Mortal Kombat has made a comeback into the gaming world, with its newest release Mortal Kombat X on Ps4, bringing the series to next Gen consoles. Developed by NetherRealm Studios and High Voltage software the game has a lot of similarities to NetheRealm’s previous title Injustice: Gods Among Us. Can this new addition to the franchise spell a wondrous return for the bloody action that was factor to the PEGI ratings in gaming? Or is it a Fatality.
Mortal Kombat X is one of few games in the franchise not set within a Mortal Kombat tournament, following several characters moving around the world after Shao Kahn was defeated the last time. Earthrealm now travels between Nettherrealm and Outworld to maintain relations and intelligence on the 3 factions. Johnny Cage takes more of a centre stage in this game, with his Warrior Cult ancestry powers taking up a bit more of the spotlight.
Being set several years after Mortal Kombat there are quite a few Kombatants missing from the roster due to dying in the tournaments or being made into Revenants by Quan Chi. You can meet most of the previous cast, though the game focuses more on a group of 4 youths, bred from previous Kombatants; Cassie Cage, Jax’s daughter Jacqui, Takeda son of Kenshi, and Kung Lao‘s cousin Kung Jin.
Tensions between the realms are rising as an amulet of untold power has been stolen and threatens what peace the realms sustain. The young group led by Johnny Cage make their way between the realms to find the amulet, quell the angered populaces and try to save the world from the return of an Elder God.
Throughout the game you will control about half of the available characters, 12 Chapters with each chapter having around 3 to 5 battles and sometimes incorporating quick-time events in the cutscenes. The story mode only takes around 5 hours, it being a fighting game and all, and there isn’t much in the way of replayability for the story mode, Multiplayer is where most of your time will be spent.
Following in the footsteps of Injustice, Mortal Kombat X has a refined gameplay experience over the previous instalment. Square and Triangle are for punches, x and Circle are for kicks, with Kombos being initiated by sequences of the face buttons and directional inputs. Taking a page from Injustice, each character now have special moves that can be activated once their meter has been filled that does around ¼ of the opponents health through the X-Ray moves.
The AI in Mortal Kombat has improved drastically over the previous releases, opponents change their attacking styles depending on how you play, with higher difficulties becoming a challenge of diversifying your Kombat strategy. Some of the story missions can feel overpowering at times, but training with specific Kombatants helps to relieve this feeling. Scorpion does feel a bit easier to use then other characters but everyone has their own strengths.
Beside the story mode you can fight online or couch game with friends, as well as participate in Faction battles against a boss similarly to how Dragons Dogma did its world Dragon, or fighting a tower of Kombatants with specific effects. After completing tasks or battles for your Faction you gain separate XP towards your faction and can unlock additional fatalities. The Faction side of the game is a bit underdeveloped right now, and suffers a lot from crashing and server downtime.
Overall Thoughts and Feelings
The music in Mortal Kombat X follows in the footsteps of the series, with tracks that suit all the environments from the Temples to the fiery pits. The music can really add to the battle scenes and fills them with even more content. Sadly the music can cut out sometimes and entire matches will lack any sort of music which is really distracting and immersion breaking. More music can be unlocked through the Krypt for your listening pleasure which is a nice addition, but I would of preferred if the soundtrack was just unlocked as base.
The Krypt has been improved a lot in this release, changing to a sort of first person dungeon crawler with items to find to unlock new areas and quick-time ambushes to deal with. Throughout the Krypt you can use Koins to unlock Art, Music, Moves, Tokens and more. This more hands-on approach definitely makes unlocking new items more immersive and fun, besides click on tombstones. Some people might not appreciate this change to the system and I can see why, sometimes you just want to press a button to unlock something and having the walk around the map can take up quite a lot of time.
Overall Mortal Kombat X gets a 4/5, it’s basically Injustice Kombat, which in my opinion is a great thing. Fatalities and finishers suit the game extremely well and addresses the deathly nature of Mortal Kombat. The story can be quite dull at times and the instability of servers is a bit of an annoyance. There should’ve been more unique things to unlock, as its additional stuff to add on and nothing to watch or enjoy. Characters aren’t balanced closely enough in my opinion, but with updates I’m sure a lot of the problems I had with the game will be fixed. Fans of the series will love this game and newcomers will appreciate the simplicity of the moves.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.