Mortal Kombat, although being rated M for Mature, is hard to take it seriously. Everything is over the top: the characters, the violence, the setting… The Fatalities, the infamous ultra-violent finishing moves typical of the series, are so extreme that they are almost comical. However, Mortal Kombat X delivers something else that we’ve come to expect of a game sporting the purposely misspelled title: a kick-ass fighting game.
Relive the 90’s in glorious HD.
Mortal Kombat X has graphics worthy of the term “next gen”. Everything is crisp, clear, and nicely detailed. You’ll notice that as the fight progresses, your fighter becomes sweaty, dirty and, if things aren’t going your way, bloodied. It’s so detailed that performing a Fatality or one of the X-Ray special moves is an anatomy lesson in itself: broken bones, punctured organs, sliced body parts… I saw more guts than in my high school biology class.
Check out this match between my friend and I and you’ll see exactly what I mean:
Pick a style, any style!
Each fighter now has a choice of 3 fighting styles; whichever you choose will unlock certain types of combos, special moves and finishers. It usually caters to basic archetypes like close, mid or long-range combat. It’s nice, but not really a game changer for me. Like in most fighting games, I picked a character and a style I liked and stuck with it.
Test your <insert attribute> !
You thought you knew how to button mash in Mortal Kombat? Test Your Might will prove you wrong! This mode is a button mashing contest. No seriously. You bash your controller to concentrate your fighter’s strength and then unleash a mighty blow to break an object in two. The last level is damn near impossible. We had to Google a way to beat it:
Test Your Luck is the mode that truly had me screaming “This game is out of control”. It’s basically a one on one fight with added modifiers picked at random: fire rain, tilting screen, lightening storm, weird gravity shifts… It’s pure chaos and it’s awesome.
Take a stroll in the Krypt
Even the way you unlock extra content is over the top. You can spend the Koins earned while playing the game in the Krypt. Take a walk through a graveyard, into a cave, spend your money at altars to unlock character costumes, Fatalites, Brutalies and OH MY GOD A SPIDER IS ATTACKING ME! Yep, random attacks you need to fend off with a mighty quick time event. For those of you who caught our stream on Twitch, you saw us jump and squeal the first few time this happened.
I like the concept of the Krypt. During our stream, we spent a good amount of time exploring, beating puzzles to unlock new areas and spending our Koins on random things.
Story mode: all mode, no story.
This is the only part of the game that isn’t over the top. Mortal Kombat X follows the rebooted storyline from the 2011 release. Didn’t play it? Doesn’t matter. No really, it doesn’t. The story is quite predictable and underwhelming. The cut scenes are way too long, creating up to 5 minute breaks in between some fights. The game tries to keep you engaged by adorning the prolonged cutscenes with what I consider one of the laziest game mechanics: quick time events. Ugh! What irked even more was that some cutscenes had long fight sequences that didn’t serve the story. I don’t want to see the characters fight, *I* want to fight the characters, you know, this being a fighting game and all. I think Netherealm Studios could have tightened their storytelling.
To be honest, I find the appeal of Mortal Kombat to be the multiplayer modes. Whether online or in person, fighting games are about challenge and beating your opponent. I have more fun going head to head with a person than the computer. Story mode just felt like something I had to plow through to unlock a character, some costumes and a few stages.
Mortal Kombat X is a classic fighter that delivers an over the top gory holy-shit-did-that-just-happen experience. Some may criticize the ultra violence, but I think it’s what makes this series so interesting. To me, the fatalities ressemble some of the crazy things I saw watching Ren & Stimpy. It’s borderline immature but it’s still intended for mature audience. If you have kids at home that want to play, I’d suggest getting Injustice: Gods Among Us instead.