The definitively violent Mortal Kombat fighting game series is re-invented on high-definition consoles in its ninth full production, a plainly titled release that both moves the supernatural combat action forward and returns it to its roots. Rendered in full 3D, the hand-to-hand battles play out strictly on a 2D plane, as in the original Mortal Kombat games for 16-bit consoles, emphasizing keenly timed blocks, counter-moves, and ranged attacks. More so than in any recent Mortal Kombat game, the fighting action is designed for true hardcore players, with each character presenting a deep system of special attacks to master and relative weaknesses to overcome. Each character can also execute a full-fledged fatality move, in classic MK form.
Leaving aside the inter-dimensional diversions of the most recent Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, the game's unusually involving single-player story begins after the events of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, but then returns to the events of the first three games to revisit the series' original lore. Gaining a trans-temporal awareness, the enigmatic thunder-god Raiden is central to the plot, but gamers take the roles of several different combatants as they progress through the campaign. In all, over two-dozen characters are playable in this edition of Mortal Kombat, each uniquely modeled and individually animated. Multiplayer fighting is thoroughly supported, in both same-console and online options, with a selection of competitive and cooperative modes.