Published on April 14th, 2015 | by IceCube
REVIEW: Mortal Kombat X
Summary: It’s the 10th fighting game in the series, or second game following the Mortal Kombat reboot (2011 – but technically 2013 for us Aussies, due to no R18+ video game rating at the time).
Concept: The three best things I love about Mortal Kombat are alive and well: great characters, fighting styles and story. Yes, a one-on-one fighting game with a great story (I know, right?). It’s a ‘thing’ this series has always been good at, now proudly served here as a blockbuster Kung Fu movie with interactive battle sequences. It’s great! You can also jump into any custom or progressive fights, or practice in training mode with various rules and conditions. The “koins” you collect from playing can be used to unlock graves in The Krypt, for various hidden goodies.
Ermac and Raiden were a hit couple on “So You Think You Can Dance”.
Graphics: There’s a great smoothness to this game that’s worth noting, and it’s fast-paced without being stupidly-frantic. I applaud the character designs – particularly for the new characters – which are all perfectly fitting for the series. I’d have liked to have seen more new characters from other realms, like Ferra & Torr and D’Vorah – with less retro repeats like Sonya Blade and Liu Kang, to push the strength of the opposition. Most of the battle arenas are generally pretty cool, but darker, horror-like areas would suited the game more. Most of these settings look like leftover concepts from Injustice: Gods Among Us, which wounds the vibe. These environments even interact in lesser ways than before, which is slightly disappointing as a whole.
Gameplay: It’s not a new feature, but I love how each character has three completely different fighting styles to choose from before you engage in battle. It adds a good variety to each battle and removes predictability when facing the same opponent. Fighting is not as fast-paced as some of the schizophrenia-inducing, button-mashing fighting games from Japan. There’s a nice feeling of control when you’re calculating your next move.
Sound: The character voice acting is brilliant. There’s a good number of fighters in this game and they are all played incredibly well. I’m not so fond of the music, which is non-existent in large portions of the menu and not even noteworthy in most battle sequences. Perhaps they were just saving the best score for the story, which is full of dramatic and intense overtures. At least they got the sound of cracking bones and blood gurgling right.
Multiplayer: The very start of the game lets you to align yourself with one of five factions, which is treated like a great online war. The more times you play the game, the more points you contribute to your faction. It’s a great little bonus feature, but one you are unlikely to invest much thought or passion into. Aside from the standard multiplayer battles, it also includes a 5 v 5 mode, test your luck mode (where each battle has several random rule modifiers), and Living Towers (where you climb a tournament with various rules). These are good and safe online modes, but nowhere near as creative as we’ve seen from this series in the past, with quirky ideas like Tetris and Kart Racing mini games.
Awesomeness: This is the best place to mention the gore porn. Put simply, there’s yucky blood and gooey gore everywhere. The infamous Fatalities have always been brutal for their respective times of release, but the high fidelity graphics are reaching new levels of realism, also lose that wink of silly, black comedy that gave it a pass in games past. I’m a big fan of the Mortal Kombat timeline, having invested many hours in every game since the first – but I’ve always been a party pooper when it comes to the Fatalities, so I’m kinda disappointed to see this, er, “trademark novelty” overused here for promotions. It’s also available for repeated practices in training mode, and allows for cop-out easy executions. The Fatality hoo-ha is like stepping over a suitcase of cash to rave about the $5 note you found. Stay focused, devs.
Final Word: Mortal Kombat X is a fantastic fighting game. It’s one of very few where the Story Mode is a strength – I could argue it’s the best part of the game. Some more creative game modes (like we’ve seen in past games) and spookier, darker battlegrounds could have lended this game top marks. However, the best parts of this series remain true or improved, namely the fantastic characters and creative combat moves. Where’s that old “Friendship” fatality option?
Score out of 5 bugs
Summary: 1 = Poor, 2 = Average, 3 = Good, 4 = Great, 5 = Amazing