MORTAL KOMBAT X: BUILDING ON THE LEGACY
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Platform Played on: Ps4
Ah, Mortal Kombat. The fighting series that almost all gamers grew up with. Brutal fatalities, unique characters and mindless fun; all characteristics of the series. Mortal Kombat X improves upon the core principles of the previous games while making new strides of its own.
Mortal Kombat is a series deeply etched in gaming history. From the original Mortal Kombat to MK9, myriads of small and big changes have given way to the transitional changes that occurred from game to game. In 2011's Mortal Kombat 9, NetherRealm studios accomplished rebooting the games for the current generation while retaining the core values of the series. With MKX, it was assumed that there were no major changes that could be made. But NetherRealm clearly stepped up their game and proved everyone wrong.
The biggest change that anyone will notice upon starting up MKX is the addition of fighting variations. Each Kombatant has three unique styles to choose from in the character select screen. These change up the movesets of the characters, drastically altering their playstyles with each variation. This makes the game's roster of 29 fighters even more diverse and players will not get bored with each Kombatant after a certain while. Although, it has to be said that some variations do feel more powerful than others. And some of the iconic movesets of particular characters have been split up amongst these variations and it is indeed limiting as certain special abilities have to be given when the choice of a variation is made.
Speaking of Kombatants, there are 9 new characters in the game. They help refresh the core game and prevent it from become stale. Some of the newbies like Takeda and Kung Jin are a blast to play with interesting variations and sick looking combos. Others like Jacqueline Briggs and Cassie Cage…not so much; as they fit into typical generic fighter game character stereotypes instead of being Mortal Kombat material. Regardless, the incorporation of these new characters has added more variety to overall gameplay and perhaps we will see fewer Scorpion spammers in online play.
The graphics have been revamped for the current generation and it shows. The game looks exceptional, running at 1080p and 60 FPS on the PS4. The spell effects are vivid and the particle effects that accompany them are plentiful. The game shines particularly during fatalities and X-ray moves when close ups of the detailed characters are shown as they fight each other to the death. Speaking of which, some character models seem lackadaisical compared to others resulting in some unseemly inconsistencies.
The game would have been perfect had it not been marred by the extensive micro-transactions. This trend of incorporating shops in which players have to spend real money to buy skins or other Kombatants, for that matter, is going to prove detrimental to a lot of games; MKX being one of them. Even Goro, an iconic character of the series, cannot be played unless you bought the pre-order edition. There is even an option for buying easy fatality combos. Yes, easy fatalities. While they won't give any sort of actual gameplay advantage to the players (read: noobs) who purchase them, it seems kind of a sad trend of games to encourage more newbies to stay bad instead of encouraging them to improve.
MKX is a worthy addition to the series, a fighter that hits all the right checkmarks and then some. If you're a Mortal Kombat fan or a fan of fighting games in general, do pick this one up.