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Hold Down And Hit Start When Superman’s Head Appears To Fight Smoke

Sub-Zero fighting Batman? Has the world gone mad?

So I’m sitting here in Las Vegas, less than 24 hours after seeing Midway announce a real shocker: Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. After seeing the trailer, which doesn’t feature too much gameplay, and talking to a few people at Midway, I’m optimistic. But the shocks don’t stop with the crossover.

To get this out of the way up front, this game is likely going to be rated T for Teen. That means the gruesome fatalities that have served as a calling card for the MK series since the early 90s are going to undergo some serious rethinking. It sounds like this is really pushing the team’s creativity, as they definitely want to come up with impressive new finishing moves and figure out exactly where the line between T and M lies, and plop this game’s content as close to the M line as possible.

Only four characters have been officially confirmed at this point. Two MK characters, Scorpion and Sub-Zero, will be in there. Representing DC so far are Batman and Superman. Midway released a brief trailer showing off the look of the characters and some of the fighting, and I’m pretty impressed, both with the technical quality and with the design of the characters themselves. Bringing Sub-Zero back to the masked, rounded head look is a nice idea, and his icy arms really complete the picture. And Batman is no joke, either, as the trailer shows him busting Sub-Zero in the face, drawing blood in the process. Yes, apparently there are ways to get a bit of blood into a T-rated game.

The fighting mechanics are being rebuilt, and it really sounds like the team is taking the chance to go over every single aspect of character movement and combat and see if there’s a better way to do things. A couple of new in-fight changes were shown or discussed, like Klose Kombat, which draws the kamera-–sorry-–draws the camera in closer and allows the aggressor time to pull off some wicked stuff while the defender attempts to counter, resulting in torn clothing and bruises if hits land. Freefall Kombat adds moves to the previously hands-off sequences that occur when a character gets knocked off of one part of a multi-tiered stage. So now you can fight and counter all the way down, which looks pretty neat.

There will be storyline reasons for bringing the world of MK and DC together, though there aren’t too many exact details just yet. The press release hints at a bigger force that will destroy everything, which will probably force the MK and DC guys to come together in unlikely combinations to save the day. Midway writers are teaming up with two comic writers, Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, for the narrative.

It’s been a lot for me to take in, but the more I think about it, the more I like it. For me, Mortal Kombat has always been at its best when it’s not taking itself super-seriously and not presenting itself as ultra-dark. This is the franchise that spawned friendship finishers, babalities, and exploding bodies that emit like five rib cages in the process. Certainly the minds behind this madness can come up with something rad to do that doesn’t involve ripping off heads and tearing out hearts… though I have to admit I’d really like to knock Superman’s head off, too.

Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe will come to 360 and PS3 this fall.
Jeff Gerstmann on Google+