Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 10/11/06 | Genre: Fighting
Before there was the controversy of Grand Theft Auto and Hot Coffee to incite the uneducated politicians and parents all over the United States, there was a little Fighting game known as Mortal Kombat. While not as deep or engaging as Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat has always had a large following of fighting fans. When the original Mortal Kombat was released during the 16-bit era, for the home consoles, Nintendo would not allow the game to be released with blood. Midway accepted this censorship and made the characters knock the sweat off each other instead of blood. Sega, on the other hand, allowed the blood to be included in their version.
Since that time, we have seen several incarnations of Mortal Kombat. The series has seen it’s fair share of ups and downs. Midway attempted to bring this series back to its roots in the last version of MK released: Deception. And while it was a lot of fun, it was missing an element that could have brought the franchise to the next level. Midway has again attempted to revitalize the franchise, and continue the success of Deception, in Mortal Kombat Armageddon. Once again we are treated to a solid addition to the Mortal Kombat franchise. But some of the ele ments that kept Deception from being a superior fighting game also show up in Armageddon.
MK: Armageddon features a full roster of Mortal Kombat characters. Weighing in with close to sixty different fighters to choose from, you will find all your old favorites in Armageddon. This includes my personal favorite, Johnny Cage, and others like Sub-Zero, Scorpian, Baraka, Jax, Kung Lao, Goro, Motaro, Shao Kahn, and a ton more. As you can see from the sheer number of characters available, there is a lot to pick from. However, as is true with the franchise, a large majority of these characters play exactly the same and takes away from the variety of play styles one would expect from a roster this large. Of course, Mortal Kombat fans would argue with this statement and call this review blasphemy.
The fighting modes in Armageddon feature hand to hand and a weapon-based style. Unlike Deception, there is not a third combat option available to all characters. This simplifies the gameplay a little bit and allows players to not have to memorize countless moves in each style. To make up for the lack of a third fighting style, players will now be treated to a Kreate a Fatality system.
Mortal Kombat Deception introduced players to several different mini-games and the Konquest mode. Both of these features return in Armageddon with a few changes. This time around instead of a puzzle and chess mode, players will find Motor Kombat and a completely revamped Konquest mode that is actually a lot of fun. Konquest plays a lot like the Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks title. So players can expect to find a fun Third Person Action game that has players running around the game world. Expect this mode to take you roughly seven hours to complete.
As we saw in MK Deception, players can play online in one on one fights and up to eight players in Motor Kombat. Both modes are relatively lag free on Xbox Live but the performance on the PlayStation 2 is not as smooth.
Overall, Mortal Kombat Armageddon is a title all MK fans will want to own. In addition to that, fans of the genre will also find plenty to love in Armageddon. For the rest of us, however, your mileage will vary and will probably find plenty to love during a rental but not much more after that. My hope is that the next-generation of Mortal Kombat will completely revamp the franchise and bring players several new ideas and gameplay modes to bring the fighting genre in a new and exciting direction. However, with the high cost of developing next-gen titles, it may be several years before we see Midway or any other developer try something risky.