Day 1 of E3 has come to a close and the amount of information pouring in is staggering to say the least. Late today, major gaming outlets Gamespot and IGN posted their first looks at the game as well as some crucial interviews with series co-creator and project lead Ed Boon.

Starting with Gamespot, a summary of their first day in the field reveals a plethora of interesting tidbits. These range from the expected number of playable characters, details on a few unseen fatalities and explanation of the new power bar feature in the game.

According to Boon, this reinvigorated Mortal Kombat will focus on providing deep mechanics for veterans, an accessible combo system for all newcomers, and a strong return to the mature-rated violence and fatalities the series is best known for. Boon says the team is aiming for a dark and gritty look, and in terms of story, the new game will take place after the events of Mortal Kombat Armageddon but will have some time travel elements in place. Thus all of the characters you'll see will be classic ones from the first three games, with many of the locations also hailing from early in the series. In the E3 demo that we managed to get hands-on behind closed doors, there were eight playable characters: Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Mileena, Johnny Cage, Sektor, Nightwolf, Reptile, and Kung Lao, with Boon saying he's aiming for roughly 26 characters overall in the final game.

Probably one of the biggest changes (at least for anyone who hasn't played the game in many years) is the addition of a multi-level power bar that can be used for several different purposes. Performing souped-up versions of your regular special moves takes up one section of the bar, and this is done by simply holding down the block button as you input the command. For example, Sub-Zero's ground freeze will normally only have an area of effect directly in front of the frosty ninja, but power it up and the frozen area will extend across the entire screen.

This summary features several more interesting findings, be sure to read it by clicking here.

IGN covers similar points in their interview with Ed Boon. Among some of the most interesting findings include learning that the game is indeed a retelling of the first three Mortal Kombat games, but that it is not a "reboot" in the true sense of the word. The opening of the trailer showed Raiden and Shao Kahn locked in combat, and apparently Kahn wins this battle. However, Raiden is able to send a message to himself in an earlier time period, namely the first MK game, telling him what will become of the world in the future. This allows Raiden a degree of omnipotence and enlightenment, and he changes things accordingly to prevent the future of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon from coming to pass.

Boon: "Mortal Kombat has this timeline - eighteen years of making games, and we really didn't want to just continue, like, chapter seventeen of the whole story," says Ed Boon, the co-creator of the series. "So we're kind of doing a Back to the Future type of thing, where Raiden is about to be killed by Shao Kahn, and just before he delivers the last blow, he sends a mental message to his earlier self, so the camera rewinds back to Mortal Kombat 1. The Raiden from back then gets a message and he doesn't know what's going on, but he knows something bad's going to happen, and the game spans Mortal Kombat 1, 2 and 3, retelling the story with an enlightened Raiden, and he's changing the course of things, so everything you've seen happen before – Liu Kang winning, the guys turning into cybernetic ninjas, are changed around, so you might see a character become cybernetic who wasn't before, and so you see a different version [of events]."

The super meter is mentioned once again as well. There will be three levels on the bar. The first level allows for more dramatic specials to be used, such as larger fireballs or the previously mentioned ground freeze. The second will grant access to breakers, something we have seen in Mortal Kombat games since MK: Deception. Finally, the third and highest tier on the super meter grants access to what is being referred to as "X-ray moves" at this time, though that name could change in time. This appears to be a Klose Kombat type system, the way we saw in MK vs. DC Universe, but made a little more special through the use this new meter and the "x-ray effect" into the skeletons of the combatants. Ed is asked about new characters as well as alternate finishers like Friendships, but declines to confirm either way on either subject, though he hints strongly there will be none of the more lighthearted finishers due to the seriousness level of this game.

Boon: "Certainly this Mortal Kombat game we're taking a little bit more seriously, so we're probably not going to have a friendship move and whatnot," says Ed, "but if we were to do something like that we're definitely not going to do
cument it. That's what I think was part of the fun of the old games. 'You turned the guy into a baby!' What? Or, 'you pulled out a rainbow'! What the? It's such an odd thing. We really want these events – if they happen – to be almost rumors. That's a big part of what Mortal Kombat was. The question mark about - what else is in this game?"

You can find the remainder of IGN's interview here.

E3 has just begun, stay tuned tomorrow for several promised gameplay hands-on exclusives!