Review by horror_spooky
Flawless Victory? Almost
Mortal Kombat has officially hit the eighth generation of consoles. Mortal Kombat X is a great Mortal Kombat game that was almost the best game in the series.
First and foremost, I need to talk about the story mode. Mortal Kombat X has a terrible story mode that will probably sour a few peoples' opinions of the game. The fights are all extraordinarily easy, perhaps an overreaction by the developers in regards to people complaining about the high level of difficulty found in the story mode of Mortal Kombat 9. QTEs have been thrown into the mix as well, and while failing at the QTEs actually changes the scene (something a lot of games don't do nowadays, for some reason), they feel shoehorned in for no good reason.
The plot itself is just boring. Like Mortal Kombat 9 before it, MKX really strains to come up with reasons to include this mishmash of characters. At least the story ends fairly quickly, lasting only a few hours, max.
After getting through that boring slog, players can enjoy the rest of the game, which is quite good, though there's a lack of modes and not all that much to do. There are multiple towers to go through, but they can get old pretty quick. The real selling point is the online multiplayer, which is really addicting and hard to put down.
The roster of characters in this MKX is probably the best that they've had to date. A lot of fan favorites have got the axe, but in their place are really well-designed and interesting newcomers. I could go on forever talking about all the cool new additions to the roster, but just trust me that they're all excellent. There's also DLC on the way that adds interesting characters such as Predator and Jason Voorhees, so the roster is just going to get better from here on out.
A controversial aspect to Mortal Kombat X are the microtransactions. The good thing about them is that they can be completely ignored. One of the main selling points is to buy the "easy Fatalities", but the Fatalities are easy enough to pull off anyway that using "easy Fatalities" is not necessary, even for the worst Mortal Kombat player.
These easy Fatality tokens can be purchased in the Krypt, so there's even less reason to spend real money on them anyway. Krypt Koins are earned by doing basically anything in the game, and players are likely to have a surplus of them. The Krypt can be explored first-person style, and it's actually pretty cool and houses its fair share of secrets and neat things to discover.
Speaking of Fatalities, Mortal Kombat X introduces two new finishing moves to the series. Quitality is a way to hilariously punish those that are AFK online, and there's also Faction Kills. Faction Kills are special Fatality-like moves that are assigned based on which Faction the player has joined. At the start of the game, players are asked to pick one of the five Factions, and then everything they do builds XP for the faction of choice, offering rewards to all members. This is a neat idea, though I've discovered that everyone is pretty much just picking the first available faction instead of spreading out their choice.
Brutalities have also made a comeback in this game, but they're implemented much differently than they were in past iterations. Instead of requiring insane button presses, Brutalities are now new ways to end a fight without putting the opponent in the dizzy state. They are simply extensions of regular moves, but performing them results in the opponent being completely annihilated. For example, a move that would previously just hurt your opponent's spine might end up ripping them in half if the Brutality requirements are met before the move is executed.
Taking a cue from NetherRealm Studio's other fighting game, Injustice: Gods Among Us, Mortal Kombat X now features environmental interaction. The interactions are cleverly implemented into the fights, adding to the battles as opposed to just feeling like gimmicks. They aren't quite as over the top as the level interactions from Injustice, but they're well done nonetheless and fit nicely within the flow of battle in MKX.
One change that was not necessary was the three different fighting styles added to each fighter. The differences between playing the different styles is not enough to warrant much attention. These different styles feature different looks for the characters, but you can't mix and match the appearances. So if you really like how one character looks with a certain style, but don't like that style for whatever reason, you're out of luck.
The graphics in the game are very well done, but since the game was developed as a cross-generational title, it doesn't look quite as good as one would expect for Xbox One. The character models are still phenomenal and make no mistake, this is by far the best-looking Mortal Kombat game ever made...it just could've looked much better. The animation is smooth as can be, and the fights look absolutely gorgeous all around. Voice acting and music are both great as well, resulting in a stellar presentation.
If the story was more compelling and if there were more interesting game modes, then Mortal Kombat X would've been the best game in the series, easily. The fighting has never been better, and it's certainly never looked this good before. Ed Boon and the team at NetherRealm have put together a great fighting game that was almost the best in its series...almost.
Product Release: Mortal Kombat X (US, 04/14/15)
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