Thursday, 22 August 2013

Review: Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition (PC)

Mortal Kombat's 2011 reboot was warmly received so it's great to see it here, finally on PC, looking better than ever.

Because I was taking video of the game for a clip on The Armchair Empire's YouTube Channel, I know the game runs at a smooth 60-frames per second and the detail is phenomenal. Besides looking great, the small touches like head movement and where characters direct their attention during the course of fight and the little things going on in the background make it a game I could simply spend time watching rather than playing. Sadly, there's no option to just pit computer-controlled characters against one-another to just watch.

Happily though there's a multitude of game modes and little diversions to make up for it.

The classic ascension up the ladder to take on Shao Kahn is accounted for along with online multiplayer -- which is sadly lacking numbers in regards to opponents -- but the star of the show is the Story Mode.

I appreciate almost anything that falls into the category of "whackadoodle" and Mortal Kombat's Story Mode is an unabridged definition of the word. Any attempt to explain what's actually happening in the story to someone not already a little bit in-the-know on Mortal Kombat lore is pointless, but for someone with a vague notion, well, it actually begins to make some sense.

Let me qualify that last part because that makes it sound like I could explain it.

A diverse group of fighters with connecting backstories is brought to another dimension to fight in a tournament. Along with some time travel layered in for good measure, each fight is connected with brief story snippets (presented in rough rendered videos)... that's as far as I'm willing to take the description because it's best not to spoil things. The best part of it is that it takes itself extremely seriously, which may be the weirdest part of the whole thing.

As the title might suggest, the game does a good job being komplete. With options to peruse character models and bios, spend all those Koins (collected over every fighting mode in the game) to unlock all manner of secret Fatalities and alternate costumes and match types (Rainbow Kombat, anyone?), it's a smorgasbord for fighting fans in general but Mortal Kombat fans may be hard-pressed to find a better fighting fix.

The online community for the PC version is pretty sparse. The Steam version released early July and the retail version didn't arrive until August 6, 2013, so I expected more players. I must say it runs well if you can find an opponent. Side-by-side with another player is probably your best option, if you have a couple of gamepads.

For $29.99, Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition is great value for the high-calibre fighting game that Netherrealm Studios (and High Voltage Software) has put together. Highly rekommended!

- Aaron Simmer

The Good:
- Looks phenomenal (wish there was a spectator mode)
- Story mode which is actually fun to play through
- Loads of different modes, collectibles, and characters

The Bad:
- Keyboard controls should be easier to use but I found pulling off the more complicated moves next to impossible

Score: 8.5 / 10