Mortal Kombat 11 Serves Up the Ultimate ’80s Fight: RoboCop vs. Terminator

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Mortal Kombat 11 players will soon be able to play out one of the most-discussed cinematic battles of the 1980s that never actually happened. RoboCop and Terminator are both coming to the franchise, finally allowing gamers to answer for themselves what we used to argue over during lunch.

Now, personally, I have to say — I’ve always been 100 percent on Team Terminator on this issue. In fact, I don’t even see how the “PRoboCop” faction even has a leg to stand on.

Let’s examine the facts. Alexander James Murphy is a cop who gets most of his brain shot out by a crime boss before his amazingly corrupt employer literally shoves a few of his organs and parts of his cerebellum and cerebrum into a titanium can.

The T-800, in contrast, is a ruthless, entirely mechanical adversary. It’s much faster than RoboCop. RoboCop is, to be sure, extremely durable — but the T-800 has survived direct hits from grenades, incendiaries, high-speed vehicles, and a truly astonishing number of bullets. It’s simply astonishing to argue that…

Oh. Right. There’s actually a story attached to this. First up, here’s a video that ends with RoboCop delivering one of his fatalities:

There’s also a second video available, this one with a demonstration of the T-800 laying out the pain. Both are full of easter eggs, including references to the RoboCop Versus The Terminator comic, in which RoboCop discovered Skynet had been built in part from his own technology, and plotted for decades to destroy it. The Terminator’s signature step-out recalls an iconic scene from T2, while changing it to fit the Mortal Kombat universe.

Mortal Kombat, MKII, and MK3 were staples of my adolescence and young adulthood, but I haven’t kept in touch with the series much through the intervening games. Visually, it’s impressive, though I’d rather some of the damage inflicted in the periodic close-ups actually remain on the model once we transition back to the fight. Mortal Kombat 11 clearly uses two different rendering approaches throughout the matches, and while the game transitions cleanly and quickly between them, it’s still a little visually jarring. We suddenly move from a battlefield perspective to what looks like an entirely different area, and the lighting model and detail level shift dramatically to accommodate Fatalities or various high-damage attacks. I’m genuinely curious to see what the next console generation brings to the table for fighting games like this — the advent of substantially faster CPUs and ray tracing should allow for some incredible animation and art.

I don’t have the game, but I certainly wouldn’t mind a match or three — if only to put RoboCop in its place, once and for all.

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