Mortal Kombat – The Komplete Edition is the first Mortal Kombat game to grace the PC platform since Mortal Kombat 4 back in 1998. The last few years have seen some of the older titles being re-released through Steam/G4WL, but PC enthusiasts haven’t had the pleasure of being able to play the later titles. That wait is now over, but is Mortal Kombat for PCs the ultimate Mortal Kombat experience or is it merely a sloppy port?
Of course, much of the game is exactly the same as in the console version, right down to the surprisingly well-developed narrative structure. Where most fighting games during the past 20 or so years have had some kind of background story explaining why these fighters are all battling each other to the death, Mortal Kombat goes the extra mile and ties each individual fight into the main story arch using in-game animations. It makes for a more immersive experience, and the story doesn’t just feel like it was slapped on there for good measure.
Mortal Kombat doesn’t just return to the original game’s title, it also brings back the 2D fighting style – albeit delivered through excellent 3D visuals. The style feels right for MK’s control scheme, which doesn’t revolve as much around quarter/half-circles forward and backward but features a more jagged approach that translates well into the game’s “in your face” kind of on-screen brutality. Though PC might traditionally prefer the keyboard, the game is best played using a gamepad or a set or arcade controls like the MadCatz Fightstick. I’m not denying that you can’t play a perfect game using the keyboard (though I personally can’t pull that off), but arcade controls are so much better for venting your frustration upon.
Thankfully, frustration with the game doesn’t come out of quality issues, but rather out of losing a fight that went right down to the wire due to excellent balancing between characters.And there are quite a few, because the Komplete Collection (as the name implies) includes all the DLC characters that were released after the game’s initial release. It’s a tricky strategy because gamers might hold out on buying the original game until the “collection” comes, thus potentially hurting sales. I suppose that’s more of a balancing game for the marketing department, but in this case PC gamers already have the definitive version upon launch. I’m not merely referring to content here though, as the PC version is also technically the superior version over the console editions due to the opportunity to crank up the visuals to make this the best-looking Mortal Kombat-title to date.
In case you’re not familiar with the recent console reboot, Mortal Kombat offers a lot more content than just straight up one on one fighting and a broad collection of (finishing) moves to help you tear your opponents to shreds (sometimes literally, in true MK style). The challenge tower serves as a vast collection of minigames and challenges that are fun on their own, but also help you master the core game. The concept isn’t new, because even back in the early 90s Street Fighter 2 had those scenes where you got to smash up a car. MK’s challenge tower turns this concept into a complete, diverse and rewarding game mode though, and having the Komplete Collection means having an even more feature and challenge-rich version of it. The challenge concept also ties in with the availability of the Krypt, Mortal Kombat’s version of an in-game store. Here, you can spend credits on unlocking additional moves, costumes and even game modes. It makes this PC release an extremely well-rounded and rewarding experience, and the best Mortal Kombat release so far on any system. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait this long before the next time.
CPU: Intel 3770K
Video: Asus GTX 660 Ti
Installed on: Kingston HyperX SSD drive
RAM: 8 GB DDR 3, Kingston HyperX Beast series