Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks” is an action-adventure game set in the Mortal Kombat universe. Developed by Midway Games, it was released for the PlayStation 2 in 2005. Unlike traditional Mortal Kombat games, Shaolin Monks deviates from the typical fighting game formula and instead focuses on a cooperative, beat ’em up-style gameplay.
The game’s storyline is a reimagining of the events from “Mortal Kombat II” and “Mortal Kombat III.” Players take control of Liu Kang and Kung Lao, two Earthrealm warriors who embark on a journey to stop the villainous sorcerer Shang Tsung and his allies from taking over Earthrealm.
- Cooperative Gameplay: One of the defining features of Shaolin Monks is its cooperative gameplay. Players can choose to play as either Liu Kang or Kung Lao, and a friend can join in at any time for two-player local co-op.
- Fighting System: While the game retains Mortal Kombat’s signature fatalities and brutalities, it shifts the focus to a 3D environment with more fluid, combo-based combat. Players can execute various martial arts moves, chain combos, and unlock new abilities as they progress.
- Platforming and Exploration: In addition to combat, the game incorporates platforming elements and exploration. Players traverse through various iconic Mortal Kombat locations, solving puzzles, finding secrets, and unlocking new areas.
- Boss Battles: Shaolin Monks features epic boss battles against classic Mortal Kombat characters like Scorpion, Sub-Zero, and Shang Tsung. These battles are often cinematic and require a combination of skill and strategy to defeat the formidable foes.
Liu Kang and Kung Lao are the primary playable characters, each with their own unique moves and abilities. Players can unlock additional characters, including Scorpion and Sub-Zero, and even play as the iconic Mortal Kombat boss, Goro.
Graphics and Sound:
The game’s graphics were praised for delivering a visually impressive representation of the Mortal Kombat world on the PlayStation 2. The character models and environments were faithful to the series. The soundtrack featured a mix of classic Mortal Kombat themes and new compositions that complemented the game’s intense action.
Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks received generally positive reviews for its unique take on the Mortal Kombat franchise, engaging cooperative gameplay, and faithful representation of the series’ characters and lore. Fans appreciated the opportunity to explore the Mortal Kombat universe from a different perspective.
While Shaolin Monks is not a traditional fighting game like other entries in the Mortal Kombat series, it stands out as a memorable and enjoyable experience for fans of the franchise who were looking for a fresh approach to the Mortal Kombat universe.