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E3 2008: Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe

Developer: Midway | Publisher: Midway
Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Genre: Fighting

Release Date: 11/16/08

Midway has teamed up with DC Comics to bring a merging of two very different worlds. This fall, players on both the Xbox 360 and PS3 will get to take their favorite Mortal Kombat characters and fight to the death, with some of the biggest characters in the DC Comics universe. As strange as the concept sounds, I had a lot of fun with this title at E3 2008. Lets take a closer look at Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe.

Built on the Unreal 3 Engine, Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe is looking good. The game has a very different feel to it and Midway is pushing the engine to places it has never been before. All of the characters are huge and fill up a significant portion of the screen. This makes the action appear larger than life. I should also point out that this MK title does not coincide with any portion of the existing MK universe. Since it is outside of the core storyline, Ed Boon and his creative team have decided to bring several deceased characters back into the game. When all characters are finally revealed, there should be twenty four playable characters available. These will be split twelve and twelve between the Mortal Kombat and DC Comic Universes. The final roster of characters will slowly be revealed in the coming months. During this demo, we saw Sonya, Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Flash, Batman, and Superman. I hope that The Green Lantern makes it to the final roster. But my attempts to gain this information led to nothing more than a sly grin and advice to wait for Comic Con and other future announcements.

MK vs DC will feature several different mini-games. One of the first ones is freefall combat. This occurs when you throw your opponent over the edges in levels. Your opponent will begin falling and your character will jump and begin attacking them. If you are able to damage your opponent enough, a super attack can be performed. However, the other character can reverse the attack and begin pummeling you. Another mini-game allows you to push your opponent through a series of walls and into another area of a level. This fits nicely with the DC characters and has a "comic book" feel to it.

Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe has a great feel to it. The action was fast and furious without any framerate issues. Midway was not yet ready to discuss any of the single player modes. We do note that they are planning something special though. They did reveal that the game will feature the standard tournament mode and online play for both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Sadly, it does not appear that the PS3 will receive any Trophies.

Staying true to the DC universe, there will not be any fatalities available for Superman, Batman, Flash, and any of the other comic book characters. While it may sound cool to have Superman rip someone's skull off their head, these characters would never actually behave in this way. Instead, all of the DC characters will use Brutalities instead of Fatalities. This lead me to ask about if Mortal Kombat characters were allowed to perform Fatalities on DC characters. I was assured that there were no issues with this and that you would be able to graphically destroy your favorite DC heroes. In addition, all characters in the game will show damage as the rounds progress. For example, DC characters like Batman and Superman, who wear capes, will get torn. In addition, all characters' clothes get torn and their bodies bruised and bloodied as they take damage.

It is for certain that Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe is not a hardcore fighting game. Ed Boon and his creative team know that the serious fighting fan will look elsewhere. That does not mean that MK vs DC can't be fun. The game is really shaping up to offer players a unique opportunity to battle it out with two very different universes. Hopefully, Midway will be able to bring some of the top DC characters to the game and deliver an incredible single player experience. We will keep our fingers crossed and hope for fighting magic when this title ships this fall.

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By Kaleb Rutherford - 07/21/08
ESRB Details: - Blood, Suggestive Themes, Violence - Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe is a fighting game in which players engage in one-on-one contests of strength using popular heroes and villains from DC Comics and characters from the Mortal Kombat fighting games. Players kick, punch and block their way to victory, which is achieved when the opponent's life meter is depleted. Players can perform a variety of combos and special moves, some of which result in brief splashes of red blood. After an opponent is beaten twice, players can perform one of several finishing moves called 'fatalities' and 'brutalities.' Fatalities depict a variety of dramatic finishing moves including gunshots, stabbings and neck snaps. Female characters are depicted in revealing clothing with exaggerated breast proportions and movement.
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Screenshots for E3 2008: Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe

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E3 2008 Photos