First Impressions: Mortal Kombat X

The tenth installment in the Mortal Kombat franchise, Mortal Kombat X picks up where its predecessor, Mortal Kombat left off in both the sense of story and gameplay. This isn’t a bad thing whatsoever as everything that worked was kept in and expanded on while the things that didn’t work are no longer present.

All the main characters that survived (and some who died) make appearances in this story although unlike the last one, time travel doesn’t play a part. However, unlike in many of the previous iterations of the game, the Mortal Kombat tournament doesn’t make a true appearance due to the death of the ruler of outworld, Shao Kahn at the end of the previous one. This renewed the creative direction of the game, allowing for the creation of a whole new cast of characters. Speaking of new characters, the main story is focused on a group of them that are related to the original cast. This was smart marketing on their part because the characters had a sense of familiarity while also being entirely new.

This game was very good with keeping the mechanics that people enjoyed in the previous game. One example of this is found in the devastating x-ray moves that made their debut in Mortal Kombat, this games immediate predecessor. These moves are akin to the hyper combo moves in the Marvel v Capcom games and are as satisfying to watch as they are brutal. Another returning mechanic is one that was present in nearly every Mortal Kombat, the fatality. The series’ iconic finishing moves have the same mechanics that they had in previous iterations: a button combo is input and the character performs a flashy yet horrific attack that adds insult to injury. However, in this game, the gross factor has been kicked up a notch as one could argue that the fatalities are as brutal as they’ve ever been in high definition. One fatality has Johnny Cage tearing through the torso of his foe, saying ‘Here’s Johnny’ like Jack Torrance in The Shining. The Krypt makes a return in this game, and although I haven’t been able to spend much time in it, I can tell that it functions in a similar, if not the same way as it had in the previous versions of the game. That is, players spend koins to open unmarked graves which give them rewards accordingly.

New Mechanics include the faction system, which adds more competition to an already competitive game. As the game starts up for the first time, the player is prompted to select a faction to join. Every day, the faction has certain challenges that give it points. If a faction wins the weekly war, every member of the faction reaps the rewards, earning koins to use in the krypt, among other things. Another (technically) new mechanic is the improved tower system. This functions like the previous games’ arcade modes and is a method of unlocking extra costumes and earning more koins. What is new about this games’ tower is that there are different versions of it that add modifiers, changing the basic gameplay each time. There is also the living tower, which changes as you play through it. All these different versions add variety to a mechanic that is already enjoyable

This game seemingly only boasts one unlockable character, the games primary antagonist, Shinnok. This doesn’t stop the player from unlocking other characters though, as there are dlc characters announced including, but not limited to Goro, Jason Voorhees, The Predator, and a character that is playable for the first time, Tremor. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but requires spending extra money. Besides that, there isn’t really anything else wrong with the game because of what it is: a fighting game. There are some balance problems, but those exist in every fighting game, creating tiers for the characters to dwell in. Because of our day and age, it is expected for balancing patches to come every now and then to amend this. Overall, Mortal Kombat X is a solid game that deserves to be given a chance, whether you are a newcomer to the series or a returning Kombatant. I would give it a 95/100