I know I wasn't the only person shaking my head in disbelief after seeing the initial teaser trailer for Mortal Kombat vs. D.C. Universe a few months back. "What are they doing to this franchise? This must be a joke!" I said to myself. So I was surprised – and relieved – after all the positive impressions the game received coming out of E3. But how does it play? Midway dropped by to show off their upcoming titles this morning, and I got a chance to get a couple matches in.
It appears as if Midway is going back to the basics with MK vs. DC. No more stage fatalities, run buttons, weapons, and no babalities or friendships either. Nothing crazy we've seen from the past couple MK games, anyway.
The build I played was from this past Comic-Con, so while Joker and Green Lantern were announced recently, they still weren't playable. And still, the only available fatalities were Scorpion's flame engulf, and Superman's brutality pound. Catwoman and Shang Tsung were playable, though, so I picked Catwoman just for the hell of it.
The game plays just as you'd expect a Mortal Kombat game to play. While it's considered a straight 2D fighter, there is the option to sidestep using the left analog stick. It's not used for dodging attacks, so other than moving around the map, I'm not sure why it was added, other than maybe to please the Soul Calibur and Virtua Fighter fans.
Something I noticed about the combat is the uppercuts don't have any meat behind them. Before, when you'd uppercut someone, the screen would shake and it'd feel damn good. In MK vs. DC, there didn't seem to be any punch behind them. You opponent sort of just flies in the air. But besides that, I didn't have a problem executing moves, even on the 360 d-pad.
Also, despite the game being as far along as it is, they still are tweaking the character moves list, even from those they've already revealed. You remember Sub-Zero's ground freeze move from MK2? The Midway rep said they might be adding that one back in. As for fatalities (and brutalities for the DC heroes), each character will have at least two. Hopefully they're more brutal than what we've seen so far.
I came away most impressed with the character body damage. Not only does it look cool, but it's specific to points of contact as well. For example, if I grab Batman's arm and give him an elbow-breaker, his suit will rip above and below the arm. Likewise, if I punch Scorpion in the face, his mask will come off. So the body damage isn't tied to overall health or anything like I had originally thought.
As far as trophies and achievements go, they haven't even started working on them. The Midway rep said they're going to try and get creative, though. I'd expect to see some of the usual "win 50+ matches in a row" kind of deal.
Overall, this is probably the most excited I've been for a new MK game since MK4, which came out a long, long time ago. I hope McMike saved some crow for me!