I’ve been playing a lot of the new Mortal Kombat demo over the past week and I must say, it’s really good. If you’ve been longing for the good old days of Mortal Kombat II then this iteration was likely developed with you in mind. Though the demo is pretty limited, it does have a lot to show about the upcoming game.
The demo features four characters: Scorpion, Johnny Cage, Mileena and Sub-Zero. Really, all of them feel great. The basic combos are very easy to learn and functional, most only requiring three button presses and maybe a directional input. Each character’s special moves (i.e. Scorpion’s grappling hook) function largely as they have for years.
Rather than using a button system comprised of high punch, low punch, high kick and low kick, this basic functionality seems to have been overhauled. The four face buttons are now mapped to front punch, back punch, front kick and back kick (with regards to your character’s orientation on the screen). I didn’t find this jarring at all and at the end of the day it will still feel like classic Mortal Kombat.
One great thing is that fatalities are simple again. You’ll be looking at about four direction inputs and a face button to pull off the moves. Naturally, the real catch with them is that you must be positioned accurately. It seems that every stage is going to have a fatality this time around as well, which is super nice.
The animations are fluid and cool to watch, never breaking the flow of the rounds. When a round ends, the loser gets back up and both fighters return to starting positions very naturally. Maybe it’s just because of all the Street Fighter IV I’ve seen lately, but this seamless round transition is very welcome.
All in all, the new Mortal Kombat is shaping up to be great and my expectations of it have been raised even more with this demo. It should be released to everyone (non-PS+) today, so check it out!