Midway Games, Inc.
Mortal Kombat: Deception
Mortal Kombat: Deception review
Mortal Kombat: Deception is the game that established the series as a game of XXI century, not a relic of the arcade era. With its narrative to tell and its new visuals to show, it stays true to its roots, a 1-on-1 arena fighting where various individual styles collide and compete, with lots of gore and brutality, and now finally online.
The new narrative was obviously created to introduce more new heroes and villains, now looking rather Japanese than Chinese. The Dragon King Onaga is back from the dead, with new forces and ambitious intentions, and Earthrealm is endangered again. The young warrior that has been deceived by Onaga once now leads the Resistance, joining survivors from the previous installments.
That’s to explain the setting that drags you between realms, under most unusual circumstances, and any place becomes the arena. Fighters now have their new rising abilities, a Combo Breaker gift, and no special buttons damaging the opponent too severely. The world around you is still interactive enough to use any object as a weapon. So combats require more of strategical thinking and less of pure reflex.
Deception features an overwhelming variety of modes you wouldn’t expect from an arena fighting. There are chess- and puzzle-based mind games where calculation means more than alertness; at least it adds diversity. Story mode, traditionally named Konquest, reveals the narrative, like in Deadly Alliance, but remains in the midway (pun unintended) between the game and a cartoon, too poorly played and voiced to watch, too dull to play.
But the gore on the arena is the greatest part of it. And finally Midway applies online combats, so you can find an opponent even when you’re alone before your console. The action is intense, and the characters share basic moves while having their unique abilities as well.
From 2019 it looks a bit obsolete but still pleasantly playable. If you wondered about gore and blood, first of all, it’s there, with no restriction. Absolutely relentless! The decorations, as well as fighters themselves, are obviously inspired by Hong Kong martial arts movies, with a bit of infernal fantasy, and in 3D it impresses like never before (spoiler alert: it will be surpassed in later installments).
The method tested in Deadly Alliance is still working in Deception. More movements, more interaction with objects around, less diversity in moves, more killing power in each. The innovation is selection out of three martial styles that can be switched right during the battle, and each one requires its special tricks. There are even combo chains that require switching styles quickly in between combos.