Mortal Kombat, the classic beat-'em-up series with a preponderance for inserting the letter 'K' anywhere it can, is back. That means, of course, that players can expect more of the brutal, visceral one-on-one combat (sorry, 'kombat') that Mortal Kombat is famed for.
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The game follows up on the events of 2011's Mortal Kombat, but shifts us waaaay down the timeline, as far as 25 years into the characters' future. The deep, non-linear story sees Shinnock attacking Earth following the defeat of Shao Kahn. At his back is an army of Netherrealm forces, including resurrected fighters killed in Kahn's invasion and now under the control of Quan Chi. Of course, the better-natured fighters of Earth aren't going to let this stand and, naturally, lots of bloody kombat ensues.
With the shift forward in time, new twists on old favourites such as Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Raiden, Johnny Cage, Sonya Blade and Kano make return appearances. They're joined by newcomers such as Cassie Cage, Kotal Kahn, Ferra-Torr and D’Vorah, many of whom are the next generation of fighters spawned by the familiar characters of old.
To beef up the roster even further, each character has playable variants. So, for example, Scorpian has a ninjutsu variation that dual-wields swords, a hellfire variant that makes use of fiery attacks and an 'inferno' version that summons hellspawn minions to do his bidding.
A couple of features that have been recently added to NetherRealms' fighting games return, such as 'X-ray' special moves and the ability to use the environment as a weapon, introduced in Injustice: The Gods Among Us. There are also some brand new additions, such as 'quitalities', which instantly finish off anyone who quits out of a multiplayer game, and faction kills, finishing moves attached to each of the game's five factions (Black Dragon, the Brotherhood of Shadow, the Lin Kuei, Special Forces, and White Lotus).
Mainstay modes such as Story, 1 vs 1 Ranked, King of the Hill, Survivor, and Test Your Luck are joined by a couple of fresh additions. Living Towers has evolved from Mortal Kombat's Challenge Tower, and features play conditions that change every hour. In Faction Wars players choose to play for a faction and joining a persistant online cross-platform competition.
There is, of course, one thing left to say now... Finish Him!