After attending a post-GDC press event for Mortal Kombat X, I’m happy to report that this entry may be the one I lose all my spare time to. During the presentation, Senior Producer at NetherRealm Studios Hans Lo, walked myself, Joel and a few other people through what we can expect from MKX at launch.
Aside from a story mode to fight your way through, there’s plenty more to get stuck into, including Living Towers and, of course, typical one-on-one multiplayer. With Living Towers, however, players will get given challenges that they can compete in on an hourly, daily and weekly basis. It makes perfect sense, particularly for the title’s longevity, as fans will never be without new content.
Before all of that, though, you’ll be ordered to join a faction. Once initiated, anything you accomplish in Mortal Kombat X will contribute points to your faction. In a bid to keep you focused on winning, you’re constantly rewarded, regardless of what you’re doing and which platform you’re doing it on. I was lucky enough to be one of the first people to play MKX on iOS, and even though I’ve never been very fond of playing games on my tablet or mobile, being able to unlock extra goodies on my console via progression through the iOS title, has made me pay serious attention. It’s what Hans Lo called, ‘MK Anytime’ and whether I’m on the bus, train or sat on the toilet, I’ll always be able to further my progress through MKX. If you’ve never had a good enough reason to take a break, MKX on mobile seems like the best.
As for the play style, Mortal Kombat on iOS (we played on iPad) is a hybrid fighting card game, which means via using the intuitive touch controls, you can participate in adrenaline-filled three-on-three fights without much hassle. Through a combinations of taps and swipes, I found myself pulling-off fatalities with ease, making me wince in the process.
Once I finally got hands on with multiplayer, Joel and I decided to fight against one another and take our button mashing skills to their limits. I played as fan favourite Johnny Cage, whilst Joel took on the role of Ferra & Torr. Though I won’t be able to go into too much detail with which moves are returning and how Johnny Cage controls in MKX versus other titles (I’m a bit of an MK amateur), I can say that I had a whole lot of fun. I did also manage to see a fatality from Johnny Cage, wherein he opens up his opponents’ chest and says “Here’s Johnny!”, in reference to Jack Nicholson’s performance in The Shining. It was gruesome but hilarious at the same time. With both of us pressing any button we could to try and win the match, our controllers definitely took a beating, even more so than the characters we were playing as.
Next to using our elaborate move set, there was also an array of items to take hold of in our environment. If we stood near a object that was shinning, we could press R1 and then utilise whatever came to hand. At one point Joel grabbed an elderly woman from the crowd, and smashed her against me, causing a large amount of damage. It was ridiculous, but fun, and after a few matches, we were spent. Though we didn’t spend anytime with the story mode, it looked to follow in the same footsteps as the superhero fighter, Injustice: Gods Among Us, taking you through various areas and pitting you against certain enemies along your journey.
With a rich character roster and huge amount of in-game content alongside its story mode and Living Towers, it’s a good bet that MKX may be the most robust Mortal Kombat yet. I look forward to playing more and memorising all the move sets for each character, then perhaps I’ll have a fighting chance against anyone who challenges me.
Make sure to check out my interview with the senior producer on Mortal Kombat X, and look out for the game when it launches on April 14th for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC.