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MORTAL KOMBAT: ARMAGEDDON

01 Nov 06

In the years since Mortal Kombat 4, Midway has slowly built the MK series up into a pretty decent 3D fighter. Deadly Alliance set the groundwork, Deception improved on the formula in nearly every way and now we come to the Armageddon. Mortal Kombat: Armageddon takes almost every character in the series and throws them into the mix for this final current-gen MK game. And like Deadly Alliance and Deception before them, the game plays beautifully. To simplify things, Armageddon gives each character, over 60 in total, one martial arts stance and one weapon stance. While some characters feel a little hollow without two weaponless fighting styles, Midway has managed to pick the best style for each returning kombatant. Midway has also retooled and rebalanced all of the former boss characters and made them playable right from the start. Motaro may have only two legs and Onaga may not be invincible anymore, but having all of the boss characters as “regular” characters is sweet. Armageddon forgoes the “three lights” battle system that was featured in Deception. This was probably because no one understood it and it never really seemed to factor into the fighting. Deception’s “change of pace” minigames were the ridiculously fun Puzzle Kombat and mostly enjoyable Chess Kombat. Sadly, both of those games have been scrapped for Armageddon and replaced by a Mortal Kombat kart racing clone dubbed Motor Kombat. Motor Kombat has its moments, but the controls feel a bit too loose and this makes the mode less fun than it should be. Midway has also gone and added something that I never thought I’d see in an MK game: a Kreate A Fighter mode. KAF is very deep and offers tons of customisations that will allow gamers to create wild looking characters that even Ed Boon wouldn’t have thought of. Overall, Armageddon is a fantastic follow-up to Deception and a great way to close out the PS2/Xbox/GameCube era of Mortal Kombat games. Graphics are above average and many of the fighters have received welcome makeovers. All of the best arenas from Deception have made a comeback and seeing Meat, Stryker and Sheeva fleshed out as full 3D characters is fantastic.

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