Mortal Kombat is the reason I play video games. It's seriously the game that made me run out and buy a console when I was a kid. I visit this site daily, but finally registered on the forums to share my thoughts on the live demo I saw at E3 today. Most of this you've heard, but other cool tidbits I'll mention that you may not have.
Just things I thought were cool...
First off, the game looks incredible graphically. It's simply stunning. When the characters are fighting in the Living Forest there's dynamic lighting breaking through the trees and casting accurate shadows on them. Also, there's a lot going on in the backgrounds. People are being tortured and strangled by vines. Birds are flying around. The big thing I noticed was in Kahn's Arena there is a second fight going on in the background featuring a giant monster that looks like a rancor battling a small group of warriors. Kitana appears to be chained up in the arena as well, though I've heard others say they saw Sonya. So it probably switches. Shao Kahn is also lively in his chair now. Remember in MK2 how he was just a flat sprite that did nothing? Now he's fully animated and taunts the fighters, waving his fist in the air.
The main menu to the game is beautiful and fully animated, and it's by far the best looking character select screen from any MK as well. There are 26 characters apparently, with 1 spot for DLC.The whole game, energy bars, even the words "FATALITY" and "FINISH HIM" have an elegance to them. They really overhauled everything this time.
Another really awesome thing is how fights begin and end. Each character has some pretty amazing intro and victory animations. Sub-Zero materializes from ice. Reptile drops in and turns off his cloaking. Sektor shoots flames into the air in a V formation. A flaming hole opens in the ground and Scorpion leaps out of it. When Scorpion won a fight he seriously burned a hole in the ground and dropped back in, then it cut to him landing in the Underworld and doing his victory pose with fire around him. Seriously.
And the gore... oh the gore. The blood now looks completely realistic, not the cartoonish bright red drops that used to go splattering with every hit. Now it dribbles on the ground realistically. It's DARK RED as blood should be. And it's subtle, and therefore, more real. Character model damage looks nice as well. Sub-Zero was really torn up at the end of one fight, and the damage appears to be to the actual model and not just the bitmap covering it as with the older games.
Oh, yes, and the fatalities. At the end of the demo they showed a Fatality collage and most of the ones are listed here. But seriously, they're more brutal than you can imagine. Just reading the description isn't enough. When Kung Lao dragged Sub-Zero over his spinning hat the way he came apart with the splashing blood was shocking in its realism. Sub-Zero has his spine pull back, but this time he punches his fist into your chest, grabs the spine, then rips it out, head and all. He also has a freeze fatality that we didn't see the completion of. There's a video floating around of Kung Lao's second fatality that combines both of his kills from MK2 into 1 ultimate kill. Johnny Cage's MK2 fatalities are now combined as well. He punches your head off, then rips you in half. Scorpion decapitates his opponent with his sword, then slices the head in half as it falls like a water melon on a samurai sword. Mileena decapitates you and drinks the blood streaming out of the neck. The kill that got by far the biggest reaction was Sektor's. He fires a missile blowing his enemy to pieces, then as each piece flies into the air he locks onto all of them and fires a flock of missiles that shoots them down. It's more hilarious than brutal. The Pit is also well done. When the character falls onto the spikes he lands with one spike through the chest and a second through the head and continues to twitch as blood drains out of him.
When the demo was over the 20 or so people I saw it with all seemed blown away. MK of late has been pretty bleh. But this one kicks it up to 11 and beyond, and as a huge fan of this series I honestly couldn't have been more pleased.
After it was over I got to meet Ed Boon, and he was the nicest and most humble guy. I told him how MK is the reason I play games and he genuinely seemed moved by that. And whenever a fan took a picture with him he would make them take a second picture with his camera to keep for himself. He loves the fans and this new MK is a blood-soaked love letter to them.