- + Fatalities
- + Faction Wars
- + “Test Your Might” focuses on button mashing!
- - Becoming an expert in combat takes commitment
Want to look beyond the score? Read the full written review below…
*Mortal Kombat X was provided to Start Replay on PS4 by Warner Bros. and Xbox One by Microsoft.
I’ve never been good at fighting games, but I’ve always found my sparse moments with the MK series a lot of fun, least of all because of the gruesome fatalities. The tenth entry pushes the series forward with even more gratuitous violence, and doesn’t pull any of its punches.
Developers NetherRealm have crafted a title that encompasses everything a fan or series newcomer might want: tons of gameplay modes, a hearty story and the most obscene fatalities to date. It didn’t matter to me that I had a lot to learn as a beginner, everything I came across was polished to perfection, and any fight was brutally satisfying. Additionally, after you decide which faction you want to be part of at the start of the game, you’ll then participate in Faction Wars. With five factions available, your job is to collect as many points as possible, contributing alongside every other member of your faction. Whether you’re playing singe-player, online or Living Towers, anything and everything will forward your progress.
If you’ve played the superhero mash-up “Injustice”, you’ll be pleased to know that MKX brings with it a similar take on its campaign. Though most people will focus on playing against opponents online, the story serves as a great journey for those who aren’t accustomed to Mortal Kombat’s history or characters. Amidst a mixture of cutscenes, you’ll get pit against multiple MK legends, as well as controlling them. Many notable fighters from the past return, not to mention a whole host of brand new ones as well.
Without counting upcoming downloadable content, MK’s character roster is pretty diverse. There’s a huge range of different fighting styles across the twenty five-plus fighters, some of which offer slower combat, whilst others opt for a quicker set of moves. With my skills resting solely in the realms of “button mashing”, combatants with a rapid fighting style suited my hazardous technique. Most of the time I’d actually do quite well, but after a few fights of trying my best to mash my way through games, I did eventually have to learn basics.
However daunting it might be to look at each character’s set of moves, getting a solid grounding in how to kick and punch – not to mention block – is absolutely vital. If you really want, then you can spend hours perfecting each button sequence, eventually utilising your skills to look like a total badass.
Battling an opponent through a series of combos is fun, but of course, Fatalities are the shining highlight. It might sound surprising, but the detail at which each Fatality is pulled off can sometimes be too much. Personally, I admire the length at which NetherRealm have gone to create brutal finishes that would make anyone wince. Whether that includes slicing something in half and letting their body separate and slide to the floor, or making someone’s chest split wide open with a gush of blood. Despite their over-the-top level of violence, they often end up almost laughable.
Next to getting given the chance of finishing with a fatal move, series veterans will be happy to learn that Brutalities make a return. During any fight you’ll have the chance to obliterate your opponent in one explosive attack. I only managed to mash my way into one, which resulted in my enemy exploding into a shower of blood and guts, instantly. Then there’s the X-Rays, which showcase a series of bone-crunching moves, as the camera focuses on the skull or rib cage being broken into several pieces.
No matter what you accomplish, MKX always has an ever-changing landscape of content. The inclusion of “Living Towers” ensure that different challenges are always present, and the addition of modifiers change up every fight, radically. The ability to modify your battle can either help you or slow you down, literally. For instance, during a Tower that changes its modifiers with each round, the screen would end up swaying, and generated tokens that aim to slow your movement. They don’t just work against you, however, should your opposition get bogged down, get ready to unleash your inner fury. My best experience within the Living Towers was “Test Your Might”, since I’d choose a fighter and then get tasked with mashing buttons in order to break different objects. It was different, and more importantly, it played to my strengths.
If you’re on the commute to work or are killing time on the toilet, MKX’s mobile app not only features great gameplay, but also allows you to garner lots of in-game rewards. Whether you unlock fighting bonuses or collect points for your faction, playing on mobile will make sure you earn rewards upon returning to your console adventures.
PS4 vs Xbox One Graphical Comparison
NetherRealm’s tenth entry is polished and brutal. Whether you’re a newbie or a series regular, MKX will keep you on your toes fighting for survival. Fan of insane violence fighting games? Buy this.