Mortal Kombat X is the aptly named 10th edition in the main series and the 21st game overall in the Mortal Kombat family. Announced just over a year ago, MKX was one of the more anticipated games of the last cycle. One of the biggest draws to the new game was the fact that NetherRealm Studios had not released an official Mortal Kombat game since the 2011 series reboot for the now-last generation of systems. MK9 was well received with its new story mode as well as a revamped fighting system. MKX expands on everything that was put in place between MK9 and the most recent NetherRealm studios release, Injustice: Gods Among Us. MKX is a direct sequel and takes place roughly twenty canonical years after the end of MK9.
Shortly after the Earthrealm warriors defeated Shao Kahn, Shinnok attempted to raise his own faction and take over the NetherRealm; there was a huge war and that’s where the MKX storyline picks up– it’s a great way to introduce new characters as well as let older, lesser ones stay hidden. It’s a great move by NetherRealm, and even though it’s a heated debate among gaming communities, it opens up the option to use DLC the way most people would prefer, by adding extra characters that aren’t in the game. Series mainstays such as Liu Kang, Jax, Scorpion, and Raiden all make a return, complimented by new characters including but not limited to: Jaqui Briggs and Cassie Cage, the daughters of Jax and Johnny Cage respectively. The impressive roster boasts around 29 characters, each with three different fighter variations which have slightly altered move sets and combinations based upon the variation. With new fighters, NetherRealm has built on their already impressive fighting engine.
The Krypt makes a triumphant return, and is a little more interactive with some surprises lurking. The x-ray moves are more brutal, combos are more crisp, as well as revamping the stage interactions. These interactions are a welcomed change up during fights as they don’t alter the pace of the game to where they become annoying spam. The gameplay has a nice balance between rookie gamer and master fighting skills. There are combos that can be strung together for the more advanced players, but also basic combos that any Mortal Kombat rookie can pick up for enjoyment, proving that NetherRealm knows its stuff . Mortal Kombat X also boasts a few new features; one of which is the “Faction War” aspect. When a player first starts MKX, they are tasked with joining a faction. There are five available; Lin Kuei, Brotherhood of Shadow, Black Dragon, Special Forces, and the White Lotus. After selecting a faction, everything done in the game is added to a level system within that faction. The more levels a player achieves, the more unlocks become available, most notable being the faction specific finishing moves. Each faction has four additional finishing moves that characters can use in addition to their two base fatalities and four brutalities. The fatalities and brutalities are some of the goriest entries in the series to date and as a long time Mortal Kombat fan, they did not disappoint!
NetherRealm definitely has a hit on their hands, but it’s not without flaws. One of the knocks on the game is the day one patch that was released that severely dropped the amount of “koins” a player would receive for completing various in game challenges, leveling up, and completing story missions. Koins are used in the krypt and are very valuable currency to have in the MK gaming community. MK fans were unhappy that NetherRealm essentially released a patch to push players to use real money for game currency! Mortal Kombat has always been known for its intricate button combos and character placement for ending a match with a fatality; while this year is no different,NetherRealm introduced a new system of token based quick fatalities which sent fighting game purists into a frenzy! There are good and bad things to this; where some players feel that it’s being cheapened by being able to do a quick fatality; others are slightly more understanding. The quick fatalities are only available if a player has a fatality token, so even though they are helpful when wanting to show off the very gory and awesome fatalities, they can’t be used freely.
There was a point in which the brevity of the story mode was almost going to count as a negative against the game, however, it’s a fighting game and to be honest the story does an exceptional job of introducing new characters and giving just enough of a reason for them to be fighting. While it is a little on the short side at around four to five hours, it does a wonderful job of setting up the reason why these characters are battling.
Mortal Kombat X knows its core audience and hits on everything that a fan of Mortal Kombat past would expect. Even with the few knocks, the game can still be placed into a must buy category for fighting game fans. Mortal Kombat X breaks up the monotony of shooters and shooting related games that have been dominating the headlines and adds a fresh take on a gaming classic. Exceptional at its core, a little shaky on the new fringe additions; but overall a solid 8.5 out of 10.
- Huge roster of characters
- Old and New features added to increase gameplay time like The Krypt
- Even more brutal X-Ray moves
- Environment interactions are more fluid
- You can pay for easy fatalities
- Day One Patch