During preview events the designers and producers of Mortal Kombat often referenced Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 as a major inspiration for this latest title. Everything from the plot, characters and design are definitely inspired by the 1995 game. This isn’t to say that Nether Realm studios is ripping off their older work and passing it off as new. Instead they have taken the best character designs, plot points and a lot of blood from the previous games and updated the rest for the modern console generation.
The gameplay formula for this Mortal Kombat has been boiled down to its simplest form. Gone are the multiple stances, weapons and move lists that plagued the previous entries. In Mortal Kombat you choose one of 16 fighters, who should be recognizable to those of you have experience with the franchise, and take your fight to either another human combatant or CPU opponent. Like Super Street Fighter IV the combatants in Mortal Kombat face each other on a 2D platform facing each other left to right.
Unlike technical fighters like Tekken combat isn’t all style, finesse, counters and combos. Each of the 16 fighters has a mix of special moves, blocks and small combos to devastate their opposition. Special moves typically come in two flavors – projectile and teleportation. With the odd exception most special moves will either send a projectile across the screen or teleport your fighter to a new location.
If you find yourself on the losing end of a fight Nether Realm Studios has included a new “X-Ray Attack” feature. As you take damage a meter builds at the bottom of the screen. Once you’ve filled it you can press both triggers together to perform a devastating X-Ray Attack. These new attacks are choreographed attacked designed to be a brutal display of destruction. Once this attack has been executed the character on the receiving end will lose about a third of their health. Players don’t have to fill up their entire X-Ray meter to make use of this new addition. Upon pressing the right trigger when perfuming a special move the game will add additional damage to the attack in exchange for 1/3rd of the X-Ray meter.