War gods is a fighting game released by Midway that resembles Mortal Kombat in almost every way. The game featured a few playable characters, high quality audio (at the time of release) and a strange use of human modelling in the graphical process. There were very few options available to the player who could simply choose 'Start Game' to begin play. The game received many negative reviews largely on account of it being nothing more than an inferior Mortal Kombat clone.
It could be argued that War Gods was essentially a tech demo for Midway that promoted an technology that they had been developing. A way of pasting photos of real people onto an in-game 3D model. While this idea appeared to work on paper utilizing it effectively proved to be difficult and resulted in some odd graphics that occasionally did not work. The games poor reception and low sales meant that Activision did not continue on developing either the franchise or technology.
As stated before the game is extremely similar to Mortal Kombat, so much so that all the move sets and combos have almost been lifted from that franchise into this game. Players are given a soft and hard punch as well as a low and high kick. These can be stringed together with some careful twisting of the control stick to preform simple attacks, combos and fatalities. Unlike Mortal Kombat, War Gods takes place in a 3D environment where the player can side step to avoid enemies attacks. This being the case projectile weapons are heavily utilised in this game. The game is extremely limited in terms of the match customization. In fact the player is only given one option and that is 'Start Game'. Once that has been selected they are taken to a character selection screen before the first match commences. The player then has to fight their way though all the other characters of the game, again much like Mortal Kombat, before facing off in what is essentially a boss character. At any stage a second player could press start on the second controller and take over for the AI.
The games story-line was really nothing more than a quick justification as to why these characters existed and what they were all fighting each other for. The story did not really enter into the game at all past the short paragraph found on the back of the box and in the instruction booklet . The premise involved an ancient starship that was transporting a special 'ore' crashed due to Earth's atmosphere where it was found by ten humans who were transformed into immortals by its power. These ten gods then wage a personal war against each other to find all the remaining ore on Earth, hence the fighting and title of the game.
The following character biographies are taken from the games instruction booklet.
In a vision, Ahua Kin, an evil high priest, learned that untold power lay at the bottom of his tribe's sacrificial well. One by one, he sent his slaves to their death diving to reach The Ore. Finally, overwhelmed with desire, he plunged to the well's depths and retrieved The Ore.
While searching for lost treasure in the Valley of the Kings, a grave robber uncovered a hidden burial chamber. The thief tried to steal its treasures, unaware that The Ore had been placed in the chamber to destroy anyone who entered. His body was destroyed by The Ore, but his soul is cursed to return as Anubis.
The power of The Ore is timeless. In the year 2096, scientists will implant The Ore into CY-5, an advanced cyborg, unaware that The Ore has life-giving power. CY-5 will kill the scientists. It will conclude that more Ore is needed for greater human consciousness. CY-5 will fight in a ruthless systematic
manner to achieve its goal...
A feared medieval samurai discovered The Ore on the eve of a great battle. Overwhelmed by its power, he slaughtered his men in a rage of fire and fury. Shamed by the destruction he had caused, he became Kabuki Jo, an outcast determined to master the power that consumes him.
Maximus, a mighty gladiator, fought for the entertainment of his masters. During a great festival that celebrated The Ore, he battled to determine which of his masters would possess it. He killed his opponent, but slaughtered his masters as well. He took The Ore and escaped. Consumed by its power, he fights for all who have been enslaved.
Ancient manuscripts revealed the location of The Ore to Pagan, a mistress of the black arts. She arrived at the ruins of a cathedral where The Ore was once worshipped. Pagan summoned forth the hidden Ore by reciting the manuscript's incantations. The Ore increased her hunger for power and destruction. She will destroy anyone who stands in her way.
Thousands of years ago, a kingdom worshiped The Ore as a god. A rival kingdom declared war to capture The Ore. In the face of defeat, the king hid The Ore in a stone idol. The idol came to life as Tak, avenger of a lost civilization.
Vallah, a warrior princess, became separated from battle during a great ice storm. Taking shelter in a nearby cave, she saw a glowing green light trapped inside a translucent wall of ice. Hacking away at the ice, her sword finally made contact with The Ore. Vallah was transformed into a Viking goddess, and rules the realm of ice.
In a Caribbean village, a witch doctor enslaved his people with black magic and arcane spells. One night in desperation, the villagers captured the witch doctor and burnt him to death. They threw his body into a forbidden swamp, unaware that it hid a deposit of The Ore. The ore's energy brought his corpse back to life as Voodoo, god of the undead.
Government officials were worried than an experiment to merge nuclear weapons with The Ore was in jeopardy. They sent their top operative to investigate. When he arrived at the research center, the building exploded, covering his body with fragments of The Ore. The soldier was transformed into warhead, a super-human fighter.