Patrick McCarron - June 6, 2006
While we lost the mini-games, we still have the Konquest mode, which is once again improved on from the previous two games. The gameplay in Konquest was redesigned with ideas borrowed from the popular Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks. The Konquest team also added improved the cinematic scenes to carry the game play along. Overall Konquest appears to be highly polished for this iteration and could almost be sold as a separate game in and of itself. Fans will get a lot of value out of Armageddon's adventure/tutorial mode.
Now I saved the best for last, the gameplay changes. Two major changes to the traditional Mortal Kombat game play elements have occurred in Armageddon. The first is the Air Combat system. Since the Mortal Kombat series moved to a 3D game engine, there has always been some difficulty with jumping and air juggling. With Mortal Kombat: Deception, the MK team finally got these issues down a little bit more to a manageable level. In Armageddon, it was amazing to feel the difference with jumping in this game. Not to mention the ability to follow your opponent into the air after an air juggle move. Now you can continue combos and attacks in the air, when before you were limited to a single punch/kick/throw. This is a welcome feature in my eyes, makes the game just feel so much more natural. It will vastly change the landscape of versus gameplay online. I can't wait to see the crazy combos that are now possible.
The other major change to the traditional Mortal Kombat elements may be the biggest change of all in the series, the "Create A Fatality" system. Now in Armageddon instead of the typical "cut-scene" style fatalities of old, you are challenged to create your own custom fatality. You are given a limited amount of time to perform various button combinations, some of which will be custom for that character, to finish off your opponent. Each time you execute one movement, you are given much less time to perform the next movement. At E3 the common number we would see were in the 3-5 range, and the well trained Midway employees were spotted doing up to 9 and 10. I am not totally sold on this idea just yet, but we will wait to see what the final outcome is of this feature is when the game is released.
Overall, I think this game will make a majority of fans happy and will keep them playing for the next year or so until the next game arrives. The Mortal Kombat team has said that this game will be the last in the series similar to it. The games going forward will be a reinvented Mortal Kombat game for the next-generation console systems. So the MK team decided to go out on top and under promise and over deliver on features. Let's just hope that their gambles are successful and that Armageddon pleases the mass of Mortal Kombat fans while pulling in some new fans for the ride as well.