Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks is the first ever Mortal Kombat game to venture into the action/adventure genre. From the points of view of Liu Kang and Kung Lao, up to two players can beat and kill their ways to freedom as they try to escape a warped island in Outworld full of demons and well known Mortal Kombat bad guys.
Each character has all of their signature moves, as well as 10 fatalities each. Weapons are also available along the way, and include giant swords and burning skulls. Button mashing is discouraged, but multidirectional fighting can be used if you are surrounded. However, the fighting system is sure to reward those who master it.
More characters can be unlocked through various other modes of the game as well, and many familiar faces will pop up along the way. Those faces will usually belong to enemies, but friends can be found, as well as those neutral in the fight between man and the netherworld.
Much of the environment will be familiar to those who have played the previous Mortal Kombat games. Three dimensional renditions of old stages, like the throne room and Reptile?s bridge, will make their appearances. A lot of these stages will also be destructible, giving way to power ups and secret lairs.
This is new territory for the Mortal Kombat team, but if it utilizes the mythos of the previous games and has enough gore in it (which, from this early version, seems like there will be more than enough) it may just catch on. Look for it in fall of 2005 on both the Xbox and PS2.