Mortal Kombat X Review

Mortal Kombat X is a 2015 fighting video game developed by NetherRealm Studios, published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, and released for the iOS, Android, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.  It is the tenth main installment in the Mortal Kombat series and sequel to 2011’s Mortal Kombat, set 20 years after its predecessor, it follows Johnny Cage, Sonya Blade and Kenshi coordinate a battalion to protect the Jinsei from the forces of Shinnok who was found manipulating the events of Mortal Kombat as well as the civil war in Outworld between the forces of Shao Kahn and the new ruler Kotal Kahn.


Positives:

  • Great graphics
  • Good soundtrack
  • Extensive campaign
  • Competitive multiplayer
  • Great modes
  • Lots of unlockable content
  • Interesting story
  • Awesome gameplay
  • Good voice performances
  • Tons of replayability

Negatives:

  • Repetitive cinematics
  • Linear campaign
  • Story isn’t compelling
  • Shinnok as the antagonist sucks
  • Unnecessary quick time events

Campaign:  Like 2011’s Mortal Kombat, the Story Mode is a single player plot-driven mode that’s split into several chapters while swapping between the different characters with cutscenes between the fights.  The campaign is actually pretty challenging but enjoyable.  The story follows Johnny Cage, Sonya Blade and Kenshi coordinate a battalion to protect the Jinsei from the forces of Shinnok who was found manipulating the events of Mortal Kombat as well as the civil war in Outworld between the forces of Shao Kahn and the new ruler Kotal Kahn.  The story itself is interesting but no where as compelling as the first game.  Kotal Kahn is an interesting character but doesn’t feel all that memorable.  Shinnok is a sad attempt at a villain.  Yes, he’s this Elder god that kicks ass but he has no presence.  Quan Chi feels more relevant than Shinnok.  And the final boss battle was nothing but a spam fest.  Also, they writers completely crapped on Quan Chi who gets his ass handed to him in nearly every confrontation.  There are some awesome new characters introduced to the mythos including Cassie Cage, D’Vorah, Erron Black, Jacqui Briggs, Takeda, and Kung Jin. One of the best aspects of the story is actually witnessing the battles between the Special Forces and the forces of Outworld.  Still, the whole Shinnok aspect should’ve been better.  (3 out of 5)

Gameplay:   Mortal Kombat X is a fighting game that maintains a lot of gameplay elements similar to its predecessors where players controls characters with different fighting styles and special attacks, engaging in one-on-one combat to deplete their opponent’s life gauge. Like its predecessor the game contains an interactive environment, an Energy Bar which is divided in three sections (one section enhances special movies, two sections can be used to break combos, and all three to perform X-Ray special moves), and Fatalities (with Brutalities making a comeback).  New to the gameplay are the three variant fighting styles for each character.  For example, the fighter D’Vorah has her fighting style Brood Mother (summons her little bug sidekick called Krawler giving her the ability to set up complex frame traps), Swarm Queen (summon swarms of insects), and Venomous (summoning poisonous cloud for on-going damage).

Additionally there is the Stamina Meter, which consists of two sections, that is consumed whenever the player runs, a combo breaker, a back dash, and other special moves.  There are two new types of fatalities; Quitality (which instantly kills the player’s character if they quit during a multiplayer match) and Faction Kills (two finishing moves given to each character based on the selection of one of the game’s five factions).  One of the biggest problems in the gameplay is the introduction of the QTE’s in the cinematics.  Not only are they tiresome and useless they detract from the cinematics.  In fact, the QTE’s feel useless.  There were more than a few QTE’s where I literally put the controller down and the let the sequence play out with no consequences. (4 out of 5)

Graphics:  This is just an awesome looking MK game, though the graphics don’t really look that much different than its predecessor.  The level designs are immersive with a lot activity that makes the world and stages feel alive.  Many of the character designs have been modified and some are good while some are not really that impressive.  Characters like Mileena, Rain, Ermac, and Reptile have new character designs while characters like Johnny Cage, Sonya Blade, Sub-Zero, and Kenshi look older.  Love the cinematic sequences that do manage to keep the story engaging.  The combat and Fatalities are bloody and filled with gore, especially the X-Ray special attacks.  It’s just an awesome looking game all around. (4 out of 5)

Score:  The music is handled really well and does maintain that Mortal Kombat feel that fans of the series have come to expect.  It works well not only in-game but also for the cinematics.  The sound is pretty solid and the voice performances are great. (3 out of 5)

Replay Value:  The game has a lot of great replayability and it’s mostly in its various modes. First, there is the single player which features its Story Mode, Living Towers (a series of fights with different challenges), Single Fight, Training and the Test Your Luck (single fights with modifiers). Then there is the highly competitive multiplayer which includes Kustom Kombat (two-player offline mode with modifiers), Test Your Might (two-player mode that lets players break objects with the difficulty rising each time), Team Battle (fight against a team of fighters), King of the Hill, Survivor, and Tower Battle (same as offline Towers but players compete for the highest score).  There is also the Faction Wars, where players choose one of the five factions (Lin Kuei, Black Dragon, Special Forces, White Lotus, Brotherhood of Shadow) to join and compete for their faction allowing players to progress their faction and even earn personal rewards.  And of course, there is the Krypt, where Koins gained through story progression and continuous gaming are used to unlock various content such as fatalities, concept art, character skins, and much more. And for those who enjoy buying additional content for their game Mortal Kombat X doesn’t disappoint.  Additional characters include Predator, the Xenomorph, Jason Vorhees, Leatherface, Bo’Rai Cho, Triborg, Goro, Tremor, and Tanya.  And there is a ton of skins for the characters also.  (5 out of 5)


The Verdict:  In the end, Mortal Kombat X is just an awesome game and a great addition to the series.  Sure, it isn’t without its faults.  The story doesn’t feel compelling, the main antagonist sucks, the intro and outro cinematics are repetitive, and a crap ton of annoying quick time events.  However, the game excels at some good DLC, tons of unlockable content, great graphics, good music, great voice performances, awesome fighting system, and awesome new characters.  Mortal Kombat X gets 4 out of 5.  It is one of the best games of 2015 and fans of the series will definitely enjoy.

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