|System: X360, PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Midway||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Midway||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 16, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Pete Richards
April 24, 2008 - With the introduction of the Mortal Kombat series to next-gen systems, executive producer and MK co-creator Ed Boon wanted to do something dramatically different. Needless to say, the announcement of the first crossover in Mortal Kombat history with the unlikely DC Comics franchise was something no one saw coming.
The decision is a risky move to say the least, with skeptics picking away at announcements that the game will be made to satisfy a Teen rating as opposed to Mature and that the Fatality system will be less graphic. There have also been accusations that DC is borrowing Marvel's concept of their wildly successful crossover with Capcom. Whether you love or hate the idea of a DC/MK merger, one thing is for certain: Midway has certainly got people talking.
There is just something so exciting about when two worlds crossover whether it's in video games, comic books or films. Characters created by completely different companies, who you never thought would meet, are together battling against each other or, in some cases, teaming up together. DC has been known for some outrageous crossovers including Batman vs. Predator and Superman and Savage Dragon, though this has to be one of the most unexpected crossovers in DC history.
Thus far, the only confirmed characters will be Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Batman, and Superman. However, Boon promises to announce more characters this July at E3. He says the selection of characters from each side will be a result of not only popularity from MK and DC fans but also their fighting styles and appropriateness to the crossover. Personally, Mr. Freeze vs. Subzero seems like a very fun possibility.
While the announcement that the game will be designed for a T-rating may alienate some diehard MK fans, the decision to do so is intended to please the DC fans who may be less inclined to enjoy seeing Superman's insides spill out onto the floor. However, it has been confirmed that the game will include a finishing system similar to Fatalities which will feature less gore and less violence to ensure they stay within the Teen-rated boundaries.
But gore fans shouldn't fret. Judging by the teaser for MK vs. DCU released late April, images of Batman striking Sub-Zero with a right-hook and Sub-Zero returning with a roundhouse to the Dark Knight's chin show fair amounts of blood-spray. The trailer also shows some crazy midair battling, as Boon promises the game will incorporate a new element called Freefall Kombat to the arena-to-arena where characters fall through multi-tiered environments. Another fighting mechanic will be introduced to Mortal Kombat gameplay known as Klose Kombat, in which the camera zooms in to capture new damage affects on characters, including bruises and rips in clothing. It has also been announced by Epic Games that the game will be using their Unreal Engine 3 developed for the PS3 and 360.
And with the concept of DC characters facing MK fighters, the question will inevitably arise: 'How the heck is anyone supposed to beat Superman?'. With more human characters fighting those with unrealistic superpowers, the developers have made sure to create a balance that elevates some character's powers while lowering the powers of others to ensure a fair fight. With the fantastical storyline that merges the two worlds, the magic that flows through them will affect some characters differently to balance fighters more equally.
Midway is also working with DC comic writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray to create the storyline and ensure a perfect blend between MK imagery and DC nostalgia. It also helped Midway realize how DC characters would react to being thrust into the MK world, from the view of the writers who know them best. The game will in fact feature two different storylines in its story mode. One will take place in the MK realm in which the DC characters invade Outworld, and the second will be from the perspective of the DC world in which MK characters come to invade. Boon doesn't reveal much in the way of storyline, but says some cataclysmic event will take place which merges the two realms and leads Mortal Kombat characters to confront DC heroes and villains.
According the Midway press release, "Kombat forces friends to fight, worlds to collide, and unlikely alliances to be forged. In order to save all they know, the heroes and villains of Mortal Kombat must wage war against the combined might of the DC Universe."
With heated discussions on message boards the 'net over, the decision to cross the two worlds over has definitely brought upon its share of controversy. With what could be a hit-or-miss approach to the next-gen MK debut, developers are undoubtedly aware of what fans expect from their franchise and are promising to do their best to satisfy both Kombat and DC fans with the project. Time will tell how fans on both sides of the fence will react when the game is released this fall.
CCC Freelance Writer