mortal Kombat 3 to make it into a roster of approximately 26 characters in the final game. During E3, confirmed characters announced are Johnny Cage, Kung Lao, Mileena, Nightwolf, Reptile, Sektor, Scorpion, and Sub-Zero. Nevertheless, there will be additional DLC characters.

In an interview with IGN, Boon explained the rationale and plot behind the latest sequel.

"Mortal Kombat has this timeline - eighteen years of making games, and we really didn't want to just continue, like, chapter seventeen of the whole story. So we're kind of doing a Back to the Future type of thing, where Raiden is about to be killed by Shao Kahn, and just before he delivers the last blow, he sends a mental message to his earlier self, so the camera rewinds back to Mortal Kombat 1. The Raiden from back then gets a message and he doesn't know what's going on, but he knows something bad's going to happen, and the game spans Mortal Kombat 1, 2 and 3, retelling the story with an enlightened Raiden, and he's changing the course of things, so everything you've seen happen before – Liu Kang winning, the guys turning into cybernetic ninjas, are changed around, so you might see a character become cybernetic who wasn't before, and so you see a different version [of events]."

Which explains the new title being simply "Mortal Kombat". Not belonging to the currently in vogue form of re-imagination or relaunch, the sequel, while being progressive move in more ways than one, acknowledges all previous installments and even have the heart to pay homages to them. And for the progressive part, the sequel ironically will return to its "2D roots" as the gameplay will once again be restricted a 2D plane of movement, removing the 3D sidestepping from the earlier few installments. An all-new "Tag-Team" Fighting Mode will also be included, providing players with the opportunities to pull off chains of "combos" between two tag characters. "Fatalities", the signature feature of Mortal Kombat, will also be re-invented to have an even more deadly feel.

Check out the trailer embedded below for some of the cool visuals. Needless to say, not for the squeamish.

By all means, just jolt that down: MK is not dead yet.


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