Review: Mortal Kombat X – Settle It In Kombat
The Mortal Kombat series has come a long way since its first released in 1992. I have so many childhood memories playing this title back in the arcades with my friends, although those memories all involved me getting my ass kicked a lot and vice-versa.
As the series progressed with every installment, new features were introduced as well — some that became permanent parts of the series and others that were simply one-hit failures.
The newest feature is called “Faction Wars,” in which players are prompted to choose one when they first launch the game.
It’s a weekly competition and the goal is to acquire the most points by completing individual special challenges. They’re not very difficult so anyone can complete them and better aid their faction.
Some of these challenges consist of playing and winning as certain characters or performing certain actions during a match. As a result, the winning faction every week will be rewarded with in-game bonuses like finishing moves, cosmetic items and more.
Compared to the previous Mortal Kombat, I really disliked the length of Mortal Kombat X’s story mode. It was much shorter than previous entries and in terms of difficulty, was much less fulfilling as well.
While you can change the difficulty of the story, Mortal Kombat X’s Normal Mode was definitely a lot easier than Mortal Kombat 9’s Normal Mode. If you enjoyed the challenge of the 1 vs. 2 battles, those are gone.
Although the story mode length was disastisfactory, I definitely enjoyed the story itself more than Mortal Kombat 9‘s. It is definitely a darker tale and seeing many of our fallen heroes in the dark side was saddening, especially for long time fans.
The story takes place 25 years after the last title and seeing the new generation of the protectors of Earthrealm was cool, with Cassie being one of my favorites.
In addition to Story Mode, you will be able to play from a variety of modes including Arcade Mode, offline Versus Mode, Test Your Might, Test Your Luck, Towers and Training.
Test Your Might is an offline versus mode in which two players compete in a series of mini-games. It can be fun if you really want a break from the game’s bloody battles. Test Your Luck is basically one on one versus mode, except it features modifiers that change the gameplay.
Towers offer three different modes: Traditional Towers from the previous Mortal Kombat games, Tower Challenges in which you can challenge your friends and Living Towers which is a new addition to the series.
Living Towers requires an internet connection. Every hour and every day, there will be a new challenge to complete. Each challenge may include a modifier as well and you’ll receive rewards when you pass them.
After the recently released patch 1.02, online mode for Mortal Kombat X has become more stable since launch, compared to the mess that was Mortal Kombat 9‘s. While I encountered some hiccups every now and then, the online overall was far more playable.
Online mode also offers a variety of modes including classic one-on-one versus mode, Team Battle and King of the Hill.
Team Battle allows you to play in Five vs. Five battles with other members of your Faction, and Three vs. Three in Player and Ranked matches. When playing through Player Match, you’ll also be able to play in a round robin set up that pits you against all members of the opposing team in turns.
In King of the Hill two players are chosen to fight, with the winner staying as a fighter while the loser must join the other viewers. There’s also an added feature in which players observe matches between other combatants while they wait for their turn.
After each match, you will be able to give respect points to the winner of the match. Afterwards, the loser leaves the stage and joins the spectators while the next person in line fights the winner of the previous match.
Sadly, Mortal Kombat X’s version isn’t as interactive as Mortal Kombat 9’s as you won’t be able to perform actions while viewing the match. Additionally, the theater layout from Mortal Kombat 9 is definitely better.
I didn’t really appreciate that many characters that only appeared in the plot of this title but in the previous installments aren’t actually playable this time around, including Baraka, who hasn’t been a playable character quite some time.
That being said, the game still has a pretty nice and generally well-balanced roster, with a great new cast of fighters to choose from.
The game features three variations for each character, which changes their playstyle. For example, if you choose Scorpion’s “Ninjutsu” variation, you get swords to use in battle. But if you choose Scorpion’s “Inferno” variation, you get the ability to summon a demon from multiple directions to attack the opponent.
I really enjoy the variety of playstyles for each character, since it adds even more content to the character roster. While there might not be huge differences among each variation, it does feel like you’e almost playing an altogether different character.
Combat-wise, Mortal Kombat X for the most part plays like Mortal Kombat 9. However, the movement system is similar to the one used in Injustice, including being able to run toward an opponent by consuming a meter near the top of the screen.
Unlike Injustice, in which the blocking mechanics work similar to your traditional fighter with the use of the directional pad, X (just as in previous installments), uses a block button.
X-Rays and Fatalities definitely look a lot better than the last game. They are far more dynamic, cinematic and absolutely bloodier. Pulling them off (the right way, of course) is more satisfying to watch as a result. It really helps that he game looks great graphically as well.
However, like the majority of people, I think the addition of Easy Fatalities, not to mention that the fact that they were added as microtransactions, is ludicrous.
Even though they are probably ineffective against skilled players, it just kills the fun and satisfaction of successfully pulling off a fatality. It’s disappointing that they added a feature to cater to casuals players in such an obvious way.
Additionally, stage hazards similar to the ones in Injustice: Gods Among Us make a return in Mortal Kombat X, which are the interactive objects that can be used or accessed in certain Stages. Unlike the former, they have improved vastly in this game, as they are not spammable and are now blockable.
The game has received a vast improvement in the graphical department compared to 9, which wasn’t very visually impressive for a PS3 and Xbox 360 title.
Netherrealm did an excellent job on making X look like a next-gen title (and even better on PC), not to mention the smooth 60 frames per second makes the experience even better.
Overall, I enjoyed playing Mortal Kombat X over Mortal Kombat 9 and even over Injustice Gods Among Us. It feels a lot more fluid than the last title by far and fixes some of the issues that plagued Injustice, such as the stage interactions and hazards.
Aside from the few grievences I mentioned previously, Mortal Kombat X is definitely a solid entry into the series that new and diehard fans can enjoy.