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Mortal Kombat [E3 2010]

fernoca

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Mortal Kombat
-E3 2010 Demo/Impressions/Etc.-

  • Game release: Spring 2011
  • Systems: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 (3D ready)

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(E3 booth/theater. Pic from TRMK)
More booth pics at: Kamidogu.com


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Gamespot's People Choice Game of the Show (2010): Winner



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Story: (Is it a sequel, prequel, reboot?)
"So we're kind of doing a Back to the Future type of thing, where Raiden is about to be killed by Shao Kahn, and just before he delivers the last blow, he sends a mental message to his earlier self, so the camera rewinds back to Mortal Kombat 1. The Raiden from back then gets a message and he doesn't know what's going on, but he knows something bad's going to happen, and the game spans Mortal Kombat 1, 2 and 3, retelling the story with an enlightened Raiden, and he's changing the course of things, so everything you've seen happen before – Liu Kang winning, the guys turning into cybernetic ninjas, are changed around, so you might see a character become cybernetic who wasn't before, and so you see a different version [of events]."
[IGN]


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Notes:
  • Controller configuration seems the same; with High and Low replaced with Front and Rear (Front Punch, Rear Punch, Front Kick, Rear Kick) and Block; no Run button. [Jeff Gerstmann's Twitter]
  • Characters in the demo: Scorpion, Mileena, Reptile, Sub-Zero, Kung Lao, Johnny Cage, Nightwolf, and Sektor.
  • Planning/aiming to have 26 characters (28 slots) in the final game: 26 slots of regular characters, 1 for DLC-characters and 1 for random. [DLC slot expands to store more than 1 character] (according to Gamespot, FDMK, MKServer and Jeff Gerstmann/Giant Bomb)
  • Bar spotted at the lower part of the screen; divided in 3 levels:
    1. Level one makes whatever attack you’re pulling off stronger. Fireballs become larger, and attacks like Sektor’s teleport punch add another hit to the combo.
    2. Level two is a combo-breaker – pretty basic, same stuff we’ve seen before.
    3. Level three is the most exciting. Currently dubbed the x-ray attack, it’s a brutal attack that goes into an x-ray mode to show you what you’re doing. Like showing fingers penetrating the skull through the eyes, or breaking someones rubs. In Johnny Cage’s case, it’s the meat sack of the pelvis rupturing after his famous ball-buster.
  • Plans for Downloadable Content (new characters, new backgrounds, new fatalities)
  • Secrets? "Certainly this Mortal Kombat game we're taking a little bit more seriously, so we're probably not going to have a friendship move and whatnot, but if we were to do something like that we're definitely not going to document it. That's what I think was part of the fun of the old games. 'You turned the guy into a baby!' What? Or, 'you pulled out a rainbow'! What the? It's such an odd thing. We really want these events – if they happen – to be almost rumors. That's a big part of what Mortal Kombat was. The question mark about - what else is in this game?"-Ed Boon [IGN]


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(Pic from TRMK, to show the life bars and the new bar)


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Impressions:
Giantbomb
But this game, once known as Mortal Kombat 9, is hardly some kind of pure nostalgia play. All of the redesigned and remixed things that you recognize from the older games in the series are wrapped in a fighting system that manages to feel like the classic 2D entries in the series where it needs to while also adding things that weren't found in those early MK. The combination makes the 2011 release feel like a more modern fighting game, and more in line with what Capcom's been doing with Street Fighter IV. Along those lines, Mortal Kombat has an on-screen super meter with three different main abilities requiring its use.
On top of all this, uppercuts matter, the game has turnaround kicks, and it generally feels a lot like the classic Mortal Kombat games, even though it breaks the buttons up by "front" and "back" instead of "high" and "low." It sounds like there's potential for some sort of MK-specific hardware down the line, too, as the game's more advanced moves, like tagging and throwing, can be done by hitting multiple buttons on the classic five-button MK setup, as well as via their dedicated shoulder buttons. It'll be interesting to see if that develops.
All that, plus it has--right now, anyway--two fatalities per character. The finishers are over-the-top without (yet) reaching the extremes of making arcade machines fall out of the air or making Scorpion turn into a penguin or anything like that. I'm not sure how I'd feel about the wackier side of Mortal Kombat making its way into this new game. On one hand, nothing is more awesome than dropping an arcade machine on top of a guy. On the other, 2011's Mortal Kombat trades in pure carnage and extreme dismemberment, so something like a "friendship" or a "babality" would seem very out of place.
Kotaku
Super meter moves also modify attacks in other ways. In the case of Reptile's force ball move, not only did it make it much bigger, it popped Reptile's opponent higher, adding more frames of attack opportunity. These moves are key to expert level combos and play.
We saw the expert class designers of Mortal Kombat pulling off amazingly deep and long-chained combos using a combination of all these super moves, X-ray moves and player swaps, something frame-counting fighting game freaks will likely appreciate more than your casual MK fan.
You'll get a close look at each of them with custom intro and outro animations, like Scorpion's descent to hell and Mileena's grabbing and gnashing of her teeth at the camera.
Kamidogu.com
The real surprise in this build was the detail, that of which far surpasses the teaser trailer we have all seen so far. Ed described the blood, which now has ultra-realistic properties. Blood sprays depending on the attack, meaning if Scorpion slashes his opponent in a circular motion the blood sprays in a curved fashion. Other advancements include proper bodily damage, which have been expanded to include actual lacerations in the skin. Not only do the characters lose blood whilst doing battle, they can also stain each other. Blood from your opponent can spray onto your kombatant, and stay there for the remainder of the match. The longer it stays exposed, the more it decays and turns darker.
Ed later moved to the two-on-two mode, which is surprisingly more enjoyable than the aforementioned. Working similarly to other tag team games, players select two kombatants and are able to switch between each at will. The thing that sets this apart is the option to incorporate your awaiting character in the battle at hand. You can choose to either have your reserve character pop on the screen and perform a special move before dropping out again, or you can opt to have your current character swap out while your reserve enters the ring with a special move. Choosing this route instead of the normal swap in/out will require you to use the first part of your Super gauge.

Gamespot
The first thing you'll notice about Mortal Kombat is that (just like the reboot that gave us Street Fighter IV), the game looks familiar yet strikingly impressive at the same time thanks to the visual upgrade modern consoles can provide. The characters themselves are nicely detailed, and sport damage to their clothes in real time (as well as showing open wounds as the fight progresses). Blood will even splatter and eventually congeal on yourself and your opponent, turning darker in color as the match progresses. The stages, too, are looking good. Some familiar levels we saw--such as The Pit from the original and The Living Forest from the first sequel--have plenty of animated sections and loads of character.
But an even bigger addition is the ability to have tag-team matches in the style of Capcom's vs. series. Mortal Kombat will have dedicated two vs two mode (as well as the traditional solo matches), and you'll be able to swap out characters on the fly during a fight. If you've played a Capcom vs. game recently, then you'll know what to expect: characters will perform an attack as they swap in (leading to interesting combo opportunities), and you'll also be able to call them in for a quick assist attack move. Unlike the Capcom vs. games, resting characters won't regain any health, although the game's developers said that issue was still yet to be fully decided upon. Swapping characters have their own unique animations, so they won't simply jump out of the way when summoned out of a fight. Mileena, for example, gives a loud hiss and rolls away, while Johnny Cage makes a throat slit move before leaping away.
And then, of course, there are the fatalities. The ones we spied during our hands-on session were truly brutal, and are sure to elicit disgust from the squeamish and delight for those more macabre-minded. Mileena's fatality, for example, sees her throw her sais into an opponent's feet, locking them into place before ripping off their torso. Reptile grabs open an opponent's mouth, spits acid into it, before punching a hole in their stomach and ripping out their intestines. Sektor slices an opponent's upper body into several pieces, before individually targeting them with missiles to destroy them even further. Words don't do justice to the level of gore on show here, so you'll have to trust us that these moves are pretty extreme (either that or watch some game play videos).
IGN
"The fundamental fighting mechanics are based on custom combos," says Ed Boon, the co-creator of the series. "We want to do as little of the pre-programmed combos in the game as possible, and let players take pieces A, B and C and piece them together themselves. And when you add the whole tag team thing, with other characters coming in, all of a sudden there's new variables to mess with. We just want to create this huge palette and let players connect the dots. And that's our mission, with every single feature in the game, the X-Ray moves, all the specials and enhanced specials, they're all built around just adding variables to what the player has to work with."
Mortal Kombat runs on a heavily modified version of the Unreal Engine 3, and the action sits at a silky smooth 60 frames per second. Characters are huge and detailed, the animations flow really well, and the stages are quite spectacular. We particularly like the Coliseum-style arena, where a huge crowd of people are cheering from the stands, and a demonic figure surveys the fight from a throne formed from a massive horned skull.
And then there's the internal modeling. Yes, the team have modeled each character's insides for the X-Ray attacks, and the result looks great. Because hey, when Johnny Cage goes to town on an opponent's bathing suit area (an actual move), or Sub Zero reaches into an enemy's chest to freeze then shatter their liver (also an actual move – bless this game), you want their insides to look their best.
So just who is going to be in this roster? "Our approach to the characters is that we're really focusing on Mortal Kombat 1, 2 and 3 in terms of the roster," Ed tells us. "So for the most part if you have a favorite character from those games, you're probably going to see him in the game." Sadly, they're not announcing any new characters – they want fans to be taken by surprise.

Wild Gunmen
True to form, the combat looks a lot faster and more fluid, like the older games. Even the levels they showed us, the living forest, the pit and Shao Khans throne (complete with Sonia Blade in chains) are based off the originals, with a new coat of paint.
Blood and combat damage appears on characters as they take a beating, and remains round-to-round until the end of the match. Yeah, I know, this was done before – but it’s looking really good, really gory here. Not the crayon-like effects seen in previous games.
We were also shown tag team, 2 vs. 2 combat. It seems pretty similar to any tag team fighter – tag out at any time, throw a move while tagging in, use the super meter to do special attack. In all, it looks fun and fluid.
The game looks really good actually, and everyone has custom animations. There’s a real focus on the characters here.
At one point during the match, Subzero freezes Scorpion just before he’s about to land – he frozen in place, in the jumping animation in mid air. It draws applause.

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Animated gifs


(posted by SolidSnakex)


(posted by parasight)

http://i45.tinypic.com/10z1lie.gif (no longer works)
(posted by parasight)


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Videos:


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Pics: (of screen)

Character select (Updated; pic from MKServer):


Flying teeth [X-ray mode] (Screengrab by rikichi)


Mileena after a match:


Johnny Cage's MKII Fatality:

(Pics from Wildgunmen; more pics there.)

Menu (seems to be like MK vs DC Universe..with the characters fighting nd the action pausing while you make a choice)

(Pic from Inside MK)

Kung Lao's fatality (result)

(Posted by BloodySinner)

Scorpion doing his X-ray move on Sub-Zero

(Posted by Masterblaster; originally from MKServer)

Sektor vs. Reptile

(Posted by Masterblaster; originally from MKServer)

Nightwolf and Johnny Cage vs. Mileena and Kung Lao

(Posted by Masterblaster; originally from MKServer)

Scorpion vs Sub-Zero

(Posted by Masterblaster; originally from InsideMK)
 

Barakov

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BRUTAL. I definitely like that the combat seems more akin to the older games.
 

GekigangerV

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Hmmm, So Sonia is chained to one of the backgrounds?

Damn, I was hoping she would be a playable character.
 

JdFoX187

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GekigangerV said:
Hmmm, So Sonia is chained to one of the backgrounds?

Damn, I was hoping she would be a playable character.
She was chained in the earlier map as well, and was still playable. With 16 characters, hopefully this goes back to the basics. Most fo the characters in the latest games were downright fucking stupid. I'm looking at you Bo Rai Cho.
 

fernoca

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Zombie James said:
Wonder if they're going to redo any more classic backgrounds.
The Living Forest (MKII)
The Pit (MKI/II)
Shang Tsung's Temple (MKI)
..and a few others are in the game. There are some city/roofs, so maybe some MK3 stages are in the mix also.
 

Foil

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Shame that the roster will be that small. Also hope that bar on the bottom can be turned off. I hate having tons of things on the HUD in fighting games. The city levels that we saw in the original trailer looked so bland and boring. Hopefully there's not too many of those.

I'm excited though. They're doing lots of things right with this game. Kinda hope Kano makes the cut.
 

fernoca

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Liara T'Soni said:
Looks great but why are fighting games still locking off content?

I really wish that philosophy towards locking content would die off, we have achievements now, you can reward the player in different ways.
The characters are locked for demo purposes; there's no confirmation as to which is the starting roster.
 

Manus

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I'm down for 16 players. Since almost every fighter added after 4 was complete trash.
 
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Liara T'Soni said:
Looks great but why are fighting games still locking off content?

I really wish that philosophy towards locking content would die off, we have achievements now, you can reward the player in different ways.
aren't they just locked for E3?
 

Foil

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I just hope Burpfart Magoo doesn't make the roster cut. One of the worst characters ever put into this franchise.

Maybe the final roster count will go up at some point?
 

Kitschkraft

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fernoca said:
The characters are locked for demo purposes; there's no confirmation as to which is the starting roster.
Oh, my confusion.

I was looking at that like "8 characters, and as many locked off, the fuck?".....:lol
 

fernoca

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Chamber said:
16 characters? :/
Character roster hasn't been revealed yet, neither the total amount or if there will be DLC for this game.

There are 16 slots; if that means there are 16 characters that's another thing. The team tends to change select character screen multiple times...as evidenced by prior games.
 

DasRaven

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First, Day FN One!

Second, Folks since one of the worst things in MK franchise has been the gameplay and character balance, I see fixing the cast at 16-20 with secrets/bosses as a positive thing.

They need to spend as much time making the gameplay good as they did thinking up these wonderfully brutal fatalities. A well balanced fighting game (think SSF2T) is better than an unbalanced one with 30+ characters (think MvC2).
 

Kronotech

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I hope there are more than 16 even if a few are unlockable bosses or something. 16 is good but 20 is a nice round number :)

And Shao Kahn better be playable!
 

Yousefb

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NIIIIIIIIIIIIIICE

my friends and I have been playing MKII on ps3 nonstop for the past few days, can't wait for this!
 

riceandbeans

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Kronotech said:
I hope there are more than 16 even if a few are unlockable bosses or something. 16 is good but 20 is a nice round number :)

And Shao Kahn better be playable!
Should be, he was in the trailer.

One of the very few games I'm excited about from E3. Looks amazing.
 

noirebanana

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Mortal Kombat was one of my favorite franchises growing up, so it's good to see that the newest game is looking really good so far.
 

C-Jo

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This is hitting all of the right MK2/3 nerves. I hope this turns out to be good because I'm ready to go back to some MK.
 

mr stroke

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Damn this looks sooooo good. Glad they are going back to form with this. I am crossing fingers they go all out for online too-rankings, lobbies, voice, good net code, etc...

why can't this come out in 2010 :(