Mortal Kombat fans and fighting game fans rejoice! The tenth major edition of Mortal Kombat is here with a slew of new characters and new features that are a blast for veteran players and beginners alike.
NetherRealm Studios released Mortal Kombat X (MKX) on April 14 for PC, Playstation 4, and Xbox One. For those without the latest video game console, there is a mobile version for iPhone and Android users, and the game is scheduled to come out for Xbox 360 and PS3 sometime this summer.
The Mortal Kombat franchise is known as the goriest fighting game in its genre, particularly because of its “Fatalities.” At the end of each match, the winning player is given an opportunity to perform a final hit on the stunned losing opponent, usually resulting in a humiliating and gruesome dismemberment of the losing player’s body.
MKX certainly lives up to the franchise reputation. Each character has new Fatalities, excruciating special moves and “X-Rays.”
“Brutality” is back, too, though with a twist. In older versions, Brutality simply led to the losing character exploding. In MKX, the Brutality leads to a variety of viciously enhanced animations that end the match.
Sadly, there are no stage Fatalities, but NetherRealm brought a fun feature from their previous release “Injustice:Gods Among Us”: stages allow increased mobility for evading the opponent, or have items that can be used as a weapon to throw at the opponent.
Perhaps the most important new feature is the character variation. Each character has three different specialties that enhance the characters by adding different special moves. Players can choose different variations based on their style of play or to counter different opponents while still keeping the same character.
MKX brings a new level of realism by allowing characters to run in addition to the usual dash. This can be used to close the gap against long-range characters or extend combos. Running and back dashing are limited by a new stamina meter.
Hardcore players will be pleased to learn that the frame data for each move is found in the move list. Frame data identifies how much time each move takes to start-up or complete, which can be a crucial part in deciding which move to choose in a game where milliseconds matter.
The storyline for MKX is set 25 years after Mortal Kombat 9. Four of the new characters originate from previous characters and adopt similar move sets: Cassie Cage (daughter of Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade), Jacqui Briggs (daughter of Jax), Takeda Takahashi (son of Kenshi raised by Scorpion), and Kung Jin (cousin of Kung Lao, and the first homosexual character in the MK series). These newcomers must band together to take on numerous threats to Earth Realm.
Mortal Kombat X is the start of a new generation of fighting games, but it stays true to its arcade roots. Its smooth graphics, visceral gameplay, and countless game variations make it impossible to put down.