Ed Boon has been in charge of the Mortal Kombat series for a while now. (John Tobias left and went on to make such infamous works as Tao Feng.) Whether or not you consider this to be a good thing depends on how much you like Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance and its sequel, Deception.
If you thought those games were a vast improvement over the static fighting Mortal Kombat was known for, you’re going to like Mortal Kombat: Armageddon. The game is true to the style of Mortal Kombat, every character ever – yes, ever – is present, and the game has even more of a focus on making those characters unique and entertaining.
However, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon will forsake stylised, personalised fatalities for a new fatality system that relies on player customisation. Instead of dialling a ridiculous combination of buttons, players will now string together simple moves in succession to create custom fatalities.
Within a given time limit, you’ll be able to decide whether you want to rip off a person’s arms, or maybe pull out their heart, and then perhaps tear off their head. The order is completely up to the player. New players should be able to include six brutal finishers, and experts should be able to include as many as 15.
However, it’s a shame that the trademark fatalities are now missing. While something as absurd as arcade machines falling on opponents is unlikely to be missed, generic fatalities aren’t as cool as something like Sub Zero’s freezing-and-smashing fatalities of yore.
Along with the refined combat system, Armageddon will also include a mini-game of Kart racing. See how “Kart” works there? Anyway, the cart racing will include a host of classic Mortal Kombat characters, all with their own unique abilities. You’ll also be able to take this cart racing online, which should please everyone.
However, cart racing is all you’ll get. Don’t be expecting any chess games. There will also be another RPG-esque mode where characters can earn experience and coin of the realm to spend in the Krypt. Unlike before, you’ll also be able to tell what you’re purchasing when you do buy something, so you won’t be stuck with something lame because you had to guess.
Mortal Kombat: Armageddon will also feature a create-a-player mode along the lines of the one found in Soul Calibur 3. Players will be able to create a character from the ground up, personalising the look and every single move in the characters roster. So even if you do get sick of the 60-odd characters, you’ll always be able to create a fresh character to master.
Online play should be especially fun, given the sheer variety of possible create-a-characters.
Mortal Kombat: Armageddon is supposed to be the final hoorah for the series, and it certainly looks as if it’s going out on a high note. With every character ever, a create-a-character mode, an adventure mode, and some cart racing thrown in for good measure, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon looks set to be the best value fighter of all time. It’ll be sad to see the series as we know it fade away, but what a send-off it will be. Stay tuned to NZGamer for a full review sometime in the holiday period.