It’s surprising to realise that the last Mortal Kombat entry came out a few years ago. The series renowned for its gory ways is back to hopefully shock a whole new generation and veterans with Mortal Kombat X.
Fortunately, Netherrealm Studios, the development studio behind recent Mortal Kombat entries still has a few tricks up their sleeves. Just take a gander at social media websites such as Twitter to see that it’s still possible for graphic depictions of characters being brutally cut to pieces, to offend people.
This latest iteration in this gory series sees the offspring of a few characters join the battles. So the likes of Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade have finally got together, or at least for enough time to procreate. It’s an interesting concept given that it is logical for the characters to try and leave a legacy as they grow up. The story mode mainly focuses on these new characters and it makes for some funny moments where they come to blows with well known characters.
Although not worthy of an Oscar, the story mode is very entertaining and will keep players busy for a few hours with its many dramatic twists. The only very minor gripe comes from the quick time events that have a tendency to suddenly appear on-screen during cut-scenes. Perhaps it’s a way to make sure that players are paying attention to the cut-scenes. The story mode is also a great way to get used to the characters, since each chapter usually focuses on one of them.
Those looking for a challenge have to look no further than the Tower mode. Each tower comes with specific rules, such as the Endless tower, where the objective is to defeat as many opponents as possible without losing once. There are also what are called Living towers, where new objectives are introduced on a regular basis. Such a concept makes sure that players can look forward to new content on a regular basis. It’s also a wonderful way to present traditional modes without making it feel like more of the same.
Those who wish to improve their skills before taking on the competition online can do so with the Training mode. It is even possible to try out the finishing moves, which comes in handy when trying to get the hang of some of the more complex fatalities.
The fighting mechanics are fairly similar to those found in the previous Mortal Kombat entry. It’s easy to make use of abilities, but it’s much more exciting to come up with all kinds of combos using abilities and standard fighting moves. One of the major new additions is the ability to pick from one of three combat variations before starting a fight. This means that players are able to focus on which style better suits them. For example, Scorpion players who prefer to get up close in combat can choose the Ninjutsu variation and have access to dual blades. Each of the three variations for a character feels so unique that it’s almost like having access to three different characters. It works a lot better than giving players access to all these abilities in one go, since it’s more effective to try and master one ability.
Although it’s easier to adapt to some of the characters, it doesn’t mean that it will ruin how players fight online. It might seem impossible, but there are ways to deal with moves such as Scorpion’s infamous teleport. The fighting is always so fast paced and gory that it means no match is ever the same. Most of the fighting locations even contain props that cunning players can use to their advantage. The x-ray moves from the previous Mortal Kombat are also back and look more painful than ever. It’s still an interesting addition considering that it usually puts players on the spot because of the amount of damage X-ray moves deal.
Those brave enough to take the fight online will find an impressive amount of modes to choose from. There are the typical modes like ranked matches and King of the Hill to keep the community fighting for months to come. Funnily enough the development team even saw fit to honour players with a special fatality called “Quitality” for when someone quits a match after losing. The fast paced nature of Mortal Kombat X matches means that it’s easy to easily spend hours online fighting opponent after opponent. It would be a shame not to experience the single player content, but there is definitely enough content in the online mode to keep players occupied.
Complimenting the online mode is the Faction mode, where a player picks one faction and earns points by winning fights and completing daily objectives. The faction with most points every week gets a reward. It’s an idea that works well in terms of bringing the community together in an attempt to win every week. The only downside to this idea is letting players choose which faction to join. This means that one or more of the popular factions tend to have more players joining it. Regardless, it’s still enjoyable to take part and attempt to complete some of the daily challenges.
The previous Mortal Kombat introduced the concept of a Krypt mode where currency earned from fights was used to unlock Fatalities and other content. The development team managed to improve on this by creating a Krypt that feels more like a dungeon explorer video-game. The idea is to find iconic weapons used by the characters and use them get access to more areas within the Krypt. to It’s like playing a completely different game within a game and a better way to motivate players to unlock extra content.
Mortal Kombat X delivers an experience that manages to stay true to the gory theme of the original. In fact, some of the fatalities are so gory that it will make a few layers wince. Regardless, this is a Mortal Kombat video-game and surely graphic content is expected. Although the game does contain in-game purchases, these are completely optional and every piece of content can still be unlocked by playing the game as intended.
This new entry in the long standing Mortal Kombat series is worthy of being the first on the current generation and one fighting video-games enthusiasts will not want to miss out on.