Warner Bros. says it's aiming for a "triumphant return" for the Mortal Kombat franchise, announcing a new fighter that promises to up the ante on the franchise's famous brutality.
The title, simply called Mortal Kombat, is headed to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2011. With WB's acquisition of bankrupt Midway's assets and the Chicago studio that had acted as the hub for the MK property, the publisher also seems to have changed the studio's name to "NetherRealm Studios", a nod to one of the stages in the franchise.
The team remains under the leadership of Ed Boon, franchise creator and creative director, who calls the project "a response to what players have been demanding: mature presentation, reinvented 2D fighting mechanic and the best, most gruesome fatalities ever!"
While the franchise originally became notorious for its gore and violence when it arrived in arcades in 1992, the most recent Midway installment, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, toned down the brutality for a Teen rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board. Midway said that the 2008 title shipped 1.8 million units in its first several weeks of availability.
Not only will the new game aim to revive classic features in the franchise, it also promises new features, including "the deepest story mode of any fighting game", and numerous different competitive modes.
The hybridization of classical elements with modern ones was the same strategy Capcom recently took with its successful full-scale revival of its rival Street Fighter property.
"We are bringing the Mortal Kombat franchise back to gamers with the talented NetherRealm Studios team creating the game fans long to play," says WBIE president Martin Tremblay. "Re-establishing the brand with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Mortal Kombat innovates on past games while staying true to the brandís legendary characters and fighting style."