Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe Hands-On Preview

We’re all familiar with the Marvel vs. Capcom line of fighting games, but did anyone ever expect to see Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe? Well regardless of what anyone expected, Midway is planning to deliver a fighting mash-up between their most popular cast of fatality-performing warriors and a group of tights-wearing heroes, and it’s due to arrive this November.

I had the chance to play the game at Midway’s Comic Con party in downtown San Diego, and regardless of the game’s T rating and what some might call "unfitting" guest characters, MK vs. DC still feels very much like a Mortal Kombat game.

Members of the gaming press were treated to a preview build of the game that was limited to a handful of combatants and a few different levels to compete in. Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Sonya, and Shang Tsung made it on the MK side of things, and Batman, Superman, Catwoman, and the Flash were representing the DC Universe. Liu Kang, Kitana, Jax, Captain Marvel, the Joker, and the Green Lantern have also been confirmed as part of the final roster, but were unplayable at the event.


Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe


Before you even begin to play, you will notice that the game looks very good. The characters are rendered in great detail, making the two properties actually look like they belong in the same game with one another. Equally impressive background visuals, gradual costume damage, and very smooth character animations all add to the visual package.

But how does it play?

The game feels very similar to other recent Mortal Kombat games, but with a few welcome additions. First, the high/low punch/kick system has been done away with, and now each fighter simply has four striking attacks of any kind mapped to each of the controller’s face buttons. Superman has three punches and a kick, while Batman has three kicks and a punch. The developers chose not to limit themselves, but instead to let the characters’ individual fighting styles shine through in their basic attacks.

More dramatic alterations of the franchise’s fight mechanics are the new "Klose Kombat" and "Free-fall Kombat," which involve sequences of specific, yet unprompted button presses leading up to character-specific super moves. When these segments begin, the player who initiates the attack must string together a custom combination of face button attacks, while the opposing player attempts to anticipate and counter them by preemptively matching the next button pressed by the attacker. The Free-fall Kombat includes a meter that builds up as players plummet from one level of the battle arena to the next, so long as their strikes are landing. When it is full, a quick tap of the right bumper unleashes a superpowered assault that inflicts heavy damage upon the enemy.


Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe


As for the more conventional portions of the contests, there doesn’t seem to be a huge amount of variability to each character’s technique, with few combos or long strings of attacks integrated into the flow of combat. "Pro moves" were interesting, however, allowing players to double up on their characters’ special attacks with well-timed button taps. The effort is definitely apparent in all of the game’s special moves, but the basic dance of combat could use some additional flair.

I didn’t have the opportunity to play through the game’s proposed story mode, where players’ chosen characters must combat members of the opposing universe, who act as invaders of their own.

Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe is scheduled to hit stores on November 4th in the U.S.


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Author: Eddie Inzauto View all posts by
Eddie has been writing about games on the interwebz for over ten years. You can find him Editor-in-Chiefing around these parts, or talking nonsense on Twitter @eddieinzauto.

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