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By MITCH KRPATA  |  September 11, 2008

What would it take to make Mortal Kombat relevant again? How about staking it to a cheap gimmick — one that also sounds completely irresistible? That’s the case with MORTAL KOMBAT VS. DC UNIVERSE (November 10; PlayStation 3, Xbox 360), a fighting game that pits your favorite Kombatants against DC Comics’ most powerful heroes and villains. Mortal Kombat has never really hit its stride since jumping from two dimensions to three, so here’s hoping this game can recapture the lightning-fast, brutal combat that made the series great in its early days. One wonders how characters like the squeaky-clean Superman will play against the spine-ripping ninjas that have made past games controversial, but admit it: you can’t wait to find out.

If you were to base your purchasing decisions solely on rapturous preview copy, you’d probably want to reserve MIRROR’S EDGE (November 11; PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC). Its showings at E3 and PAX have triggered gigabytes of laudatory blog posts across the Web. You play as a messenger in a totalitarian society, attempting to bring down the government — if you can outrun it first. Although there is some shooting, Mirror’s Edge focuses on your character’s physicality. The bulk of the gameplay involves free-running through dizzying, high-altitude environments — imagine a first-person Prince of Persia.

Or you could just play the real thing when Ubisoft relaunches PRINCE OF PERSIA (November 18; PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC). As uneven as the Sands of Time trilogy was, the time-shifting gameplay it introduced was revelatory. This new game will retain the series’s familiar environmental puzzles, but with a distinctive hand-painted visual style. Combat is also different from the most recent games’ brawls: the new Prince of Persia will stick mostly to duels.

Last but not least: while you’re matching your paycheck schedule against these upcoming releases, remember the most important thing about any video-game preview: dates are subject to change.

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