Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance
Game Info
Platform(s)
Xbox, GC, PS2
Publisher
Midway
Developer
Midway
Genre
Fighter
Official Website
ESRB Rating
Blood and Gore, Violence
 
Grade
The Good

• Lots of stuff to unlock
• Cool new characters
• Addictive

The Bad

• Without the unlockable stuff, this title is merely an average brawler

 
Grade
B-

Midway brings us another addition to their Mortal Kombat franchise. As we all well know - the MK franchise has endured some bumpy roads and immensely crappy games, TV shows, comic books and movies over the past decade. After they announced another title to the franchise, I was a bit skeptical. I really couldn't see how they could bring it back with the same feel of the first two. But I'm happy to report that Midway has nailed the 3D Mortal Kombat formula down. With Ed Boon back in the director's chair, Mortal Kombat is better than ever. Unfortunately a few rough edges bog down the game, but it's still better than the last two.

The game kicks off with a beautifully rendered CG intro, which includes a voice over by none other then the Lord of Thunder himself - Raiden. During this cinema, you will learn that both of the evil sorcerers, Quan-Chi and Shang Tsung have joined together and formed an alliance. They both killed the ruler of the Outworld and resurrected a large unstoppable army. Now you have to play as one of the 20 characters and stop this threat! I wish the ending cinemas were as impressive as the opening one, but that' just a minor complaint I have.

First of all, the gothic type story and atmosphere all fit the same mold as the past titles. If you never understood the story behind Mortal Kombat, don't feel bad - very little of it makes much sense to your average gamer. Aside from the kooky and overall bland story, almost all of you favorite characters are here including the likes of Sonya, Sub-Zero, and Scorpion. Unfortunately, Lui Kang is absent from this game, in the opening scene - we see Shao Khan and Shang Tsung brutally murder Lui Kang while he was in training. That would be bad news for some MK fans, but there are enough new characters to fill the void.

The graphics are well done, there isn't anything really innovative and it hardly pushes the Xbox's raw power. While the game is in full 3D, it still has some of the cheesiness found in the 2D titles, like the stiff animation, and insane amounts of blood dripping of of your Kombatant, and yes - you can reduce the gore in the Options menu if your stomach can't handle it. Other graphical touches include ripped clothing, bruises, and multiple wounds shown on your brutally battered Kombatant. The special attacks are all here, and have an improved awe factor due to special lighting effects. All in all, the graphical package pretty good, but not up to Xbox standards. The music is a mixture of some eerie background music which is on par with the MK tone, and the sound effects are solid.

The gameplay is sort of a mixed bag. I do applaud Midway's attempt to bring something fresh to the table (the multiple fighting styles) but the somewhat unresponsive controls makes pulling of combos a nightmare. The characters are well-balanced, but there are way too many powerful moves that can be abused, resulting in way too frequent cheap wins. Having to memorize many combos and pulling them off with precise timing is not fun at all, and most of the combos are dialed-in, which discourages experimentation of any kind. The fatalities also make a triumphant return, but they sadly lack creativity, and some are just plain silly (Sonya's ''Kiss of Death'' in particular).

On the brighter side, this game is loaded with extras that would keep anybody playing for months on end. In the game's normal modes you are rewarded with Koins, you can use these coins to unlock stuff from the Krypt. Some of the more interesting stuff you can unlock are new costumes, New stages, Kodes, Koncept Art, and Secret Characters. There are more than 600 items to unlock. Any huge Mortal Kombat fan will definitely want to unlock everything creating an addiction that's surprisingly hard to shake off.

With a so-so game engine, but a ton of stuff to unlock, I suggest Mortal Kombat fans to buy this game. Others may want to pass on this otherwise mediocre title.

- - GrandLethal

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