Mortal Kombat: Armageddon

STORY:  There have been many powerful warriors throughout the millennia. But ages of Mortal Kombat have begun to tear at the fabric of the realms. The critical point has finally been reached. It was foreseen that the kombatants would one day grow too powerful and too numerous. If left unchecked, their intensifying kombat would weaken and shatter the realms and bring about the apocalypse. The Elder Gods demanded a safeguard put in place to avoid total destruction, one that would make use of the kombatants bloodlust. Like moths to flame, they would be drawn to battle. At the apex of destruction, alliances will be broken - and old hatreds will be revived. At last, it has come to this final battle.

REVIEWSeveral months before its release, Mortal Kombat Armageddon (also dubbed Mortal Kombat 7) was said to be "the last Mortal Kombat game" by series producer Ed Boon himself. As I figured when I first heard that statement... he was indeed bullshitting. In hindsight, Boon probably called this "the last MK game" simply to hype it up and sell more copies.... Interesting marketing strategy! 

main draw is that it contains every character from every Mortal Kombat game to date (62 characters in all). At first glance, this is surely an impressive lineup. However, many returning characters have been changed both in terms of looks & fighting style... in most cases, not in a positive way, sadly. Many returning characters hardly look like their earlier more recognizable versions, and also present significantly different and rather uninspired movesets... an unfortunate truth to what looks to be an impressive character selection at first glance.


Mortal Kombat: Armageddon character select screen.


Midway added some "enhancements" (if you dare call them that) to their mediocre-at-best 3D gameplay engine, cut & pasted from the likes of MK: Deadly Alliance and more-so, MK: Deception. New gameplay elements include a reversal system (which is rather clunky) and a new style of air combos (which are retardedly easy to perform and look equally as dumb). Besides the new mechanics, the MK veterans have most of their iconic special moves and a few basic "type-you-an-ass-kicking" combos. That said, the gameplay is as stiff as you'd come to expect from the "3D era" of the MK franchise...

In all honesty, MK has never felt so unresponsive and clunky. I wasn't expecting much out of Armageddon, considering the two previous titles were severely lacking in gameplay depth; but seriously, there is an unforgivable amount of lag in-between and after inputs. It's so bad in some instances; it's almost as if you're forced to button mash. I don't know of any other way to explain it. I wouldn't even want to imagine what playing this game online is like, because any extra lag would deem this game completely unplayable. Wow, that bad huh? Yes. That bad. 

That's when I popped in my dusty copy of MK: Deadly Alliance to compare the controls, and to my astonishment... Deadly Alliance actually felt smoother, more responsive and the moves I tested (with more than one specific character) came out faster! It actually plays... and looks... better!? You can also tell more polish was put into textures & character/background models in MK: DA. Even the hit animations in Deadly Alliance look smoother and more painful. It's a shame that a prequel outshines the sequel so dramatically. Ohh well, at least there's some good ole' "MK secrets" right?! Like in Deadly Alliance and Deception, there are indeed tons of extras to unlock and many laughs to be had... (when you're done laughing at how bad this game plays, that is).


Rain Versus Sheeva... and PS1 flame graphics!


features an all new Konquest story mode, which adds some much needed entertainment to the package, since it's very possible that you won't be playing the actual game very much. The Konquest mode is a mediocre-at-best beat-em-up/platformer and stars a brand new character named Taven, whom is quite honestly one of the most boring designs to ever come out of the series. Other extras include a detailed Create-a-Character Mode (which isn't half bad), Create-a-Fatality (because team Midway ran out of ideas) and Motor Combat ("Mariokart style" go kart racing).

Yeah, there are a lot of extras... which is kind of a given for a console fighting game these days. However, we can't forget this is a fighting game and... of course, the fighting is the most important part. In Armageddon, each fighter has an open hand fighting style and a weapon fighting style. Following suit with the last 2 installments, these styles fail to be authentic and were obviously just slapped on as a novelty. The fighting styles in this game could more appropriately be called "pretend martial arts". I probably wouldn't even bring this up if they didn't claim to be authentic martial arts... and if they didn't appear so horridly sloppy. In better news, the new character endings were done pretty well. Each fighter performs their own kata, which is actually animated quite well (ironically much better than most of the animations in the actual game).

If you think I'm nitpicking too much, try to understand where I'm coming from. After becoming so well-acquainted the amazingly smooth manner in which Soul Calibur & Tekken characters move and fight, it's quite disheartening to see how stiff the MK cast has become. And speaking of stiff, as far as personalities go, there really are far and few between. Still, after all these years, no character in the Mortal Kombat universe seems to know how to speak English or Japanese... only gibberish. "Brreehudogrrrahahaa!!" and "Grrraaaadeedeedeedaaaa!" are a few common phrases that all characters seem to share.  It's a little embarrassing to play for that reason.

Is this a PlayStation 1 game?


Once again, Armageddon was said to be the "last Mortal Kombat," and after playing the last 5 or so MK games; I was almost glad to hear it (but not stupid enough to believe it). Approximately a month after saying that, Ed Boon later stated: "In Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, we wanted to end a number of things, actually. We wanted to end this chapter of the story. This is the last MK on this generation of consoles, and we also wanted to end this kind of fighting mechanic for Mortal Kombat. On the next game, we're going to start new, with a bunch of brand new characters, a whole new fighting system, a new presentation with the new graphics for the new consoles, as well as a new control scheme to take advantage of some of the new technology available. We thought it was a good time to close this chapter and open a new one with every single aspect of Mortal Kombat - It's going to be brand new." (And that's how Mortal Kombat VS DC Universe was born).

Hmmm, I suppose when you screw up a series so much, it would be a good idea to "close a chapter and open a new one with every single aspect."  In closing, MK: Armageddon also includes a near perfect port of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3... and yes, UMK3 is a much better game than Armageddon. If you still don't realize how bad the controls in Armageddon truly are, then go ahead and treat yourself to a few rounds of Ultimate MK3. Is the game faster? Yes. More responsive? Definitely. More fun? Yup... that too.

On one final but necessary note, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon's rip-off of MarioKart entitled "Motor Combat" (the "headlining" mini game in the package), is more entertaining to watch than it is to play. Midway can't even do a kart racing game right in terms of gameplay... NO DRIFTING?!?!? That's terrible. I've got one word for that one Midway.... Lame-ality.

Page Updated: March 17th, 2023
Developer(s): Midway
Publisher(s): Midway
Designer(s): Ed Boon
Platform(s): PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo Wii
Release Date(s): Oct. 11th, 2006      PlayStation 2
Oct. 17th, 2006 
May 29th, 2007      Nintendo Wii
Characters Ashrah, Baraka, Bo Rai Cho, Chameleon, Cyrax, Daegon, Dairou, Darrius, Drahmin, Ermac, Frost, Fujin, Goro, Havik, Hotaru, Hsu Hao, Jade, Jarek, Jax, Johnny Cage, Kabal, Kai, Kano, Kenshi, Kintaro, Kira, Kitana, Kobra, Kung Lao, Li Mei, Liu Kang, Mavado, Meat, Mileena, Mokap, Moloch, Motaro, Nightwolf, Nitara, Noob, Onaga, Quan Chi, Raiden, Rain, Reiko, Reptile, Sareena, Scorpion, Sektor, Shang Tsung, Shao Kahn, Sheeva, Shinnok, Shujinko, Sindel, Smoke, Sonya, Stryker, Sub-zero, Tanya, Taven, Blaze, Khameleon (Wii)

Featured Video:

Related Games: Mortal Kombat: Deception, Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat 2, Mortal Kombat 3, Mortal Kombat 3 Ultimate, Mortal Kombat 4, Mortal Kombat Gold, Mortal Kombat Trilogy, Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Universe, Mortal Kombat 9, Mortal Kombat X, Mortal Kombat 11, Mortal Kombat 1, TEKKEN 5, TEKKEN 5: Dark Resurrection, Soul Calibur 3, Dead or Alive 4, KOF 2006, Virtua Fighter 5

Gameplay Engine  3.5 / 10
Story / Theme  6.0 / 10
Overall Graphics  6.0 / 10
Animation  5.5 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  5.0 / 10
Innovation  4.0 / 10
Art Direction  2.5 / 10
Customization  6.5 / 10
Options / Extras  5.0 / 10
Intro / Presentation  6.5 / 10
Replayability / Fun  3.0 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  6.0 / 10
Characters  6.0 / 10

 5.2 / 10

 Review based on PS2 version     


Final Words:

Unfortunately, the the typical mainstream gamer / reviewer looked at the name "Mortal Kombat"... watched the rather entertaining intro movie of the lackluster MK: Armageddon, and immediately slapped on a "great" score based on name recognition alone (who needs to actually play the game to realize how terrible it is). These shallow gamers somehow fail to realize how stiff this fighting game plays in comparison to most 3D (and 2D) fighting games available in 2006. I'll go on record to say MK: Armageddon is one of the clunkiest, laziest, and most out of touch fighting games I've ever played in my life.

So is Armageddon even the least bit fun? Maybe if you're a casual fighting game fan who enjoys button mashing and laggy controls. If you're any kind of connoisseur or appreciator of "good" fighting games, and enjoy putting time into them, don't waste your time with MK: Armageddon. This game is unresponsive, dumbed down, and somehow manages to feel laggy offline. Technically, it's one of the most shallow entries of the Mortal Kombat series, with characters and their movesets looking "cheap" as ever... so there isn't much heart even for the casual MK fan.

Even if MK: Armageddon wasn't a total lag-fest (offline), the bare bones gameplay mechanics don't hold a candle to modern fighting games. Believe it or not, some fighting games are actually designed around competitive gameplay - built to last and rewarding to play for many years. MK: Armageddon seems designed as a quick money grab. If you're a "casual" gamer and the type of person who is easily amused by senseless/humorous blood & gore... and you like button-masher-friendly fighting games... then go ahead and play MK: Armageddon because it was made for shallow people like you.

I'm sorry. I'm not going to hold back how I feel about the game... I actually wasted $60 on this garbage! Don't be fooled by the "vast" character selection of Armageddon, because the majority of the cast have become "hollow" and "forced" designs. It seems like a lot of the characters don't even want to be in the game. They look bored and tired. Just look at those generic faces and lazy animations. FACT: All of the classic characters were more fun to play in earlier MK games... and nearly every prequel to MK: Armageddon offered more heart and more fun. Nuff said.

MK: Armageddon
might entertain casual fans who wouldn't know a good fighting game from their ass. It doesn't take a PHD to see how overhyped and underwhelming MK: Armageddon was. Fighting games aren't so simple anymore, but Ed Boon & Midway still seem to think so (and really seem out of touch with the direction of modern fighting games). If you thought Armageddon was anywhere near "good" for a fighting game in 2006, you were (#1) living under a rock and (#2) missing out on some really great fighting games worth putting putting time into. Have you heard of high-speed internet? Because Mortal Kombat: Armageddon is still on dial-up... and it doesn't seem to be ashamed of it.

~TFG Webmaster | @Fighters_Gen


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