A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this game is part of the Mortal Kombat series, one of the most controversial franchises in video game history. As with its predecessors, this is extremely gory, allowing you to rip opponents' heads off, break their backs, impale them on spikes, and so on. The game also allows you to fight to the death online. While we don't recommend this title for anyone under 17, if you let younger teens play, you should be aware of the issues that online play creates.
What's it about?
MORTAL KOMBAT: ARMAGEDDON, available for the Sony PlayStation 2 and Microsoft Xbox, is the first in the series to feature every character from the 14-year-old Mortal Kombat universe, totaling more than 50 3-D fighters. It's still the same 'ol 3-D fighting game: Each player picks a character and beats each other to a pulp, in a number of different environments. If you don't want to go with a preexisting character, Armageddon is the first Mortal Kombat game with a Kreate-a-Fighter mode. Fighting, which is very fast-paced, requires mastery in hand-to-hand combat, weapons, and magic -- gamers who try their luck by random \"button mashing\" won't get very far in this title.
Is it any good?
Midway has expanded a few of its game modes; aside from the single-player game (against the game's artificial intelligence) and a two-player mode (on the same television), Armageddon also offers a deeper Konquest game (a story-based adventure) and expanded online play for head-to-head matches over the Internet -- with faster response times than found in 2004's Mortal Kombat: Deception. Armageddon doesn't evolve the genre much, but just gives the player a lot more of the same stuff, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Also, while this game's graphics look OK (better on the Xbox than the PlayStation 2), it doesn't compare to fighting games on the Xbox 360 such as Tecmo's Dead or Alive 4.
Mortal Kombat fans can pick up Armageddon for $39.95, or they may opt for the Premium Edition ($49.95), which includes a playable of the original Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, more than 60 minutes of bonus DVD video content, a collectible metal case (with four unique box fronts in total), and an animation cell cover art autographed by franchise co–creator Ed Boon.
Online interaction: Online play with chat can create unpredictable conversations.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about fantasy fighting vs. reality. How awful would these fights be in real life? Why are they turned into a game?
Does the over-the-top, fantastical gore in this game make it more appealing?
Does creating your own fighter make this game more interesting? How about the Kreate-a-Fatality system -- does that make you feel more vested in the experience?
For kids who love fast action
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.