Building upon 2002's Deadly Alliance, the series' well-received leap to the 128-bit 3D arena, Mortal Kombat: Deception demonstrates the same depth in design and focus on the home console experience. The game offers five main modes of play, some of which will be familiar to fans of Deadly Alliance. The arcade-style Kombat mode has players fighting their way up a ladder of matches against increasingly difficult opponents, and Konquest leads them through role-playing-styled character development in a storylined adventure full of fights and other events.
Also available are Kombat Chess, which lets players choose a team of fighters and challenges them to select matches strategically, and Puzzle Kombat, a color-matching action puzzle reminiscent of Capcom's Super Puzzle Fighter, featuring cute, anime-styled versions of the game's otherwise dark and daunting kombatants. Mortal Kombat: Deception is also one of the first 3D fighting games to offer an online multiplayer mode. Broadband-connected gamers with the PlayStation 2 Network Adaptor can simply log on to find a match against a human opponent.
There are a dozen Mortal Kombat fighters selectable at the start of the game, including both old favorites and mysterious newcomers. Longtime fans of the series will recognize veterans of the earliest Mortal Kombat games, such as Sub-Zero and Scorpion, Kabal, Baraka, Mileena, Ermac, and Nightwolf, who are joined by relative newcomers like Bo'Rai Cho, who debuted in Deadly Alliance. Deception also introduces four new fighters, Ashrah, Dairou, Darrius, and Kobra, each with a distinctly new fighting style intended to balance the deadly abilities of the other characters. At least a dozen more characters can be unlocked through the course of the game, by spending "Koins" to open the correct "koffins" in the "Krypt," or by completing certain key challenges in the Konquest adventure mode.
In addition to its character selection, Mortal Kombat: Deception draws on the series' storied roots in other ways; development of the game was led by Ed Boon, co-creator of the original Mortal Kombat. Although Deception's fighting mechanics are also based on those of Deadly Alliance, a number of enhancements, adjustments, and embellishments have been made. In some instances, the gameplay may have a slightly more intense, exaggerated feel that rewards those who master the complex combo system. Characters can still take different stances, however, and can choose to fight unarmed or with a weapon.
Deception features "Fight State Indicators" on the ends of the characters' health bars that make it a little easier for players to anticipate particular dangers and time their special attacks. While it may seem these indicators would take the challenge down a notch, their addition is actually quite opportune, since Deception also adds a diverse selection of interactive arenas, many with instant-kill "death trap" elements, as well as two fatalities for each and every character -- answering the most common complaints that fans had of Deadly Alliance.
PLAYERS: 1-2 Players
RELEASE YEAR: 2004
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