For a series that started out as an arcade game, Mortal Kombat Deception shows absolutely no signs of having any trouble in establishing itself as a great console fighting game. Building on the solid foundations laid by Deadly Alliance, Deception takes the console-only iterations of Mortal Kombat to a much higher level of quality. By having already conquered the fundamental issues with developing a console-only title with Deadly Alliance, this has allowed the MK team to invest more time in creating an enormous amount of creative content for Deception. Deadly Alliance can be compared to the first Mortal Kombat in that it established a strong foundation of gameplay and features, where Deception is more or less a modern day Mortal Kombat II: offering more content and features popular of the previous version. Comparisons aside, Deception truly establishes the Mortal Kombat series as a remarkable console-only fighter.
First off, one of the most evident features of Deception’s quality is the game’s fully interactive backgrounds. So many fighting games have touted this feature, but have poorly represented it. Deception finally delivers an implementation of interactivity that is more than just a bullet-point feature so many games have butchered in the past. Deception’s backgrounds are not just a breakable barrel and a platform to knock your opponent off of. With death traps and knock-off fatalities, Deception’s backgrounds become another weapon in your character’s arsenal and must be factored into the player’s strategy.
Another element that is evident to the amount of focus the MK team is investing into quality content are the mini-games. Past Mortal Kombats have featured the occasional game of pong and galaxian clones; however, Puzzle Kombat and Chess Kombat are the most elaborate and feature-rich mini-games ever featured in a Mortal Kombat game. These games have their own strategies and gameplay systems and could easily exist on their own as independent titles. Puzzle Kombat is simply a really fun game to play. It features its own special moves and special features that keep the games lively. With Chess Kombat, a highly strategic element is brought to the MK universe. Even though it sounds odd, the game works very well, presenting the gameplay of Deception with a strategically-rich façade of chess, archon and stratego. One of the benefits of adding these mini-games to Deception is the multitude of replayability and value they add. But most importantly, the mini-games will attract and expand the game’s following to beyond the fighting genre.
If these additions weren’t enough, Deception marks the beginning of a new era of competition, with Xbox Live and also PS2 with the aid of GameSpy technology for , bringing online play to the Mortal Kombat franchise. Finally, the elements of competition similar to the days of the arcade are back in the Mortal Kombat universe. Online is such an important feature to the revival of the fighting genre, and to have Mortal Kombat Deception step in and offer the feature is another huge plus for the game.
At every E3 that Midway has shown a Mortal Kombat game, the previews of the games have always been pretty positive. This is no different for Deception; however, one difference is that Deception is a g
ame that I can actually say will live up to the hype that most previews generate, but many games fail to fulfill upon release. Deception is the most feature-rich demo-version of Mortal Kombat shown at any previous E3 show. The fact that the development team has so much packed into the E3 demo shows that they are able to focus on polishing the game all the way up until its release in October 2004.
October will be an unbelievable month for Mortal Kombat fans. Deception ushers in a new era of Mortal Kombat, along with Midway’s Arcade Treasures 2 immortalizing the nostalgia of the first three Mortal Kombat arcade games onto the Xbox and PlayStation 2.