Opinion: Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe: Where is the love at?

When it was revealed last week that the big secret Ed Boon and the boys were clutching so close was the announcement of a Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe game, the reception here at Destructoid seemed lukewarm at best. Actually, scratch that… most of you pretty much panned it as a joke.

Considering that MK was single-handedly responsible for birthing the ESRB in the first place, that stance was somewhat understandable. Fatalities and blood are very much a staple of Mortal Kombat games. To learn that they may not be a part of the next installment in the series is a major disappointment. However, I just can’t see how that alone is going to change the overall enjoyment of the game. All things considered, there’s no reason why MK vs. DCU can’t melt your face off — even if you are a gore-whore.

Get your pitchforks ready (my saber is already drawn), and hit the jump: 

First and foremost, let’s take a closer look at Boon’s choice of combatants. Ever taken the time to pick up a DC comic and read it through? Chances are that you’d soon realize that the DC universe isn’t exactly all rainbows and ponies. In fact, things can get downright gritty at times. Believe it or not, people die, make tough choices, and even suffer from the same recognizable personality flaws that exist in real life. On top of that, DC characters range from the intellectually and athletically gifted, to flat out awe-inspiring powerful. Best of all, most of them have stood the test of time, and have tons of backstory for writers to pull from. Speaking of writers…

The whole Marvel thing has already been done (and was successful), and there’s no reason why Batman and his friends can’t offer up a quality experience on their own. Familiar comic writers Jimmy Palmiotti (Painkiller Jane, Marvel Nights, Jonah Hex, 21 Down) and Justin Gray (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, JLA Classified, Punisher Red X-Mas, The Resistance) are on hand to make that the game is true to the characters.  Brace yourselves, as it gets better. Ever heard of Alex Ross? He’s in charge of the design direction of the game. Still doubting the DC tie-in? You shouldn’t.

The other thing that has caused many a MK fan to get their panties in a wad is the teen rating the game is shooting for, and how that is going to effect the final game. Yes, it appears that fatalities and blood are going be absent from the game, as DC seems to be firmly against having their characters subjected to it. So in what direction is Ed Boon trying to go with this? Well it appears that he may be toying with the idea of rebooting the series. Comic aficionados should be all too familiar with that scenario, as it has happened many times throughout comic history. But enough about the comic side. What are gamers  (and the MK faithful) going to get out of this?

According to Ed Boon, the chance to play through some impressive match-ups between epic characters. There will still be spectacular finishing moves (however toned-down they may be), and the new Freefall Kombat system is MK’s way of further evolving the brand. You won’t be ripping out spines, but it’s nice to know that you can battle your way through multi-tiered environments, even while in mid-air. The Klose Kombat mode — which like the name implies — will zoom in on both combatants, as they trade blows (both defensively and offensively) and test their pugilism skills Mortal Kombat style. None of this sounds even remotely fun to you?

Some things may be different, but all things considered, it’s still going to be a Mortal Kombat game. Knowing the track record of the previous ones, I’m expecting nothing less than another good time, and I applaud the decision to make this title a reality. Excessive gore or not, this game has the potential to rock as much as any other fighting game has — and even surpass a few. All involved just need to listen to each other’s needs, and remember that the finished product has to be nothing more than fun to play and worth the money. As for the naysayers out there who are hating on the game without even playing — What’s up with that? Hell, I might even pre-order this one. Thanks Ed!

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