If there’s a game coming out soon that you’re really excited for, don’t buy it, as chances are it’ll soon be half the price and contain more content. I’m of course referring to the new trend in shelf cloggers, you’ll see them named in a variety of ways, whether it’s labelled ‘Definitive’, ‘Enhanced’ or ‘GOTY Edition’, re-releases are churned out more often than new original IPs. I tend to buy them as I never buy DLC because once I’ve finished with it what am I gonna do with, I may as well wait for it to be released physically so I can trade it in afterwards, yeah I’m really keeping the industry alive. I’ve had my eye on Mortal Kombat X since its release, but hesitated purchasing for the exact reason I’m writing this review, because there’s a new version of it that’s bigger, bloodier … and cheaper!
Mortal Kombat XL is indeed a bigger and better edition from last year’s already fantastic instalment of Mortal Kombat X, which again is released on all major platforms. Just like any other re-release in the market, XL features everything you’ll find in the original game with the added bonus of every piece of released DLC being nicely available on disc from the off. Fans of the franchise that missed out on it’s original release will not only find all of their beloved characters, but will also be treated to the 2 major character packs, which include the likes of Jason Voorhees, Predator, Leatherface and Alien, all with their own fighting styles, outfits and of course, fatalities. With an extra 8 folk to fight with and a ton of brand new costumes and combos to crack out, the differences in content from the original game may not strictly be described as XL, however boy does it make this game bloodier and more brutally satisfying.
Like almost every beat em up game ever made, nobody cares for the story, so to no surprise Mortal Kombat’s narrative has been left untouched and an epilogue or deleted scene hasn’t been added in. As a whole the story mode isn’t particularly boring, but neither is particularly interesting, as there is just far too much talking in between fights, which is why most players just tend to skip this mode all together. The first new character I select is Leatherface. Why? Well because I want to see what a chainsaw brings to the party and if he can keep up with the speed we’ve come to be familiar with in franchise favourites such as Scorpion or Johnny Cage. As Leatherface swung his beloved motorized gardening tool into the spleen of an unfortunate thunder god, I remembered just how fun and varied this franchise can be, and simply by featuring recognisable characters in a fun albeit brutal environment, this kind of DLC really can easily spring new life into a genre that quickly becomes stale. From one serial killer to the next, Jason was next and though he may only be equipped with a machete he bloody well knows how to use it. Using his dominant stature and power, Jason is a particular tough bugger to kill, especially if you select the attribute that makes him return to life for a short while longer after he is seemingly killed. Predator makes his long awaited franchise debut with absolute balls out brutality, taking out opponents with his trademark gadgets, skills and weaponry. Predator is a slower character to choose, but with it comes great strength and many special abilities, so for those who prefer to use abilities and techniques opposed to button mashing and combos, Predator is your guy! The final celebrity included in XL’s DLC is Alien, the fastest and arguably deadliest of them all who’s attacks inflict massive damage and combos that can be chained together with ease. Like everyone else on the roster, players can select 1 of 3 forms/modes of Alien and these are perhaps the most creative, unique and impressive of the lot as each one of them genuinely plays out differently and totally unlike anyone else in the cast, making Alien in my opinion the best and most original combatant yet. Bo Rai Do and Triborg complete the roll call of additional characters bringing with them more gore and more horrifically awesome X-Ray moves, I mean who doesn’t want to fight as a killer robot or a kick ass drunk?
The only real reason Mortal Kombat XL has been released is because you get a few extra characters available ready on disc, however saying that, each of the new characters are hugely unique, awesome to play as and unlike anyone else already on the roster, which isn’t often the case when other brawlers release extra editions; on the other hand, as great as each new cast member is, if you already own the original Mortal Kombat X there isn’t any need to pick this version up. There are additional features in XL don’t get me wrong, but if you were hoping for more than just a handful of extra blokes and a couple of new costumes for everyone, then I’m afraid you’ll be rather disappointed. Each fighter now has an extra outfit or 2, varying from costumes from the past, sport kits and the most interesting of the bunch, the cosplay pack, which lets you dress some of the roster up as someone else for a laugh. Mortal Kombat XL may work out cheaper than buying the original game and the DLC separately, but aside from exactly that there is no other reason to buying this one if you’ve already owned it, otherwise if you’re a virgin to this entry in the franchise than there is no better time to give it a crack.
Mortal Kombat X is a fantastic, incredibly brutal and hugely enjoyable game that is easily the best entry in the franchise to date, XL goes further by making it just that little bit better! It’s by no means XL in content but it’s certainly a tad bigger than its predecessor by supplying enough extra material to satisfy both avid and casual fans. Each new character that’s been recruited for XL is unlike anyone else in the franchise never mind the disc and they’re all extremely enjoyable to play as. It’s a shame there isn’t anything else on offer with this XL edition other than 8 new characters and a few dozen costumes, but it’s the definitive edition of an already fantastic game, so you really can’t go wrong with at least giving Mortal Kombat a go. I would have loved to have played an extra chapter or epilogue to the story, a few more extra arenas and an additional game mode or 2, but based solely on what’s on offer, it’s great, but not what I’d call XL, Xtra maybe, but not XL.