Mortal Kombat 4 was a damage-control measure adopted by Midway Games to compensate the flak received on their previous title: Trilogy. With some polished moves, good (then groundbreaking) 3D graphics and new characters, MK4 received good reviews from Mortal Kombat fans and critics.
The story in MK 4 focuses on Shinnok rise after Shao Kahn gets vanquished by the earth warriors. Shinnok grabs the hot seat and the earthly mortals, together with Raiden, set on a new task to defeat him. There are no RPG or adventure elements in the game, just pure Vs modes, where players have to defeat the opponent and advance to the next stage until they confront Shinnok in the final showdown.
There are some great and not-so great parts of MK4. The inclusion of new characters like Kai, Quan Chi Reiko etc. add some interesting elements. The game also features seven old characters such as a Liu Kang, Sonya, Raiden and host of other popular MK4 players. While the new characters completely fit into the MK universe, little changes have been made in the moves list of old characters. Some innovative moves could have made MK4 more interesting.
The best part of Mortal Kombat 4 is the addition of hidden characters like Goro and Noob Saibot. They are not playable unless players unlock them with a code. The 3D version makes Goro look awesome and huge. Gamers can also play as Shinnok against Goro as the final boss. The game also introduces a weapon system in which each character wields a different weapon. At first, the weapon system may look quite unnecessary, but they have great importance in later stages, particularly if you are playing against a tough opponent.
One of the most difficult parts in playing the Mortal Kombat 4 PC version is bringing in those final fatalities. Midway tried to simplify them, one can achieve fatalities easily by using a gamepad. Some can achieve fatalities with key combinations, but one has to be very quick in pressing keys in those last minute actions. Except Goro, each character has only 2 fatalities. Adding a few more would have certainly added more zest to the game.
MK4 has some different gameplay modes including a practice mode, a tag-teamed styled battle mode, tournament mode and three styles of endurance fights. I like the tournament mode and the tag team mode. But, endurance fighting is more challenging and difficult because you have to fight till the end without regaining your blood.