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Jul 15

E3 Encounters: Mortal Kombat for PS3

Sid Shuman's Avatar Posted by Director, SIEA Social Media

Mortal Kombat and I go way back — I can’t imagine the 90s without it. I still play Mortal Kombat II regularly on the PS3, and know the button commands for every single Fatality by heart, even Shang Tsung’s secret third Fatality that requires holding down the Low Punch button for 30 seconds. Ahem.

Anyway, Jeff Rubenstein and I decided to stop by the Warner Brother Interactive booth at the 2010 E3 Expo to check out the new Mortal Kombat. I met with Steve Beran, a longtime MK series veteran and director of art for the newly named Netherrealm Studios. We talked about the new vision for the gory brawler, got a sneak peek at the new Fatalities and stereoscopic 3D support, and went hands-on for a few matches.

First, though, check out the E3 announce trailer below for a quick look at Mortal Kombat’s visual style, fighting mechanics, and the new “X-ray” attacks.

Mortal Kombat is a re-imagining of the events of the first three games (“the fan favorites” according to Beran) meaning you’ll see lots of familiar faces: ninja specter Scorpion, his rival Sub-Zero, cybernetic assassin Sektor, misshapen clone Mileena, and Hollywood action star Johnny Cage have all made the cut. All told, Mortal Kombat will feature at least 24 fighters — a mix of old favorites as well as newcomers — with more on the way post-launch via PSN downloadable content.

Mortal Kombat will return to the 2D, juggle-centric fighting style popularized by the earlier titles, but the core fighting mechanics are seeing modern, HD enhancements. Most obvious are the devastating new “X-ray” attacks. The camera sweeps in to show the victim’s innards as the aggressor snaps, cracks, and gouges away. “Ribs shatter, jaws break, teeth pop out,” Beran elaborated. “It’s one of the things we’re most excited about.” What’s more, each character possesses unique-looking innards, meaning that Reptile’s skeleton looks different than Mileena’s, Sektor’s guts look appropriately cybernetic, and so on.

The gruesome “X-ray” attacks are the most dramatic example of Mortal Kombat’s new Super meter, which builds in power as you inflict and absorb damage during each match. A well-timed “X-ray” attack can wipe out nearly half an opponent’s life bar, particularly when chained into another juggle combo. “X-ray” attacks require a full Super meter but, at lower levels, the Super meter will also enable you to power-up a character’s special move for extra damage and beneficial effects, or swap in a tag-team partner mid-combo for a brutal two-man juggle. How you best leverage the Super meter is up to you.

Then there are the Fatalities, the most recognizable and controversial element in any Mortal Kombat title. “In this game,” Beran told me, “we starting thinking about the Fatalities much earlier.” It shows. The new Fatalities are ghoulishly inventive: Kung Lao dragging his victim through his buzzsaw-like bladed hat, Reptile giving a venom-spewing french kiss, and Scorpion slicing and dicing with his katana will make longtime series fans quiver with delight.

Oh, I also donned a pair of 3D glasses in order to experience a video of a Mortal Kombat match running in stereoscopic 3D on the PS3. The fighting genre seems to be a good fit for 3D: the detailed characters, sparkling projectiles, and gushing bodily fluids popped off the screen at a smooth 60 frames per second.

Mortal Kombat will hit the PS3 in 2011, with online play being a major focus. What else would you like to know about Mortal Kombat? Ask away in the comments, and I’ll do my best to track down the answer.

Add Your Own

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RhythmVictim said:

July 16th, 6:21 pm

Thanks for the new info on this anticipated game.

I’d really like to know just how they’re handling the movelist for this game. I know it’s MK tradition to leave everything as secretive as possible but aren’t we past the age of printing out movelist after movelist? If you can dig up some info I’d be greatful.

My suggestion would be have all the moves (including the fatalities) on a list for each character in-game filled with question marks. Once each move is performed in-game it becomes unlocked in the moveslist. Still secretive without being archaicly annoying.

ForgiveMyAim said:

July 16th, 8:24 pm

I hope this one has an original story.

Rustbucket80 said:

July 16th, 9:04 pm

Hope the online for this runs smoothly. Nothing is worse than playing a fighting game were a match lasts maybe 5 minutes, and then have to wait for loading and what-not while not being able to talk with your party (MK vs DC). This setup definitely turned off me and my friends from playing that game online.

Thrasher20 said:

July 16th, 10:26 pm

1st day buy. MK>SF

doritoStorm said:

July 16th, 11:47 pm


most_notorius300 said:

July 17th, 7:59 am

best mortal kombat in years cant wait

BlazinFury said:

July 17th, 10:52 am

I love the game and have played all. The one thing that I hated was that every addition to game came more complex finishing moves, mostly awkward controller movement, diagonal move was hardest because your not given much time to complete and your trying to fly through it and I would push up,down,or side to side instead. Just hope they simplify it a little instead of making it sooo damn complex. There are just too many characters to in a flash remember all. I wanna be good in all characters instead on focusing in on just a couple so I would remember all moves instead of constantly having to look at moves on a page before playing character.

bleach1246 said:

July 17th, 12:02 pm

will this come out in the psn for like ps3 downloads and psp go

JonnyFig said:

July 17th, 12:55 pm

Did you get to play the demo? how the was the feel? i know they said they are bringing this back to the originals, but, does that mean that someone who religiously played MKII will automatically kick butt in the new Mortal Kombat?

Fuel33 said:

July 18th, 3:35 am

Excited for this game!!! Can’t wait

armandotheslayer said:

July 23rd, 1:03 pm

when is the demo coming out

GamerBoyChamp5 said:

July 23rd, 1:57 pm

i have beat all of the mortal kombat games i cant wait to beat this one

Xx_hawk-fire_xX said:

July 23rd, 8:29 pm

After all the years of messing up mortal kombat they’re finally coming back to basics… better not disappoint like the last 500 games! >:O

AstralCannibal21 said:

July 28th, 1:08 pm

Finally a new MK! I have been sitting around playing MKII hoping for a new version to hit us. I hope this one hits hard on release.

RedHotGinna said:

August 11th, 3:06 am

i dont know why they are saying that theyre having at least 24 characters, why not have all of them. i dont know how many characters there is exactly but im sure everyone will agree with me that the more characters there is the better the game will be. So i say have them all,just dont have the characters everyone hates and are really pointless. i dont know if there ganna add more characters as time goes on, but it really needs alot of characters. if it does end up with a lot then thats alls good and i will definately get the game. One more thing, please tell me Cyrax is in the game, hes my favourite :D

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