Play mag: "When this exciting new Mortal Kombat title based on the Unreal Engine 3 was finally given a more specific title, one important fact was proven, at least. Namely that it's possible to offend two large fan bases at a single stroke – all it takes is the lure of the almighty dollar. So, out went the trademark violence behind every gamer's favourite tabloid-baiting beat-'em-up, and in its place came the kind of pugilism last seen being practised by Vic Reeves, Bob Mortimer and a frying pan. This was going to take some getting used to. Naturally, even neutral gamers scoffed at such an implausible alliance, many pointing out the Dallas-grade implausibility of a narrative required to explain how on earth Superman might come to fight, say, Sonya Blade. Still it's an ill wind that blows no good – 50 Cent must surely have been feeling better about himself, if nothing else.
So, have Ed Boon and his team managed to retain a shred of dignity for their series, already dogged by years of palette swapping and overfamiliarity? As far as many technical considerations go, the answer is a resounding negative, yet that most crucial of factors, fun, has been delivered in much the same fashion as a deflected free kick – it hits the target in an 'accidentally on purpose' kind of way. After all, there seems very little reason for that most typical of Midway tricks to pay off. You know, the one borne of arcade roots, demanding games must release intense pleasure for a short amount of time before tapering off terribly, like bubblegum made for a penny a pop. Ultimately, the chuckles it will raise come about almost by accident. Don't say you didn't see it coming, now."