Midway Games, Inc.
Mortal Kombat: Armageddon
Mortal Kombat: Armageddon review
Mortal Kombat: Armageddon was meant to be the end of the chapter. And in fact, it was: MKX and MKXI are quite another story. For those still with PS2, it’s the latest available installation of the series, and there are still reasons to return to it.
Well, does the story come to an end? To a very open one, as after most heroes kill each other, history gets a chance to be rewritten. But before this moment comes, you’ll get a chance to play lots of warriors, including all those you’ve seen in the previous installment, plus several new or previously unplayable ones. These two new demi-god fighters become the protagonists of the Konquest mode.
As there are more fighters now, each of them has less individuality. First of all, each character now only has two combat styles (two unarmed melee styles or one unarmed and one armed). The number of tricks to use is decreased too.
One of the most important innovations is Air Combat mode, letting you act hits and do combos when in the air. That’s obviously even more inspired by martial choreography from Hong Kong movies, but it looks stunning. When you’re down on the ground, you can kick the enemy away and then rise, using so-called “Wake-up Game”, and that’s an innovation too. And don’t forget custom Fatality! Though there’s still too much familiar moves and gestures because the engine has been just slightly reworked after Deception.
You can play traditional Konquest, find opponents online, or play 1-vs-1 locally in the most traditional way. Chess and Puzzle modes are discontinued. The most unnecessary bonus is Motor Kombat, a racing game featuring familiar characters as motor car drivers, though not a bad game of its sort, but strange to appear in such a mystical-and-martial setting.
If we rate the game from 2019, we must notice that it’s quite close to the standards of our era. Of course, limited performance of PS2 shows, but there’s a flying camera instead of static plans, a real 3D instead of simple dynamic backgrounds, and much more realistic moves than in previous installments. And, of course, blood, guts, brains and all the gore we love MK for.
And yes, the sounds; if you close your eyes for a moment, you’ll unmistakably recognize Mortal Kombat, but you hardly will be able to tell what game it is exactly. The soundtrack is a sheer tribute to the original MK games, and it’s an ear-candy that tastes like blood.
The game is quite optimized for PS2 controllers, from the original gamepad to DualShock. It’s easily controlled, and when it comes to improvising your combo chains or moving in mid-air, new actions are easy to pick. There’s always more to learn if you’re into creating combo chains, fatalities, or even fighters. But the way you control your character in action is quite intuitive and finger-friendly.