Mortal Kombat X (PlayStation 4) Review

By Az Elias 27.04.2015

Review for Mortal Kombat X on PlayStation 4

Is 2015 the year of the fighting game? With Dead or Alive 5 Last Round, Tekken 7, Ultra Street Fighter IV, BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma Extend and Skullgirls: Encore either already released or planned for this year, it sure seems like it is. As the current generation of fighters begins to kick off properly, NetherRealm brings the blood and the gore with Mortal Kombat X, an entry that sticks to the series' 2D roots.

Perhaps most well-known for its bloody and extremely violent nature, and the rather stiff animation and combat style, Mortal Kombat games have always had a certain stigma associated with them. Mortal Kombat X doesn't tone its disturbing moves down in the slightest, with Fatalities, Brutalities and X-Ray specials so grossly outrageous, they actually become hilarious to watch. Whether it's Cassie Cage literally smashing nutsacks with her fists, Mileena tearing chunks out of people's faces with her nashers, or Johnny Cage splitting open torsos and peeking through The Shining-style, expect some of the most brilliantly gruesome examples of pain in any videogame.

Screenshot for Mortal Kombat X on PlayStation 4

The "stiffness" is still part and parcel of the combat itself but the game now flows more fluid than ever before, and sticking to the 2D format over Mortal Kombat's other ventures into the 3D realm has proven to be an excellent choice. Plenty of new characters have been thrown into the mix, but the overall roster itself feels considerably lacking in terms of numbers. Instead, every combatant has three variations of fighting style, granting them different special moves and essentially means more than 70 styles to choose from. It's a little overwhelming, so there is the case that adding more characters over styles would have been preferred, but it helps provide variety in online match-ups.

Although lacking in originality, Mortal Kombat X introduces a cracking story mode in the sense that it doesn't come off as disjointed or too corny, playing out orderly through chapters that focus on specific characters. It means that, unlike DoA5, which jumps back and forth from one character to another and back again, MKX allows individual fighters to be gotten to grips with steadily by presenting dedicated chapters consisting of around four fights. No getting the hang of one character and then being thrown into the shoes of another after just one battle here. Great one-liners and fight scenes throughout, the story mode is satisfying for a genre where they are almost universally disregarded. It's good to see NetherRealm put some effort in.

Screenshot for Mortal Kombat X on PlayStation 4

The criticisms would have to come down to Quick-Time Events, which are an unexpected surprise; although they only slightly alter cut-scenes playing out prior to a fight, they just aren't fun additions to pretty much any game these days. As well as that, it does feel like some characters really didn't get enough screen time, and there are even some that must be fought against that aren't actually playable in MKX itself. DLC inbound, no doubt.

The online area has a number of different modes to participate in, whether it's single match-ups, team battles, or fighting in modified games featuring all sorts of advantages and handicaps. There are reports of poor netcode doing the rounds, but even on a wireless connection, there were no issues in the playing of the game for review. As always, mileage will vary from person to person. What is definitely a problem is the amount of times loading comes into play before and after matches. Sometimes, the game won't even connect at all to certain online-enabled portions.

Screenshot for Mortal Kombat X on PlayStation 4

Whilst multiplayer is a big draw, there is plenty to be engaged in for those who don't want to venture into online fights too much. One of five factions can be joined upon booting Mortal Kombat X for the first time, and whilst allegiance can be switched later on, the idea is to participate in events and complete small daily duties to add XP to the pot for the faction that is sworn to. The winner is declared at the end of the week, with new perks and rewards being granted to those that are part of that faction. Faction Kills - essentially a different type of Fatality - are one of the bonuses given to members of each group. The continued XP that is gained to level-up profiles and factions adds a huge incentive to come back on a daily basis, with unique challenges being set that can be overcome to gain massive points.

The Krypt is the place to unlock costumes, Fatalities, Brutalities, and other bits and pieces. In a first-person dungeon-crawler-type of perspective, various discomforting areas must be traversed, including a graveyard, spider-infested caves and tombs. Koins that have been collected through gameplay can be spent to open chests and the like, presenting the goodies inside. The Krypt is vast and such an incredibly unique method of unlocking items in a fighting game; it is almost its own mini-game in itself, made more fun because of special chests that appear in specific locations at set times. On top of the traditional towers that act as an arcade mode and deliver additional storylines for each character, there is enough to keep soloists going for a while to come.

Screenshot for Mortal Kombat X on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

With Dead or Alive 5 Last Round and now Mortal Kombat X out on the current generation of systems, this year is shaping up to be a great one for fighting fans. Not only is Mortal Kombat X's 2D combat smoother than ever, with brilliant pre-fight character interactions that transition excellently into battles themselves, but there is a lot to come back to with the Faction Wars, Krypt, and multitude of towers to conquer. Although variations for each fighter present plenty of combat style choice, it would have been great to have a few extra unlockable faces to add to the smaller-than-expected roster. More stages, combo challenges, and a tag mode would have really helped to up the value, but don't let that be the downfall - Mortal Kombat X should satisfy any fighting game enthusiast.

Developer

NetherRealm

Publisher

Warner Bros

Genre

Fighting

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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