The Mortal Kombat series has been around for more than 20 years, but it was only in 2011, with the release of Mortal Kombat 9, that the series really started to get major attention. But Mortal Kombat X is by the far the biggest game-changer in this popular fighting game.
The game has evolved from just another fighting game to a game that now enjoys great popularity amongst fans as well as newbies. The game has even achieved such success that it is now worthy of tournament competitions like the Mortal Kombat Cup.
Mortal Kombat X ticks all the usual boxes that make Mortal Kombat such a successful game, like interesting and entertaining characters, insane fighting skills and lots and lots of violence and gore.
We’ve taken some time to play Mortal Kombat X on the PlayStation 4 and test out some of the new features, improved graphics and creatively gruesome and violent gameplay.
Story / Content
Mortal Kombat X picks up 25 years after Mortal Kombat 9 and has some exciting new features.
The first thing you will notice when you start playing the new game is that the fatalities and certain attacks are creatively gruesome, and exceptionally entertaining due to how over-the-top dramatic and detailed they are.
The new Mortal Kombat has 25 on-disc characters and brings back series-favourites like Johnny Cage, Sub-Zero and Sonya Blade. Certain character didn’t make it onto the roster like Fujin, but you won’t miss them too much due to the awesome new characters. The new characters are still connected to the Mortal Kombat world in that they are all related to original characters, which makes the characters’ backstories more interesting and entertaining. The new characters include Cassie Cage who is the daughter of Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade and Kenshi’s son Takahashi Takeda.
For the first time in the series’ history you are able to choose from three variations of each character with unique skills, enhanced fighting styles as well as special moves on top of the characters’ normal abilities. For instance, with Kitana you have the option to choose between Royal Storm, Assassin and Mournful, each having its own unique set of moves and skills on top of her usual fighting powers.
We also love how the characters have been updated to be more entertaining and funny. The backstories have become richer and each character brings its own entertainment, like how Cassie Cage will take a selfie with her victim’s distorted and destroyed face.
The unique character interactions make the game feel vividly realistic. You end up actually caring about certain characters which sets Mortal Kombat X apart from other fighting games that don’t offer much in terms of character development.
The new stamina meter as well as the option to select different fighting-style variants of each character makes the game’s experience richer and more challenging because you have more things to keep in mind before, during and after fights.
When you boot the game up for the first time you are presented with another Mortal Kombat X exclusive feature – Factions. The first thing you have to do is to choose which faction you want to join. Factions compete as a team on a global scale and every time you compete in a fight you earn points for your faction. Every fight counts and the more players in your faction fight, the more points are earned. The different factions you can choose from are Lin Kuei, White Lotus, Special Forces, Black Dragon and Brotherhood of Shadows, and a weekly faction winner is chosen which earns members rewards.
Mortal Kombat X offers smooth and user-friendly gameplay. The basic gameplay idea is that detailed and brutal 3D characters fight on a 2D plane, which means you are only able to move laterally. The game is fast paced with each fight ending in the defeat of an opponent. The characters each possess unique moves and skills and it’s fun finding new combinations. If you are initially feeling overwhelmed and struggling to find cool combos or blocking techniques you can hit pause to display your characters special moves and combos.
As always the game involves fighters battling it out through chapters and quicktime events that goes by too quickly for you to truly get acquainted with any of the characters let alone their variants. Luckily there are various features like Practice Mode and Challenge Towers which will let you replay the game and get to know the characters, moves and combos. There’s also the Test Your Luck Mode where there are crazy and random changes to the environment like super speed, lasers, bombs and zero gravity.
The online replayable options like Living Towers lets you play with DLC characters before they become available for download and has challenges that change hourly, daily or weekly.
A cool gameplay option is also that you are able to interact with your surroundings during battles. You can for instance hurl an old lady at an opponent to inflict damage or pick up random other damaging projectiles and you can jump off walls. But our favourite feature has got to be the slo-mo brutality attacks where you can see anything from an opponent being stripped of his skin or have his spline ripped out of his throat. It’s cool that the injuries inflicted on the fighters start to show and blood and sweat is splattered everywhere. Check out some of the insane brutalities:
(WARNING: NOT SUITABLE FOR SENSITIVE VIEWERS OR CHILDREN OR PEOPLE EATING FOOD)
The next-gen Mortal Kombat is the first designed for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One so the improved graphics really shine. The detail of the character’s appearance as well as the gruesomely vivid damage done to characters shows off some of the new improved graphics for Mortal Kombat X.
To compliment the new and improved graphics is amazing audio that really makes the game feel vividly real, especially when you can hear your character’s skull cracking.
Mortal Kombat X was developed by NetherRealms Studios and published by Warner Bros. Interactive. We reviewed the game on the Sony PS4, it is also available on XBox One and PC.