Mortal Kombat returns with a bang. Providing one of the best fighting experiences this year.
Mortal Kombat follows the general trend that most fighting games have been taking so far in terms of the control scheme, and by this I mean the controls are "dumbed" down, but only to provide more fun gameplay by allowing you to pick up and play any of the characters in the roster with relative ease. Most of the fighters play differently so you will still have to take that into account, but combos and special moves generally take the same button combos, so you'll be spilling the blood in no time.
The typical roster of MK characters make an appearance, while all are not playable, you'll see a fair number of the characters you know and lover appear in the story mode. There are some balance issues however as it becomes clear that characters that can teleport have clear "spam" attacks that I feel will be misused. Speaking of balance you need to mention Shao Kahn and Goro...who quite possible are the hardest characters I've ever had to take on in a fighting game. They aren't stunned by attacks that usual characters would be by, and there specials deal a whopping 52% total damage! I even toned it down to beginner difficulty from medium, and they still whoop ass. Not sure if I just suck, but I don't think I'm going to hard difficulty any time soon.
Mentioning the story I'd have to say it's very cut and paste of the MK series so far, but this is a good thing. It will introduce newcomers to the plot line of the existing story, and give veterans a good recap through the MK universe. While in the story it's clear that the focus is on the fighting and nothing else, which I don't really mind. It's hard to listen to the cutscenes since the voice acting is...well horrible. In game cutscenes are not as polished as they could be, but they still do the job, and the transition from cutscene to fighting is very apparent.
There are also some challenge modes, in-case you get bored of the story or fighting online. The tower challenge pits you against 100 different challenges, all with varying degrees of difficulty and objectives. It's fun to mess around in and a good change of pace, but you'll really only be playing it for the points to spend at the crypt...or the creepiest store ever (take your pick of name).
Fighting animations are very well done and the damage and gore are top notch. The new introduced X-Ray attacks give cringe worthy moments as you destroy your opponent from the inside out, and a lot of attention to detail went into making the bone snaps just right.
This is a superb game and you'd be crazy not to miss this. If you are a fighting fan it should be a sin not to have this in your library. If you're like me however and just wanted to spill some new blood in a classic series I'd give it a recommendation too. The not to steep learning curve, paired with beautiful in fight animations and effects, on top of buckets and buckets of blood make for an awesome experience.
(Note: Didn't mention online play because I'm not too good at fighters to begin with, and I really didn't want to get crushed since I was already having fun with the other modes.)