Over the top, extremely bloody violence. It’s the signature of Mortal Kombat. A series that is one of the most iconic brands in the fighting genre. Mortal Kombat X is the latest entry in the series and marks the first appearance on current gen consoles. With solid fight mechanics and a level of violence that surpasses anything Mortal Kombat has delivered in the past, Mortal Kombat X is a welcome addition to current gen consoles.
Mortal Kombat X follows the tone set in MK9. Fast and furious fighting action full massive combos, special moves and bone shattering x-ray shots that show just how much internal damage has been inflicted (how these guys can get up after one is beyond me), all set on a 2D fighting environment with 3D fighters.
The fight mechanics are typical Mortal Kombat. Everything is done via the push of a button, even blocking. For some people, having to block via a button push may seem out-dated and may even feel a bit sluggish. After a few rounds that feeling of sluggishness evaporates into a frantic battle of bone melting, button pressing mayhem as you string together combos and special moves to inflict damage so severe that even Chuck Norris would have difficulty getting back up!
Even if Chuck Norris was able to get back up there is one thing that even he couldn’t survive…FATALITIES! It wouldn’t be a Mortal Kombat game without these signature finishers and they are back, bigger and more brutal than ever before. Heads will be split in two, brains will ooze onto the ground in a pool of blood, bodies will be impaled, nothing is off limits here and that’s exactly the way it should be. There is simply nothing more satisfying than surviving an epic fight to then be able to exact the ultimate death upon your prey.
Much has been said about the easy fatality micro-transactions that are baked in to MKX. Yes they are there but they will be a non-issue for seasoned veterans. Every fatality can be performed using that age old method of practicing the combo required to execute the fatality. You get a few easy fatalities when you first start playing and after that you have to resort to performing the combo, or purchasing some easy fatalities. The way I see it, the easy fatalities are there for the casual player or for a party where you want everyone to be able to perform these spectacular finishers without having to first spend the time learning them.
There are 24 characters available right from the start. Mortal Kombat superstars like Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Raiden and Johnny Cage return as well as a few newcomers like Kotal Kahn, Takeda and Cassie Cage (Daughter of Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade). Even if you are familiar with the old characters there is a lot to learn thanks to 3 different fight variations being available for each character. The variations aren’t just there for show, they really do provide a different experience for each fighter, changing their special moves and the style in which they fight. All of a sudden a whole new level of depth is available for characters that you never thought possible, it is a real highlight of MKX and something I hope we continue to see in future series entries.
If you want a great place to get an introduction to all of the characters then Story Mode is the place to be. Coming in at around 5 or so hours, the story mode is cheesy and full of one-liners. Full all the cheese on offer it presents the story in a visually impressive cinematic experience that is interspersed with player controlled fight sequences. The voice acting is excellent and for all the cheese on offer I still found myself enjoying the story WAY too much. Many fighting games fail miserably when it comes to putting a story together but MKX does a remarkably good job. Throughout the story you’ll get the chance to take control of the characters, thus giving you exposure to the unique fighting qualities that each brings to the game. It’s a great way to figure out which character you want to make your go-to character for multiplayer. For everything that the story mode does well, one area lets it down and that’s the QTE during cinematic sequences. Often I discovered there was no real penalty for not pushing the right button, your character may take some hits instead of dishing them out but ultimately the sequences are designed to take the story forward which only has one outcome before getting to a fight. I’d much rather have the QTE left out of the game than included when it has no consequence on the way the story progresses.
After the enjoyment of the story mode the other single player modes actually feel quite bland. Test Your Luck mode will randomise the game with different character abilities and weather effects. It creates a level of unpredictability but isn’t a mode that you’ll be compelled to go back to time and time again. Towers are back but in this day and age end up getting repetitive quickly. Krypt is a First Person Dungeon crawler that is actually pretty good and will allow you to unearth a bunch of additional content so be sure to check it out.
Taking MKX online will leads to some interesting experiences. You will be asked to join a Faction and from then on become a participant in the Faction Wars. Every fight you enter, win or loss has an impact on your faction as a whole. Every week a faction will be crowned winner and you will all enjoy the spoils of victory. It is a good idea but one that I didn’t connect with as much as I thought I would. Sure it adds some competition to the mix but I wasn’t driven by it, probably because if your faction is well down on the leaderboard it just doesn’t feel like there is anyway to claw back the deficit. I found the challenges much more engaging, these happen on an hourly, daily and weekly basis. Successfully beating the challenges provides rewards and XP which to me feels more rewarding than contributing to the overall faction war. Genuine online play has been pretty quick from what I have seen, matchmaking is quick and the matches are ultimately smooth.
For me the best way to experience Multiplayer is the old fashioned method of sitting down with a friend and playing. Nothing beats taking on your friends, be it in the same room or online. With all the over the top violence, Mortal Kombat X is the perfect party game. You can sit down together, talk smack and have a laugh as devastation is unleashed. For noobs, playing against a veteran will no doubt lead to frustration. There is plenty of fun to be had and button mashing will lead to some success but it is still going to be hard for someone to compete against the guy who has put hours in learning their character and every move they can do.
The graphics in Mortal Kombat X are first class. Delivering crisp and fluid visuals 1080p visuals with no hint of frame rate issues. I was lucky enough to receive a review copy on PS4 and Xbox One and there is very little between the two as seen in the comparison screens I did.
FINISH HIM! Mortal Kombat X is a genuine kickass fighting game plain and simple. The signature violence and wicked fatalities are back and more brutal than ever. The story mode is cheesy but a lot of fun, the online play is fluid and playing against friends remains an absolute joy. As it stands Mortal Kombat X is the best fighting game available on PS4 and Xbox One.
- More Brutal Than Ever
- Cheesy but Fun Story Mode
- Characters Variations
- Crisp, Smooth Fight Mechanics
- Annoying QTE in Story Mode