Patrick McCarron - June 6, 2006
Something I'm sure Midway knows already is that it is almost impossible to please all the fans of the Mortal Kombat series. Mortal Kombat has been around now for 15 years and has had nine different variations of the game to date. This vast world of Mortal Kombat has created many different characters and worlds; there is so much that every time a new game comes out there will be fan outcry about a missing character. This time around with Mortal Kombat: Armageddon Midway aimed to please the fans and try to put all the characters into the game, and I think they will be successful in that goal.
At first glance, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon looks even more refined than the previous two current generation Mortal Kombat games. The MK Team has taken their game engine and refined it to a new level once again. They are obviously pushing the graphical limits of the PS2 and Xbox. And after many years of experience on the systems, that should not be a surprise. Also, those of you with HDTV sets the game will look even better in the widescreen aspect ratio and with better quality. It will help the detail of the game stand out a lot more than on a standard TV. The character design of the new characters is superb. The Mortal Kombat art team appeared to try to have a new look for all the old characters and they look great. With over 50 characters to choose from, this was no small task by any means. They even tried to give the previously boring characters that no one liked some new style and moves to hopefully entice the players to give the character another chance.
Along with some old characters, another carry over from the previous games is the stages from the previous games. The art team has been busy recreating various stages for the first time in the 3D environment and so far the work has been very well done. All stages have held true to the look of the originals, and have added new levels of detail to the stages. This is a welcome addition for those of us fans who have grown with the series and really love the look and feel of the older games. I think this game is almost an exact 3D copy of the looks of Mortal Kombat 3; however, it is not quite to the level of Mortal Kombat II, which holds a higher in visual appearance and style than MK3. The previous games were close but did not have that level of realism detail in the characters and environments that the early games in the series had due to digitized human characters.
The most innovative feature of this game is the "Create A Fighter" feature. Fans of the series have been asking for this feature since the first games started to feature it. Now that the technology is there, Midway took the initiative and gave it to the fans. The flexibility of this feature is really hard to describe properly in words, but hopefully some of the enclosed pictures speak for themselves. There were many well done custom characters created during the short duration of the E3 show, some of which were even almost exact replications of Street Fighter characters and comic book superheroes. This mode is sure to put an interesting spin on the online play elements in Mortal Kombat Armageddon. It could be fun just to play to see what wacky characters people create.
On the subject of multiplayer, there may be even more changes this time around. A lot of multiplayer features in Armageddon have not been disclosed yet. This is something that despite my best efforts, I could not get a peep of information out of anyone at Midway on the issue. The magazines have talked about a great new fun feature for online play, but I think this will have to remain a mystery for a little bit longer. This feature is being put in place of the previous mini games from Mortal Kombat: Deception, so it has to be pretty interesting and entertaining because those other modes were fan favorites.