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Friday, 14 February, 2003, 11:32 GMT
Classic fighting game fails to impress
Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance
Gloriously operatic and faintly ridiculous deaths
Alfred Hermida

Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance is the latest incarnation of one of the most notorious video games ever but the title fails to impress.
Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance comes more than a decade after the title first burst onto the gaming scene.

Back in 1992, the game's mix of bloodshed and gore was an instant hit, but also sparked much talk of the violence in video games.

Deadly Alliance follows in footsteps of its predecessors, offering violent punch-ups and plenty of blood.

Gamers get straight into the action by choosing Arcade mode, which follows the well worn formula of pitting you against foes of increasing difficulty.

Tedious challenges

There are 20 characters to choose from and each of them has three different fighting styles, with their own advantages and disadvantages.

Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance
Each character has three fighting styles
But Deadly Alliance tries to offer more than a series of beat-em ups. It also has a training mode called Konquest to teach players the myriad permutation of moves.

Unfortunately this can get tedious as much of the time you are facing passive opponents which offer little in the way of a challenge.

As a reward for working through the levels, players receive various types of credits which unlock extras such as power ups, new characters or a new arena.

Visually the graphics are acceptable but nothing special on the PlayStation 2. And, as you would expect, there is no shortage of gore, with gushing blood and gloriously operatic and faintly ridiculous deaths.

End of the line?

Mortal Kombat has endured for a decade in arcades and on home consoles, making it one of the best-selling franchises in video game history with more than 19 million home games sold.

American fans of the classic series have flocked to the new game. Since it was released in the US at the end of November, Deadly Alliance has sold more than a million copies.

No doubt the title will do well in sales in the UK and it is not a bad game. But it fails to stand out from the plethora of fighting titles on the shelves.

Instead Mortal Kombat is starting to feel rather tired and old. Perhaps it is time for this veteran fighter to hang up his gloves and leave the ring for younger contenders.

Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance is available now in the UK for the PlayStation 2, the Xbox and the GameCube.

See also:

16 Jul 02 | Entertainment
17 Dec 02 | Technology
12 Feb 03 | Technology
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