Review by Psycho Penguin

Reviewed: 08/13/00 | Updated: 07/16/01

Maybe this would have been good two years ago..

I have noticed an alarming trend in video games as of yet. Game companies are suddenly running out of ideas fast, so what they usually end up doing is getting one of their top bread and butter franchises and making a game completely different than that in any of their other games in the series. Even the top companies are known to do this. Capcom with Mega Man Soccer is just one of the many examples of game companies making a ''series'' game completely different than that of any of the other games in the series. It is not necessarily the worst idea, but it does get a tad annoying after a while.

Now, why do I feel the need to bring this up? Well, because Midway decided to do the same kind of thing with their latest game, Mortal Kombat: Special Forces. Now, it is no secret that this is not their first attempt at a Mortal Kombat adventure style game (Mortal Kombat: Mythologies is definitely an adventure game. A crappy one, but it is one). But it is their first attempt at making a Metal Gear Solid type game for the Playstation. It is a decent attempt, but I do not think this game should have ever been made.

Yes, Mortal Kombat: Special Forces is directly linked to Metal Gear Solid in almost every possible way, besides the fact that the story line is a tad different. Okay, it is not a tad different, the story line in this game is pretty weird, even when compared to the weird story line in Metal Gear Solid. You have to kill Kane in this game. Now, any fan of the Mortal Kombat series knows that Kane died in Mortal Kombat 3. Hell, I am not a fan of the Mortal Kombat series and I know that Kane died in Mortal Kombat 3. So, if he died, then why do you have to face him again? It’s horse dung as far as I am concerned.

The best part of this game, bar none, are the wonderful graphics in the game. I was completely surprised to see how good the graphics in the game were. Everything about the game is well textured and well designed, and the animation in the game is solid. The full motion videos in the game are awesome, and look a lot like a lot of the other full motion videos scenes in Playstation games, which is definitely a good thing. There is hardly any noticeable texture problems, which is a big surprise due to the terrible camera angles in this game.

The camera system in the game is one of the worst I have ever seen in a video game, yes even worse than the camera system in Mario 64. It completely detracts from the game play because the camera system goes off on its own at times, and you will never completely be able to control it. It got really annoying after a while, and I was surprised there was little graphical breakup in the game, because usually in games with bad camera angles there turns out to be a lot of noticeable graphical breakup, but nope not in this game!

Seriously, I swear Midway only focused on the graphics when it came to making this game. The backgrounds in the game are very nice, much more so than I expected. There are some problems with the backgrounds, like rough edges and some pixellation, but it is not nearly as bad as I expected. This is a good thing, but graphics in a video game mean absolutely squat. I will say that if the rest of the game was as good as the graphics, then this would be a great game. However, the rest of the game sucks, what a shame.

The music in this game is pretty good. I expected this game to have only average music, because lets face it, Midway is not exactly known for great music, especially when it comes to the Mortal Kombat series. I was pleasantly surprised with the music in the game, however. The boss theme in the game is especially good, as I enjoyed listening to it a lot, and a lot of the stage music was well done. I like how the background music in the game was very varied and how the music seemed to fit each of the stages perfectly. I definitely liked the music in this game.

Sound effects in the game are a little disappointing, because most of them consist of enemies screaming out little sounds. It really is not that good at all, and I was disappointed in them. Most of the enemies say ''Intruder''. Yes, no crap, sherlocks, I am an intruder. What you going to do about it? I do like the explosions in the game, however. They sounded pretty good and was about the only good part of the sound effects, because the enemies voice acting was certainly not up to par in my opinion.

The problems with the game really start to unfold when it comes to actually playing the game. Sure, it has pretty graphics, and sure the music and sound effects in the game are decent for the most part, but the actual game is just the worst possible rip off of Metal Gear Solid you will ever play. Yes, this game is nothing more than a Metal Gear Solid ripoff, and a stupid one at that.

First off, I have to talk about the stage designs in the game. These have got to be the worst stage designs I have ever seen in a video game. Most of the stages are so huge that you will get lost a lot, and I hate the games which have you run around a large room for half an hour without a clue of where to go, and guess what, Special Forces is one of those games. It will leave you in this huge room with nowhere to go, and you will have to work your way out of it, but it will take you a long time.

I did have fun learning the combos in the game somewhat, but I was disappointed as well because of the lack of fatalities, but hell I did not care too much because I am not that big of a fan of the Mortal Kombat series to begin with. The experience system is a lot like a role playing game: killing enemies net you experience points which enable you to learn new combos and special moves. I have always been a big fan of this kind of system so I enjoyed it.

I did not enjoy the weapons system, however. I have never been a complete weapons nut to the point where I could name all the types of weapons and stuff, but I do expect there to be a bit of a variety of weapons in the game. Not the case in this game, because the weapons are terrible to use and hard to control, especially that damn Sniper Rifle. I had a not so enjoyable time using that weapon, because you have to aim it exactly at the enemy, and since he moves all the time it takes forever to hit him, and by that time he is probably dead. Then you have to fog factor, which means you cannot actually see your enemies most of the time. Add to that the terrible camera system and you do not have an enjoyable time playing this game.

You may want to replay this game from time to time, although there is nothing here that will make you want to come back and play the game over and over again. The secrets in the game are kept to a bare minimum, and there is not really much in the ways of secrets besides the basic hidden weapons and stuff. Of course, I do not really care about weapons much anyways, which means there is nothing here to make me want to keep replaying it, so guess what, I don’t. I got this game maybe a week and a half ago, and I do not play it any more. That is a sign of a game with bad replay value.

This is one of the most challenging video games I have ever played, for a lot of reasons. Number one, the camera system and fog factor of the game will terribly limit your sight of the enemies, which will make killing enemies an extreme challenge. There are a lot of enemies present in the game, which also will increase the challenge because you will end up in a situation where you are faced against plenty of enemies who fire at you and you can’t do a damn thing about it. Add to those facts the fact that the stages are long and complicated, and you have a pretty challenging game.

Mortal Kombat: Special Forces is not one of the worst video games I have ever played, and it does have some good points, like the experience systems, but the flaws definitely outweigh the good in this case. It is not worth a purchase, only a rental at best. The game play and challenge level of the game is a little too bad for my tastes. The game does have some good points, however, which makes it worth a rental. It is not worth a purchase though. I would recommend getting Metal Gear Solid or Medal of Honor before considering this one.

Good Points
-The experience and combo system
-Great graphics
-The boss theme

Bad Points
-An extremely high challenge level
-Camera system from hell
-Piece of crap story line

Story line – 1/10
Graphics – 9/10
Music and Sound – 8/10
Gameplay and Control – 3/10
Replay Value – Medium
Challenge – Very High
Overall – 4/10

Rating:   2.0 - Poor

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