'Mortal Kombat X' Brings Some New Blood To The Classic Series

April 16, 2015

Mortal Kombat is a video game institution. Over its twenty-plus year history, it has been a divisive game for both fans of the fighting genre, and the industry as a whole. From its role in the creation of the ESRB, to that time when franchise mainstays went head-to-head with DC characters, like it or not, MK has played a huge role in the history of video games. Like all franchises that have been around for this long, Mortal Kombat had its share of ups and downs, but the recent 2011 series reboot put the game back on a very positive path. Its follow up, the newly released Mortal Kombat X falls right in line with the quality of its predecessor as well as the other highlights of the franchise while introducing a handful of updates that make it feel like one of the most robust MK games ever released.

Developer: NetherRealm Studios
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

NetherRealm is the Mortal Kombat studio. They rose from the ashes of Midway with series co-creator Ed Boon at their helm which makes them the best equipped studio to handle this series in the world. Their first release was the 2011 reboot, and with it, proved that they could take Mortal Kombat to places it has never been before. Since then, they released the stellar DC Comics fighting game, Injustice: Gods Among Us, where they showcased that they can make great games with other people's characters. With Mortal Kombat X they're bring it home with a stellar follow up to their first game, and a return to the characters that they, as well as millions of fans, love.

Picking up twenty years or so after the events of Mortal Kombat, MKX introduces an original story that revolves around Shinnock, a bunch of new faces from Outworld, and the children of some MK's most famous faces. Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade (now a General) are leading to charge against a potential Outworld invasion, and the freeing of the evil, elder god, Shinnok from his amulet prison. The story is on par with most of the other MK games, and it introduces us to new characters like Cassie Cage (progeny of Johnny and Sonya), Jacqui Briggs (Jax's little girl), and Takeda (son of Kenshi) as well as Kung Jin (Kung Lao's cousin), and Outworlders' D'Vorah, Ferra/Torr, Erron Black, and Kotal Kahn. Each of these new characters introduces new play styles, complimenting an already, well-rounded roster.

NetherRealm and WBIE want as many fans of MK as possible, both old and new, to experience Mortal Kombat X, so they have committed to bringing it to the major consoles (PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One), as well as Windows PCs. Additionally, if you want to try a slightly different take on MKX, a companion app was also released for iOS and Android devices that gives you a scaled-down, card-based version of the game. Now you can test your might wherever and whenever you want.

The game itself expands on the fighting experience by giving each character three different fighting styles to choose from, which should help players find their sweet spot with their favorite characters. On the gameplay front, outside of the story and standard arcade modes, Mortal Kombat X also includes Towers that have become mainstays in the series. Should players like an extra special challenge, there are now Living Towers that change weekly, daily, and even hourly. Everything that you do within the game ties into a larger Faction War metagame, where everyone that's playing chooses one of five groups to align with, amassing experience for their team as they play. Outside of that MKX features everything fans have come to know and love in the series, from online battles to gory fatalities.

Mortal Kombat X continues the work that was started in the last game, and truly brings this classic franchise into the modern day. All of the new content, from the original story, to the tweaks to the mechanics, help make a game that could very easily feel old and stale, come across as fresh and new. If you want to retreat to the comfort of doing the same moves with the same characters that you've grown to love over the last twenty years, you're more than welcome to, but if you want to switch it up with some new combatants that really feel different from the almost hundreds that have previously graced the MK stage, that option is there as well. While it is a shame that the whole concept of the Mortal Kombat tournament isn't present, the gameplay makes up for it in spades. Sure, there are some questionable microtransaction options, but if you don't think charging $4.99 for easy fatalities is a good business practice, don't buy them. Mortal Kombat X is a solid culmination of all that has gone into the franchise after all of these years, and should please anyone that picks it up… as long as you can stomach some of the most imaginative and twisted fatalities of the entire series.