Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe Review

Developers: Midway Amusement Games, Warner Bros.

Publisher: Midway Games

Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360

Release Date: November 16, 2008

Genre: Fighting

Players: Single Player, One-on-One Multiplayer

Rating: T

- Geoff Barry

Unbalanced, but fun


In the highly anticipated title that clashed the epic Mortal Kombat characters with the legendary lineup of DC Universe, stakes are high while gore is low. The small amount of blood that can be spewed from foes mouths’ pale in comparison to the arcade Mortal Kombat games. Warner Bros. wanted to keep gore down, and protect their characters from being exposed to the crushing deaths MK is known for. Does it suit family gamers better? Yes, but most gamers love the high doses of violence that MK games bring. I wasn’t bothered too much at the lack of bones and blood; I enjoyed the game for what it brought to the table.

The story mode can either be played on MK’s lineup of fighters, or on the side of the DC characters. After Raiden blasts Shao Kahn through a portal, the two worlds collide and it endangers Earth. The DC characters believe that the MK characters are to blame, and vice versa. Shao Kahn and Darkseid merge into Dark Kahn, and as this happens the other characters are influenced by “rage” which boosts their abilities, but also turns them against their own allies. 

“Rage” is the only thing that can keep the balance of power in the game. In a single fight Catwoman could beat Raiden if she has enough “rage” to last throughout the duel. It’s unlikely that a character without superpowers could defeat one with the abilities like Raiden or Shang Tsung, but with “rage” any character gets a boost of speed, strength, and cannot be harmed by melee attacks. Every time your characters take damage or attacks, the rage meter will fill. So crouching down and deflecting blows is not necessarily the best method of fighting in this game.

Outside of Story mode there are Versus mode and Kombo Challenge. Kombo Challenge is a good way to get to know each character’s special moves, but most combos usually take professional timing and are difficult to master. There’s also no way to learn how to execute Fatalities and Brutalities. Unless you’ve memorized a character’s moves in earlier games, you’re going to have to go online to find out how to perform the fatality and brutality combos. There is also the Arcade mode which lets you fight until you reach the top or die trying, which will bring back memories of slamming in the quarters into the machine at the arcade to last another fight.

Versus mode is fun. You can go into a room and challenge anyone online. Some players will be high above your skill level, and others will be below it. If you’re feeling up to the risk you can challenge someone with a higher rating to test your skills. What I don’t like about Versus is the fact that so many characters are unbalanced in terms of powers. Batman is my favorite fictional character, so I enjoy using him to fight. The problem is that Batman is just a normal person. He’s very athletic and has numerous gadgets to use, but many other characters are athletic and have superpowers. Even with “Rage mode” an expert Batman player could be defeated by an above-average Captain Marvel gamer. 

I enjoyed my time with MK vs. DC. The graphics were solid, especially for a 2008 release, and the voice acting was good. The Joker always seems to impress me with whoever is doing his voice. I wish there could have been a slightly better way to balance the powers, but for the most part if you know your character’s moves you can win you match. The “free-fall” sequences were a good way to either turn the tide in the fight or finish off your opponent, if you found a way to throw them down to another level. It was an attack-counterattack engine that was really a blast to experience. If you’d like to see how the DC members stack up to the MK characters, or would like less gore than the Mortal Kombat game that’s out now, I recommend picking up this title at a wallet friendly price. 

The Pros:

  • Fun clash of characters
  • Solid fighting engine
  • Voice acting 
  • Good graphics

The Cons:

  • Less gore doesn’t apply to traditional MK fans
  • Unbalance of power between characters
  • Modes aren’t very deep

Verdict: 80%

Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe Gameplay

Even though Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe was a big disappointment to a lot of people, Geoff seemed to still enjoy it. For all the MK fans out there or even if you aren’t one, what is your opinion on MK/DC crossup?