First Look: Mortal Kombat Special Forces
By: Jeff Greeson
Editor in chief


Controls
While the Nintendo controller is designed for adventure games, the PlayStation's Dual Analog Shock controller was a better fit for MK: Special Forces' fighting sequences. The controls overall were surprisingly very responsive, despite the early nature of the game. I did, however, notice some kinks in the jumping. I'm sure that the controls will be worked on extensively before the game ships.

Gameplay
The fighting sequences were very similar to the combo system in past Mortal Kombat games. You can string together 3 to 4 standard kicks and punches and then finish it off with a roundhouse kick or a special move. On the PlayStation controller, pressing the L2 or R2 button along with a standard punch and kick would perform a special move. I only had a chance to check out Sonya's special moves. From what I remember she had a spinning backhand, elbow, sweep kick, roundhouse and her trademark hand stand leg grab. I'm sure there are more, but this is all I can remember. You can also equip your character with 9mm handguns, machine guns and other weapons from an inventory system. Once you equip your character with a gun, a crosshair would target a nearby enemy allowing for an easy kill.

The level being shown was at E3 was set in a jail/warehouse environment. The mission was to retrieve a nuclear device that the Black Dragon had stolen. Without giving out much of the game/story line, your character starts out in the situation the cinematic left you. This particular level required your character to find keys and keycards to open doors and access elevators in order to complete your mission. Now wait a second before you jump to any conclusions. Game creator, John Tobias ensured me that MK: Special Forces is not going to be another key and door puzzle game. The initial levels are developed that way in order to familiarize new players to the controls and the style of play. The later levels are mission based and more complex, requiring more thought than just finding a key and putting it in the right door. During each level you receive updates from other Special Forces members about the status of the mission. Sometimes the updates will change your mission objective, so make sure you check them as soon as the indicator flashes up on the screen.

 
2000 Jeff Greeson and Jonathan Wilcox. All rights reserved.