Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance
Being a fan of the Mortal Kombat series since the beginning, I was really looking forward to this latest installment.
Deadly Alliance starts off with Quan Chi and Shang Tsung, two evil sorcerors from the underworld, joining forces – and thus creating the “Deadly Alliance” – and killing Liu Kang, world’s greatest warrior ever.
Their plan is to revive the Dragon King’s undead army with the spirits of great human warriors so Raiden again gives up his godly state to come to earth and gather warriors to defeat the evil forces.
And thus it’s time for some good old bashing of the buttons in yet another Mortal Kombat game.
Ok, the storyline is thin (if the sorcerors are using souls of the greatest warriors, how can Raiden find good warriors to compete ?) but that’s something no-one ever bothered with in a game like this. Fighting is what these types of games are all about and that’s where Deadly Alliance has to shine.
There several modes of play, starting with the usual Arcade, VS. and Practice modes and a Konquest which includes over 200 battles but is more a training mode where you get to learn the controls than a real storymode.
Still, Konquest is interesting to do as first mode because you’ll end up knowing your players and controls a lot better and will be able to perform at a much higher level in Arcade or Vs.
Winning battles isn’t just about honor in Deadly Alliance but also about earning money. Whether you play Arcade, Vs. or Konquest, each battle you win (while using your own profile of course) will gain you coins with which you can buy stuff.
There are several different types of coins and with these you can go to the Krypt Mode where you can open coffins (at a price) and get things going from concept art over movies to even new characters and clothing. Later on you can check out the stuff you bought again in your “Kontent” department. Although most people will probably try to unlock extra characters at first, I can tell you that not everything else is crap. As an example, I unlocked a “Making Of” movie which was really interesting to watch.
The only problem with these coffins is that you only get to see the price you’re paying for opening them, but have no clue what you’re getting. Of course, with over 600 coffins to open, you’ll be more pursuaded to keep playing the game until you’ve gotten everything and are sure there aren’t any great characters left 🙂
Of course, to be able to win a fight you need a character and there’s several to choose from, with – as said before – more to unlock. Each character has his or her own moves and three fighting styles. Two of those are hand-fighting while the third is always weapon-based.
The nice thing here is that the balancing of the styles is done with the damage. While you can cause a lot of damage with your weapons, your character will also be a lot more vulnerable while using them. When being kicked while for instance using a sword, the damage caused by that kick will be a lot worse than when your character is fighting with another style. Quite smart indeed.
As with all Mortal Kombat games, you’ve got several special moves each character can do and a “fatality move” which really makes the blood gutter out of your opponent. The sad thing here is that the more complex special moves are really hard to perform due to the fact that you have to time your button-pressing to a tenth of a second or you can try again. Another downpoint is the fact that each character has only one fatality move and again it comes up to extremely timing the pushing of the buttons or your move will completely go wrong and you’ll have missed your chance.
The gore level of Deadly Alliance is again at an all-time high as even the slightest hit will cause a character to spill blood everywhere so you can imagine how things start to look when you’re slicing your opponent up with a katana or broadsword 🙂
The only question one can pose is that while blood is spilling all around and characters are getting the beating of a lifetime, they seem unhurt until the last kick which causes them to fall down. Up until that moment they’ll be jumping and punching without any problems. Maybe they are on cocaine or something ?
The first time a Mortal Kombat game is in full 3D, I must say it’s a success. The characters look really good and so do the surroundings although a couple of them could use a makeover. A nice touch is the fact that while playing, the framerate doesn’t drop so you won’t experience annoying slowdowns because you’re doing some great move. The only annoying part is the fact that there’s invisible walls which limit your freedom too much. I would have liked it more if Midway would have implemented a system much like the one in Dead or Alive where you can jump to another room or something.
As a conclusion I could say that it’s been about time that we got to see a no-nonsense beat’em up game again and Deadly Alliance is just what we needed. There may not be as much variation in game modes like in Dead or Alive 3, and we do have irritating invisible walls that block your freedom to move, but all in all there’s enough to keep you going for a while.