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Mortal Kombat: Deception Review

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Fatalities abound in the latest MK instalment

★★★★

Despite spawning two movies, a TV series and more video games than you could shake a severed head at, Mortal Kombat has always been a laughing stock amongst hardened gamers weaned on the stylish graphics and deep combat of Street Fighter and Tekken. But in going back to basics and re-working every aspect of this bloodthirsty franchise, the developers have created a stunning beat ’em up with something for everyone.

Long-time fans will be delighted as the game doesn’t dilute the series’ excessive gore or violence, giving Deception the dizzying pace and overstated action of a Hong Kong action flick, rather than the brooding, Anime-inspired brawling seen in most fighting games.

Pummelling opponents also rewards players with a clutch of bonus games – including chess and a Tetris-style puzzler – that offer a welcome break from the button bashing, and the chance to challenge rivals one-on-one across the internet also helps Deception edge ahead of the pack. The Konquest mode where you earn tokens to unlock new fighters is dull as dishwater, but it’s only a minor criticism of an otherwise thrilling package.