Mortal Kombat (not to be confused with the original 1991 game of the same name) is a 2.5D fighting game developed by NetherRealm and published by WB for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on April 19, 2011, for the PlayStation Vita on May 1, 2012, and for the PC (via Steam) on July 3, 2013.
Considered a rebirth of the Mortal Kombat franchise, Mortal Kombat drops the 3D fighting game mechanic from previous games and reinvents the 2D fighting mechanic of the first three Mortal Kombat installments, adding new features such as tag-team battles (supporting up to four human players at a time), an extensive battle damage system (which shows player characters getting heavily injured during the fight), and a three-tiered Power Meter (used for enhanced special moves, combo breakers, and powerful moves known as X-Ray Attacks).
The game also features new mini-games (such as Test Your Luck, in which players fight a match after a slot machine randomly adds beneficial and detrimental effects to either player), the return of Kombat Kodes (in which both players, during the Vs. screen, can together input a secret code to change gameplay mechanics and other effects of the match), the return of Babalities and hidden characters (that can only be fought under rare conditions), a 300-part series of special matches and mini-game challenges (known as the Challenge Tower), an enhanced training mode, stereoscopic 3D support (for the PlayStation 3 version only), and an online lobby mode for up to eight players (in which the other players, as avatars in the Xbox 360 version and avatar-like characters in the other versions, watch the fight unfold and switch off after each match).
The main single-player story retells the events of the original Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat II, and Mortal Kombat 3 in an alternate universe. Raiden, at the end of the events of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, sends a message to his past self (right before his death at the hands of Shao Kahn) warning him about the armageddon. The past Raiden receives the message prior to the original Mortal Kombat tournament, not fully understanding the visions, and attempts to influence the course of events (with some interesting consequences). The story progresses through the original Mortal Kombat tournament, the Outworld tournament, and Shao Kahn's invasion of Earthrealm.
Mortal Kombat is the first in the franchise to feature guest fighters, including Kratos from the God of War series (exclusive to the PS3 and VITA versions only) and Freddy Krueger from the A Nightmare on Elm Street horror franchise (as a downloadable character).
The PlayStation 3 demo version of the game was made available to the PlayStation Network exclusively to PlayStation Plus members on March 8, 2011. A week later, it was made available to all PSN users. It includes four playable characters (Scorpion, Johnny Cage, Mileena, and Sub-Zero), two playable stages (The Living Forest and The Pit), and two game modes (the 1v1 arcade ladder and 1v1 versus).
Mortal Kombat is outlawed in several countries (such as Germany) due to its extreme violence.
Mortal Kombat makes a departure from the previous 3D games of the franchise by putting the fighting strictly in a 2D plane (used in early Mortal Kombat installments), meaning that players can no-longer sidestep (or move around in a 3D plane) and all arenas have the same size and shape.
The game utilizes the five-button setup of the first two Mortal Kombat games (two Punch buttons, two Kick buttons, and a Block button). However, taking its cue from the Tekken franchise, each of the four attack buttons represents a limb on the character's body (Front or Back) instead of whether the attack is High or Low.
Players can flip their character's stance by either pressing the Flip Stance button or by pressing both Kick buttons simultaneously, dash forwards by tapping the joystick/d-pad twice in the direction towards the opponent, dash backwards by tapping the joystick/d-pad twice in the direction away from the opponent, and throw the opponent by either pressing the Throw button or pressing Front Punch and Front Kick buttons simultaneously. If the player is holding the joystick/d-pad in the direction towards the opponent when executing a Throw, he throws his opponent forward. Otherwise, he throws his opponent behind him. In Tag-Team matches where players have multiple teammates, they have access to a Tag button, which is used to swap teammates and perform special team attacks.
Mortal Kombat builds upon the Power Meter concept (introduced in the franchise by Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe) by including three tiers of special attacks (each using a specified amount of the meter to use). Players start with one-third (one bar) of the meter full, and can fill up the meter by performing special moves, getting hit by an opponent's attack, or getting their attack blocked. In the first round, the first person to successfully land an attack earns another bar of their meter instantly.
- Enhanced Special Moves (uses one bar) - An enhanced version of a special move that can inflict more damage, add additional attacks, or changes the properties of the move (such as adding armor properties), which is executed by combining the activation of the special move with the Block button.
- Breakers (uses two bars) - A simple combo breaker that is executed during an opponent's combo by holding Forward and Block as the opponent connects another attack. It immediately knocks down the opponent (though dealing no damage), escaping further combo damage while giving positional advantage.
- X-Ray Attacks (uses all thee bars) - Executed by pressing either the Flip Stance and Block buttons or the Front Kick, Back Kick, and Block Buttons simultaneously, the character performs a starting attack. If it connects successfully, the character goes into an animated sequence of powerful attacks (that shows close-up X-Ray animations of the damage being dealt internally). Each character has a unique X-Ray Attack, sometimes using special properties (for example, Johnny Cage's X-Ray Attack starts with a counter move, while Stryker's X-Ray Attack starts with armor properties).
Mortal Kombat introduces tag team combat (in a similar vein to the Marvel vs. Capcom series) to the franchise as an optional feature, pitting two fighters against two other fighters. Unlike 2-vs-2 modes in previous Mortal Kombat games (in with the second fighter can only fight when the first fighter is defeated), fighters can be swapped out on-the-fly, as well as jump in for a quick tag-team attack. When one fighter is defeated, the other fighter on the team immediately jumps in (without the ability to swap out or perform tag-team attacks). Each round ends when both fighters in a team are defeated. In some occasions, matches are played with uneven teams (such as 1-vs-2 matches in Story Mode where the human player is outnumbered).
Mortal Kombat allows four human players to form two teams, with each player controlling only one fighter. This mode can be played online (with teams of two local players) and co-operatively in the Tag Ladder Mode.
Each character in Mortal Kombat is equipped with two Fatalities, which are special finishing moves (animations showing an gruesome and painful kill) that can be performed via special button combinations by the winning player at the end of the match. One of these combinations is visible from the start in the character's Move List. The other "hidden" Fatality becomes visible in the Move List either when the player performs the Fatality for the first time or unlocks it in the Krypt.
Returning from the old Mortal Kombat games are Stage Fatalities (which can only be performed at certain stages and, unlike most 3D Mortal Kombat games, cannot be executed during the middle of a match) and Babalities (which transforms your opponent into a baby, this time showing a cutesy animation of the baby humiliating itself). The combinations of both Stage Fatalities and Babalities are completely hidden, requiring the player to have outside knowledge. Scorpion, Sub-Zero, and Reptile also each have a hidden Classic Fatality (based on Fatalities from the first two Mortal Kombat games) that can only be performed if the player has downloaded their Classic Costumes.
The traditional Arcade Mode of Mortal Kombat, Ladder Mode requires players to defeat ten opponents, one at a time, each fight increasing in difficulty (though the base difficulty level is chosen before the first fight). The first seven fights are against random opponents in random stages while the final three matches are pre-determined (first Shang Tsung with his alternate costume and the ability to automatically transform into his opponent and two other fighters, then either Goro or Kintaro, and then Shao Kahn). Players can earn Koins for both the Krypt and Challenge Tower Modes by doing combos, winning matches, performing finishing moves, and achieving Flawless Victories (winning rounds with full health).
In a homage to old Mortal Kombat games, Ladder Mode includes hidden opponents that can only be fought by meeting special circumstances that are cryptic and sometimes very difficult (such as defeating an opponent with two Flawless Victories in a specific stage that is under a random condition). These four opponents ( Jade, Smoke, Reptile, and Noob Saibot) fight using their Classic Costumes with an arsenal of special moves representing their secret appearances in previous games (for example, Jade has some of Kitana's moves and Reptile has some of Scorpion and Sub-Zero's moves). Participating in these battles earns the player some Koins as well as hidden achievements/ trophies.
Similar to Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, the game's Story Mode is divided up into 16 chapters, each one putting the player in control of a different character. Cutscenes are played in-between fights to progress the game's story.
The Challenge Tower is 300 challenges that are part mission mode and part tutorial, made up of special matches and mini games such as test your might, test your sight, test your strike and test your luck. One of the special matches is called "Orange You Glad to See Me," which has Scorpion and Sub-Zero teamed up to fight Shao Kahn who changes colors between orange and blue. When Shao Kahn is blue only Sub-Zero can damage him and only Scorpion can damage Shao Kahn when he is orange. Other special matches require players to fight with no arms, fight with no heads, or even fight with the world upside down. Completing all 300 of the tower challenges will unlock a major reward, although players can spend koins to skip challenges and still receive the reward.
Mortal Kombat includes four single-player mini-games that can be played at any time in the main menu. Later levels for Test Your Might, Test Your Sight, and Test Your Strike can only be unlocked by clearing their respective challenges in Challenge Tower Mode.
Test Your Might
Previously playable in the original Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Test Your Might requires players to build up their continuously-decreasing Might Meter above a designated marker (by repeatedly tapping the four face buttons) before pressing either trigger, in an attempt to break through the set of objects in front of him or her.
Test Your Sight
Previously playable in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Test Your Sight is a simple shell game that tests your ability to keep track of a moving target.
Test Your Strike
A new variation of Test Your Might focusing on a combination of brute strength and precision, Test Your Strike requires players to keep their continuously-decreasing Strike Meter between two designated markers for a certain period of time (by repeatedly tapping the four face buttons) before pressing either trigger, in an attempt to break a certain object within a group of objects.
Test Your Luck
Test Your Luck allows a player to fight in a match with special conditions after a slot machine (containing a character slot and one to six effect slots) determines a random opponent and adds random beneficial and detrimental effects to both fighters.
The training mode includes a tutorial to teach players the basics of Mortal Kombat, Practice and Tag Team Practice modes to allow players to practice executing moves and combos with any of the playable fighters, and a new Fatality Trainer mode that teaches players how to perform the series' trademark finishing moves by displaying the button combinations and highlighting the correct distance away from the opponent to stand in.
Mortal Kombat includes many online features, from standard ranked and player matches to special lobbies (known as King of the Hill). Along with standard one-on-one fights, players can play tag-team battles with up to four players (including multiple players on the same console).
King of the Hill
Better known to fighting fans as Endless Battle, this mode aims to recreate the arcade experience online. It provides a lobby for up to eight players. Two of them face off against each other at a time while the rest watch as they wait for their turn to fight. The winner stays, and the loser is put at the back of the rotation. The inactive players can place bets on the current match as well as give out Respect Points to the winner of each match.
- Goro (playable only during Challenge #150 of the Challenge Tower)
- Kintaro (playable only during Challenge #117 of the PlayStation Vita-exclusive Bonus Challenge Tower)
- Shao Kahn (playable only during Challenges #1, #123, and #132 of the PlayStation Vita-exclusive Bonus Challenge Tower)
- Tremor (playable only during Challenges #100 and #148 of the PlayStation Vita-exclusive Bonus Challenge Tower)
Classic Costumes and Fatalities
As downloadable content (and bonus content for the Mortal Kombat: Komplete Edition and PlayStation Vita versions), all ninja characters have bonus costumes and fatalities based on their appearances (or presumed appearances) in the first three Mortal Kombat games.
The original seven classic costumes (included on the game disc) could originally only be unlocked through special one-use codes that were included with pre-order copies of the game from certain stores, special editions of the game, and Blu-ray copies of the two Mortal Kombat movies. These costumes were later released as a bundle titled "Klassic Skins Pack #1" for $4.99 on the PlayStation Store, and 400 Microsoft Points on the Xbox Live Marketplace.
Additional classic costumes were later released for free as part of DLC Character Compatibility Packs, as well as being included with the downloadable characters themselves. Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition and the PlayStation Vita version includes all released costumes (including the Klassic Skins Pack) in-disc (with the VITA version also adding additional exclusive bonus costumes).
Some of these characters have fatalities that mimic their classic fatalities from the first two Mortal Kombat games. Although these fatalities can only be accessed if the player has downloaded the corresponding classic costume, they can be performed without wearing the specific classic costume.
Mortal Kombat -
- Ermac - Based on other ninja appearances. Found in the Kollector's and Tournament Editions of the game and bundled in the Klassic Skins Pack #1 DLC.
- Reptile - Found in game pre-orders from Amazon and bundled in the Klassic Skins Pack #1 DLC. Includes the "Head Chomp" Fatality.
- Scorpion - Found in game pre-orders from Gamestop and bundled in the Klassic Skins Pack #1 DLC. Includes the "Toasty!" Fatality.
- Sub-Zero - Found in game pre-orders from Best Buy and bundled in the Klassic Skins Pack #1 DLC. Includes the "Spine Rip" Fatality.
Mortal Kombat II -
- Ermac - Based on other male ninja appearances. Exclusive to the PlayStation Vita version.
- Jade - Included with the downloadable character Rain, and bundled in the free Mortal Kombat Compatibility Pack 3 DLC.
- Kitana - Included with the downloadable character Rain, and bundled in the free Mortal Kombat Compatibility Pack 3 DLC.
- Mileena - Exclusive to the PlayStation Vita version.
- Noob Saibot - Included with the downloadable character Kenshi, and bundled in the free Mortal Kombat Compatibility Pack 2 DLC.
- Reptile - Exclusive to the PlayStation Vita version.
- Scorpion - Exclusive to the PlayStation Vita version.
- Skarlet - Based on other female ninja appearances. Exclusive to the PlayStation Vita version.
- Smoke - Included with the downloadable character Kenshi, and bundled in the free Mortal Kombat Compatibility Pack 2 DLC.
- Sub-Zero - Exclusive to the PlayStation Vita version.
Mortal Kombat 3 -
- Cyber Sub-Zero - Based on other cyber ninja appearances. Included with the downloadable character Freddy Krueger, and bundled in the free Mortal Kombat Compatibility Pack 4 DLC.
- Cyrax - Included with the downloadable character Skarlet, and bundled in the free Mortal Kombat Compatibility Pack 1 DLC.
- Sektor - Included with the downloadable character Skarlet, and bundled in the free Mortal Kombat Compatibility Pack 1 DLC.
- Sub-Zero - Included with the downloadable character Freddy Krueger, and bundled in the free Mortal Kombat Compatibility Pack 4 DLC.
Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 -
- Ermac - Exclusive to he PlayStation Vita version.
- Jade - Found in Blu-ray copies of Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (exclusive to the PlayStation 3 version) and bundled in the Klassic Skins Pack #1 DLC.
- Kitana - Found in game pre-orders from Toys "R" Us and bundled in the Klassic Skins Pack #1 DLC.
- Mileena - Found in game pre-orders from Wal-Mart and bundled in the Klassic Skins Pack #1 DLC.
- Noob Saibot - Exclusive to the PlayStation Vita version.
- Rain - Exclusive to the PlayStation Vita version.
- Reptile - Exclusive to the PlayStation Vita version.
- Scorpion - Exclusive to the PlayStation Vita version.
- Skarlet - Based on other female ninja appearances. Exclusive to the PlayStation Vita version.
- Smoke - Exclusive to the PlayStation Vita version.
- Sub-Zero - Based on the Classic Sub-Zero appearance. Exclusive to the PlayStation Vita version.
During the Arcade Ladder Mode, players can also access secret fights against characters that not only bear their classic costume, but also their classic special moves (which are actually special moves used by other characters in the game). These secret opponents do not have access to the special meter, meaning they do not have access to Enhanced Moves, Breakers, and X-Ray attacks.
- Jade - Found by achieving Flawless Victory on both rounds during the fight with Shang Tsung (while winning every previous round of Ladder Mode). Only has access to Kitana's "Fan Toss" special move.
- Smoke - Found by crouching and pressing the Back/Select button in the Living Forest stage when Smoke appears behind the trees. Only has access to Scorpion's "Spear" and "Teleport" (with smoke instead of flames) special moves.
- Reptile - Found by achieving Flawless Victory on both rounds in the Pit stage when shadows appear over the moon and performing a Stage Fatality. Only has access to his "Slide" and "Invisibility" special moves, Sub-Zero's "Ice Ball" special move, and Scorpion's "Spear" special move.
- Noob Saibot - Found by winning both rounds in the Cathedral stage without blocking when Noob appears in the background. Only has access to his "Teleport Slam" special move.
The story begins during the first Mortal Kombat tournament, a tournament organized by the Elder Gods betweent Earthrealm and Outworld. The tournament takes place on Shang Tsung's island where Raiden begins to have visions sent from his future self. As Earthrealm progresses through the tournament, Raiden attempts to stop Scorpion from murdering Sub-Zero, but fails to do so due to Quan Chi intervening. He then sends Liu Kang to defeat Goro and Shang Tsung, resulting in Earthrealm's victory, but Raiden realizes that despite future events remain unchanged.
Shao Kahn, ruler of Outworld and Konqueror of worlds, decides to hold a new Mortal Kombat tournament in Outworld. To change future events, Raiden saves Smoke from being captured and turned into a cyborg, only for the younger Sub-Zero to be captured in his place, and despite his efforts Jax still gets his arms torn off by Ermac. Raiden also causes Kitana turn against Shao Khan, her father, and she and Jade both join the forces of Outworld. Believing that Liu Kang is not supposed to win the tournament, Raiden sends Kung Lao to defeat Kintaro. Kung Lao is victorious, but Shao Kahn kills him, sending Liu Kang into a rage. Liu Kang defeats Shao Kahn and wins the tournament, but despite their second victory the future still remains unchanged.
Frustrated at not being able to merge the realms, Shao Khan decides to invade Earthrealm instead, as it does not violate the Elder Gods rule against merging the realms without achieving victory in Mortal Kombat. During this invasion Motaro is sent to Earthrealm, but he is killed by Raiden. After the defeat of Motaro, Shao Kahn has Quan Chi resurrect his dead wife, Sindel. The now cyborg Sub-Zero is revealed to be working for Outworld, but after being reprogrammed he joins Earthrealm. Nightwolf manages to stop Quan Chi from conjuring all of Earthrealms souls, but Earthrealm's future is still the same. Liu Kang and Raiden both go to ask the Elder Gods for assistance, but they refuse to help as Shao Khan is not in violation of their laws. During this time, Sindel shows up and slaughters most of Earthrealm's forces, killing Smoke, Cyber Sub Zero, Jade, Kitana, Jax, Kabal and Stryker. Upon their return, Liu Kang admits that they have lost and claims that Raiden is crazy when he decides that their best hope is to ask Quan Chi for help. Raiden offers Quan Chi the souls of all of the Earthrealm warriros who have fallen against Shao Kahn's forces, but Quan Chi refuses, revealing Shao Kahn had already promised him the souls of all of those who fell during the conflict. At this point, Raiden realizes that the only way to change the future is to let Shao Khan win and allow him to merge the two worlds. Liu Kang refuses to let this happen, believing Raiden to have gone insane, and the two fight, resulting in Liu Kang's accidental death. Raiden faces Shao Khan alone, and right before dying at the blood thirsty tyrant's hand, the gods intervene, allowing Raiden to defeat Shao Khan and save Earthrealm. As Raiden and the last of the Earthrealm warriors leave, Quan Chi and the fallen Elder God Shinnok appear and reveal their own plans to take over both Earthrealm and Outworld.
Along with the standard edition, Mortal Kombat is also available in three other editions: Kollector's, Tournament and Komplete. Each offers different bonuses alongside the standard edition of the game.
Kollector's Edition (U.S. version) Originally sold for $99.99 USD, the United States version of the Mortal Kombat: Kollector's Edition includes the Mortal Kombat game, a collectible art book (featuring concept sketches and game renders), a code to unlock the classic costume for Ermac, codes to unlock Mortal Kombat avatars and themes (PlayStation 3 version only), codes to unlock the NetherRealm Studios logo shirt and Scorpion outfit for Avatars (Xbox 360 version only), and special book-ends of Scorpion impaling Sub-Zero through a wall with a spear.
Kollector's Edition (U.K. version) Originally sold for £49.99 GBP, the United Kingdom version of the Mortal Kombat: Kollector's Edition includes the Mortal Kombat game (in special steel book packaging), a collectible art book (featuring concept sketches and game renders), a code to unlock the classic costume for Ermac, codes to unlock Mortal Kombat avatars and themes (PlayStation 3 version only), codes to unlock the NetherRealm Studios logo shirt and Scorpion outfit for Avatars (Xbox 360 version only), and a statue of Scorpion impaling Sub-Zero with a spear.
Tournament Edition Originally sold for $149.99 USD, Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition includes the Mortal Kombat game, a code to unlock the classic costume for Ermac, codes to unlock Mortal Kombat avatars and themes (PlayStation 3 version only), codes to unlock the NetherRealm Studios logo shirt and Scorpion outfit for Avatars (Xbox 360 version only), and a specially-designed fight stick that doubles as a storage box.
Announced on January 9, 2012 via the Mortal Kombat Facebook page, the Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition became available February 28, 2012 and includes:
- All four downloadable characters.
- All fifteen throwback skins/outfits.
- All three "Klassic" fatalities for Scorpion, Sub-Zero, and Reptile.
- A download code for the 1995 Mortal Kombat film.
- A download code for Mortal Kombat: Songs Inspired By The Warriors soundtrack.
Mortal Kombat Vita
Mortal Kombat for the PlayStation Vita (released May 1, 2012) brings all of what was included in the original game and Komplete Edition (except the movie/soundtrack) as well as many new exclusives including:
- 150 new Bonus Challenge Tower missions made especially for the Vita touchscreen and accelerometer. The Bonus Challenge Tower features the first chance to play as Shao Kahn, Kintaro and other surprise character appearances.
- Touch-screen activated X-Rays and Fatalities.
- Total of 16 more skins, including "Klassic" outfits including UMK3-style ninjas and alternate outfits for the three DLC characters (Skarlet, Kenshi & Rain).
- Augmented reality practice arena.
- More mini-games including Test Your Balance and Test Your Slice.
- OS: (32-bit) Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
- CPU: Intel Core Duo, 2.4 GHz / AMD Athlon X2, 2.8 GHz
- Memory: 2 GB
- Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS / AMD Radeon 3850
- DirectX: DX 10 (Windows XP and DirectX® 9.0c and below not supported)
- OS: (64-bit) Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
- CPU: Intel Core i5 750, 2.67 GHz / AMD Phenom II X4 965, 3.4 GHz
- Memory: 4 GB
- Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 / AMD Radeon HD 6950
- DirectX: DX 11