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Game: Mortal Kombat X
Release Date: April 14, 2015
Consoles: Xbox One, PS4 (Reviewed), PC (other versions on the way)
Publisher: Warner Bros
Developer: NetherRealm
 It was 23 years ago when Mortal Kombat made its debut, taking the arcades by storm. Everyone put their quarter on the machine and waited their turn to play this brutal fighting game, and none of them walked away disappointed. Here they are now, at the release of Mortal Kombat X, and the fighting game community couldn’t be more excited. The franchise hasn’t changed much over the years, as it usually has a winning formula of over-the-top brutal gameplay and inventive characters.

The trouble with reviewing games sometimes is that they get a game in the door that is  flawless in every way,  putting the writer at a loss for words. Mortal Kombat X is of those games.

Mortal Kombat X characters

But in case you were beginning to wonder if Mortal Kombat X might be a re-skinned version of NetherRealm Studio’s most recent game, Injustice: Gods Among Us, I’m glad to document that it is much over that. Sure, MKX takes lots of ideas & animations from DC’s fighting game, but the developers also improved on Injustice’s ideas, tweaked gameplay, added in new ideas, & set it in the Mortal Kombat universe. The result is an absolutely amazing game with only a few flaws.
Let’s start with the Mortal Kombat X story. The story itself is ridiculous, but it’s supposed to be — it is Mortal Kombat after all. But it’s ridiculous in a very enjoyable way. Zombie characters are introduced, characters say cheesy things like “you’re the bug, I’m the windshield,” there's sword fights, & even a significant time lapse. While there’s a lot going on in the story, it’s simple to follow & usually likable. There is annoying aspect of the story, though: every time the writers lead you to think you’re about to kill of the characters, you’re usually interrupted by another character before following through. Seriously…it happens probably 90% of the time. 

Sure, it’s a way to get from point A to point B, but a small variance would’ve gone a long way. There’s as well as a ton of quicktime event sequences that I would’ve  scene played out without any interaction, but I can let that slide. While playing through the actual story mode, you’ll come across both simple fights & hard battles that will cause you a great deal of frustration, but it’s overall a well-balanced journey & doesn’t take very long to complete. Thankfully, you do receive a handful of skips if of the fights are  difficult. Although most game enthusiasts buy Mortal Kombat games for the multiplayer experience, Mortal Kombat X’s story mode is well worth the playthrough.

Mortal Kombat X’s character design is also very well done. Not only do character models look great (most notably Ferra/Torr), but they are also much balanced right out of the box (which is seemingly rare these days). &, there's slightly different iterations of each playable character that adds even more depth to gameplay. My only balancing complaint so far comes from teleporting with Raiden, as doing so will need a split second delay afterwards which usually leads to Raiden getting pummeled. This brief delay doesn’t happen with Scorpion or Ermac’s teleport abilities. Mortal Kombat X also introduces a few playable newcomers to the series, including Cassie Cage, Erron Black, Kotal Kahn, Takeda Takahashi & more. In fact, I’d say that MKX’s balance of the elderly versus the new is the best I’ve seen in a fighting game to date.



There are some missing characters from earlier games that I would’ve liked to have seen in Mortal Kombat X, though. Cyrax, Smoke, Nightwolf, & Baraka are not playable characters, & I used all of them often in past games. Without a doubt, we’ll see some if not all of them in future DLC packs, but as it stands right now, it’s a minor bummer.
Gameplay is brilliantly brutal, as expected. If you’ve got a weak stomach, you may need to stay away from Mortal Kombat X. There's some truly disturbing imagery contained within, including a hard to watch death-by-bugs scene in the work of the story. There's eyes popping out, guts being pulled out, crotches being hit & blood galore. If that kind of stuff doesn’t bother you (& it likely doesn’t if you’re reading this), you’ll love MKX.

mortal kombat x faction war

NetherRealm Studios also deserves a pat on the back for not being lazy with MKX. It would’ve been simple for them to re-skin Injustice: Gods Among Us using the Mortal Kombat franchise & call it a day. That’s not what they’ve done here at all. They even got creative with the typical towers style gameplay by adding living towers, & they’ve added faction war modes, which lets you complete challenges to place points in to your respective faction’s bank, allowing for more unlocks & options in the future. Both of those work well, & they also added a Krypt, which allows players to spend their earned koins for unlockables. I’m not definite if I like the Krypt idea yet. I think I would’ve had a shop of some sort to buy unlocks that I might have wanted like skins & characters. In lieu, Krypt mode fundamentally makes it all guesswork & chance, so you never know what you’re going to unlock until you’ve already unlocked it. There is, however, a coordinate technique that will without a doubt be used by the community to detail where every unlockable item is. But, until something like a map appears on the net, you’re stuck guessing & getting unlocks you might not require. But, the idea is creative, & that’s hard to do with a fighting game.


But the general experience of Mortal Kombat X is crazy nice. I haven’t enjoyed a brand spanking new game this much in some time, & it’s likely going to become a fan favourite. In the event you liked Injustice: Gods Among Us, you’re going to absolutely love the improvements made in Mortal Kombat X. You’re also going to love the depth in all of the modes it offers as well as the chance to master the new kombatants. Mortal Kombat X is the Mortal Kombat for the new generation, & it’s  a flawless victory. Amusingly , it is somehow the best zombie game of 2015 so far. Ha. But even with its minor hiccups, MKX is the best game in the franchise, & it perfectly balances the elderly & the new. We’ll surely be adding it to our list of the top twenty best fighting games ever made.

Score: 9/10

Pros:
  • Great Balance of Old Versus New
  • Balanced Gameplay Out of the Box
  • Great Character Design
  • Great New Gameplay Ideas 
Cons:
  • Notably Absent Characters like Cyrax, Smoke

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