|System: Xbox 360, PS3|
|Dev: NetherRealm Studios|
|Pub: Warner Bros. Interactive|
|Release: April 19, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Strong Language|
However, though the training modes are a nice supplement, the real star of the show has to be the online offerings. In today's competitive landscape, it is not enough to just have player and ranked matches online, and Mortal Kombat does a great job of creating an experience that will keep you immersed in the online world by creating an almost arcade-like experience where you can hang out in lobbies, watch as other matches go down, and challenge players based on their record and what you've seen. There are tons of different lobbies to check out, and you can even create your own. And the good thing is, even if there are 80+ people hanging out in one area, you can challenge any one who isn't actively in a game. It's not hard to find yourself in impromptu tournaments with players who either think they are better than you or respect your fighting style. Though you can jump right in to the online mode, select "Player Match," and be done with it, the lobby system provides so much depth and flexibility that it would be a real shame to miss.
In addition to completing the various objectives within the online and offline modes, the game also lets you take control of how you unlock content. As you gain points for finishing objectives, you can walk around in a spooky overworld known as the "Krypt" where you can literally dig up bonus content. It's not the most compelling mode, but it's a nice little meta-game, and being able to walk around and "find" bonus content is a really awesome way to put game progression back in the hands of the players.
Visually, Mortal Kombat looks great. If you are hoping for a highly detailed, gruesome experience, then Mortal Kombat definitely delivers. Everything from character bisections to brutal weapons-based fatalities looks great, and the stunning detail may just make your eyes twitch (some of those attacks can get quite...gooey...if you know what I mean). The only hiccup I ran in to with the visuals were some serious framerate slowdowns during online matches. Though it didn't happen often, when it did it was extremely pronounced and made some matches unplayable. If you aren't a big online player, you likely won't notice this hiccup, but if you are planning to try to conquer the leaderboards, expect some serious issues along the way.
Mortal Kombat may be the 9th entry in the MK franchise, but it feels fresh and is a welcome return to form for the series at-large. Though we have technically already had a Mortal Kombat game this console generation, this is the first M-rated Mortal Kombat game we've seen on HD platforms, and as such it makes a stellar debut. I wouldn't call Mortal Kombat a reboot, but instead the sequel you've been waiting for. After several mis-steps, the series is back and deadlier than ever. If you are a fan of the Mortal Kombat franchise, love 2D fighters, or just want to experience what must be the goriest fighter ever made, you'll have a bloody good time with Mortal Kombat.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Senior Contributing Writer