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Mortal Kombat 2011 will be deep enough for tournament play? Really, Ed Boon?

As a life-long Street Fighter man, I'm fiendishly conflicted by this story. Next year's sequel/reboot to Mortal Kombat, a fighting franchise I've long looked-upon as a shallow glitchy gimmick-fest, is apparently going to be deep and nuanced enough for serious tournament level play. That's according to MK boss Ed Boon, from a recent Q&A.

Dubious. Hopeful. Cynical. Excited. Shamelessly elitist. I am all of these things. Read these details, and then tell me what you're thinking.

Above: Brand new potential, yay or nay?

Says Sub-Zero's dad:

"This is the first Mortal Kombat game where we are consciously putting in features for the hardcore/tournament fighters and we have some amazing fighting game "experts" playing our game and giving us constant feedback. At the same time we want the game to be accessible for all Mortal Kombat players, so there is something for all types of fans. It's important for us that anyone can pick up the controller and have fun right away."

And on the specifics, he spaketh thusly:

"This version of Mortal Kombat has more depth in terms of gameplay than the previous games. We've put in a lot of thought on how to make this game accessible to the casual gamer and at the same time add enough depth that it keeps the more advanced players challenged. One way we've done that is to create more distinctive characters with more unique move sets and fighting styles.

"For example, some characters are more skilled at fighting close to their opponent while others are better at distance. Another way we've added depth is by introducing short windows of opportunity where the advanced players can enhance, modify, or interrupt their moves, something the more hardcore gamers will definitely be interested in. The casual gamers can still enjoy the game without having to dive that deep into the gameplay but if they do want to explore those more complex moves they may be inspired to spend a little more time playing."

Putting a gag on my raging inner Capcom fanboy for a moment, I can only say that this is seriously heartening news to hear. While I still find it crazy that MK has taken 18 years to start playing around with things like serious character balance and advanced combo technique, Boon is making all the right noises. After years of ignoring its dial-a-combos in favour of my prefered cross-up dragon punch chains, I have a cautious optimism that Mortal Kombat might be about to deliver a proper, bona fide fighting game this time.

Of course, my personal biases continue to quietly wonder how much of a turnaround MK can really make in a single game, but so far I've seen and heard nothing that isn't promising.

But what do you think? Which side of the Street Fighter vs. Mortal Kombat rivalry do you traditionally come down on? And is this new MK doing anything to shift your opinion either way?

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26 comments

  • slowdrum13 - March 28, 2011 6:50 p.m.

    i'm so excited for this, seeing as how i've been a lifelong mk fan. plus it comes out the day before 4/20 :)
  • FanofSaiyan - October 29, 2010 12:01 a.m.

    I defininately want to see some fatalities in HD, Kung Lao's fatality in the trailer definately had me wanting more!
  • jmcgrotty - October 28, 2010 12:47 p.m.

    Wow, talk about not knowing your target audience. There is no reason for the Mortal Kombat to exist other than the -alities and other finishing moves. This is a case where adding depth adds nothing to a real player.
  • Mamudo - October 27, 2010 11:37 p.m.

    Yeah, i've never been an MK guy. But maybe this can clean up the series.
  • RAYZOR12 - October 27, 2010 9:44 p.m.

    I think that Im with Reborn on that, and I own SSF4... DX SF can just be so damn frustrating at times....
  • RebornKusabi - October 27, 2010 9:03 p.m.

    I'll allow myself to be thrown under the bus here: I actually preferred and still prefer Mortal Kombat as well as Soul Caliber, King of Fighters, Tekken, Virtua Fighter and BlazBlue to Street Fighter any day.
  • postITgamer - October 27, 2010 8:33 p.m.

    sounds like Boon is taking the "Peter Molyneux class of overhype" www.postitgamer.com
  • VaneTrago - October 27, 2010 7:02 p.m.

    I would be excited, but Ed Boon has a constant history of making his games seem like the new Holy Grail, only to reveal they are just terrible. MK vs. DC, anyone? On that note, if this game is even half playable, I'll love it.
  • n00b - October 27, 2010 6:02 p.m.

    im in the same boat with you dave. sadly none of my friends understood this or why i liked street fighter over mortal kombat. all they saw was that awesome 'K' and fatalities and blood.
  • JADENkOTOR - October 27, 2010 5:06 p.m.

    It looks quicker and smoother than SF4 from the gameplay I have seen, so there is no reason not to believe this won't be great for tournament play.
  • RAYZOR12 - October 27, 2010 5:03 p.m.

    Its about time that somebody used some Killer Instinct ideas! I always had a love for that game... T^T Anyways, I honestly dont care if the fighting mechanics are taken from other places. If they have proven to work, then Im alright with that. From the videos Ive seen, I wish that I could have played it, the combat looks incredibly engaging.
  • GamesRadarBrettElston - October 27, 2010 4:49 p.m.

    The pieces I've played suggest a deeper experience. This is mainly because they've ripped ideas from other games and implemented them into MK. Combo breakers, ultra combos and EX moves really make a difference, but they're shamelessly taken from SF and, strangely, Killer Instinct.
  • Felixthecat - October 27, 2010 4:29 p.m.

    I certainly hope that Mr. Boon and his team make a game that finally gives Street Fighter a run for it's money.
  • KiwiCommander - October 27, 2010 4:28 p.m.

    Hmmm... MK ready for Tournament play? I will be looking forward to it. Hopefully they come up with an awesome fighter. It would be nice to see MK tournaments :D
  • HumorTumor - October 27, 2010 4:25 p.m.

    I've always preferred Street Fighter to MK. I may check this game out, but given MK's history it probably will be decent, but hardly great.
  • Elemental - October 27, 2010 4:22 p.m.

    I'll reserve judgement until after I've played a demo at least. I left MK after the 3rd. I'm bored of SF too. I'm a committed Tekken player. Tekken ain't perfect either- but at least it's deep enough to hold my interest for years of play & not just a couple of months.
  • sgloomy - October 27, 2010 4:01 p.m.

    At this point im not sure if it will ever get a fair chance to prove itself as a tournament kinda game because it will be competing with MvC3 and I think it might get pushed aside but I don't doubt that the COULD make it a deep fighting game
  • xombiesarelove - October 27, 2010 3:39 p.m.

    As a third grader i was instantly draw to Mortal Kombat. How could you not be? Ninjas, fatalities, and that commercial with the kid screaming "MORTAL KOMBAT" in the streets. I just hope this game isn't as...clunky...as the others. I'm sure I'll buy it no matter what though. Now to go watch youtube videos of the theme song.
  • Geminiman82 - October 27, 2010 3:25 p.m.

    I played the demo build at PAX this year and for just being a trial, it is legit. I've been playing Mortal Kombat since the beginning and I'm telling you, it is THE BEST build of MK I have ever played. This isn't hype, it's fact, MK is back and you will be impressed. BTW...the new MK Tag Mode is Ridiculous!
  • Moondoggie1157 - October 27, 2010 3:16 p.m.

    At home, I was a MK kind of guy, the first time I figured out the first games blood code was a right of passage for me, hell I even had a MK birthday party haha. But, I don't think there are many games that can beat the feeling of Super Street Fighter II on the old arcade machine (Flashback to mullets, windbreakers, and NWA). Anywho, this game is looking better and better, maybe it's time to hit the Genesis and start training again haha.

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