The venerable series of Mortal Kombat games continues with Mortal Kombat 4 by Midway Games. The basic story remains intact, a story that began with the defeat of the Elder God Shinnok thousands of years in the past. He was exiled to the Netherealm at the hands of the fierce warrior Raiden. That was then, this is now: Shinnok has managed to escape from his prison of exile and with renewed menace threatens the world once again. The war has been rekindled but this time mortals can win it!
Mortal Kombat 4 contains seven new warrior-fighters and offers more than nine 3D battle arenas. The total number of characters now available numbers 17, including two hidden warriors. As in past iterations of the game, gameplay consists of selecting one of the characters and challenging either computer controlled characters or one human opponent for supremacy in the battle arena. An option to set up a team of fighters (controlled by you) to go against the CPU is also available.
Returning characters from previous games not only retain their special moves and combinations but can now use newly designed additional moves as well. Each warrior possesses a specific weapon that can be stolen, dropped or picked up. There are now five towers to climb, each progressively more difficult than the one before.
Mortal Kombat 4 supports keyboard (re-mapping is supported), game pad and joystick input and offers a tournament mode with up to four or eight character bracketing. Other modes of play include one-on-one simple clashes, two-on-two matches and three forms of endurance options. The manual provides data on special moves and fatalities for each of the in-game characters.
MK4 is of course the first addition to feature 3D rendered characters and enviroments. It's also the first time weapons are available to all characters. The controls get a tad sticky at times, however the sweet taste of victory makes up for that. Unfortunately, winning in a brutal death match doesn't make up for the lacking character selection. But I suppose being able to see fatalities for the first time in 100 percent 3D form is a sight for sore eyed MK fans who had been waiting for the transition for years. Overall MK4 does what it does best and that's kick ass, MK fans new and old will definitely love this game.
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