Few video game franchises hold as much clout as the brutal fighting series that is Mortal Kombat. Since the release of the original title in 1992, no other fighting series has consistently provided the video gaming world with frantic action, violence and memorable characters quite like Mortal Kombat has.
At this year’s E3, fans of the storied series were ecstatic to see the reveal of the newest title in the franchise, Mortal Kombat X. The first full MK title to release since 2011, Mortal Kombat X marks a new starting point for the franchise that, from what was shown during a private E3 showing, is everything fans could ask for.
During the Mortal Kombat X presentation, the first thing that stood out about the game was the general overhaul to the traditional fighting formula. The most interesting in these changes is the inclusion of different fighting styles to choose from before starting a match. These different styles add a new level of depth and strategy to the series for the first time, as learning how to utilize and defend against three different styles from each character adds a new level of metagame to Mortal Kombat.
In addition to the various fighting styles to choose from, each character will have a specific ‘tell’ to indication what style they have selected for a match. In the presentation, Scorpion was shown with burning hands as a visual que for which style he would be using.
The variety of fighting styles is not the only new feature coming to Mortal Kombat X, however. New characters have been added to the game’s roster – each of which stands tall as their own individual, with defined personalities and fighting styles.
Cassie Cage, daughter of Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade, leads off the newcomers in Mortal Kombat X, along with D’Vorah and Ferra/Torr – a dual character that is made up of a small girl on the back of a hulking, masked monster of a man.
Of course, there would be no point in detailing the Mortal Kombat X presentation and demo without discussing the game’s actual fighting. In news that will come as a great relief to series fans, Mortal Kombat X looks to be the best iteration of the series to date.
Combat in MKX is a brutal, fast-paced affair, with each and every input a prime example of precise gameplay. The animations of MKX directly reflect the game’s visceral pace and combat, staying true to Mortal Kombat tradition of gore and violence, even taking it up a notch in many ways.
The most prime example of the extra of emphasis on gore in Mortal Kombat X is seen during the game’s X-ray moves. A relative recent addition to the franchise, the x-ray moves in MKX are a exponentially more violent, using the game’s stunning visuals to paint an anatomically horrifying scene that sticks with the player for quite some time.
The violent fighting of Mortal Kombat X is put on full display during each match. Characters display damage in real-time during fights, allowing for a nice visual representation of the carnage currently being inflicted.
During the demo, D’Vorah and Ferra/Torr squared off, showcasing the game’s great visuals as well as the newcomers’ impressive fighting prowess. D’Vorah can control insects on a whim, fighting with the intensity of a wasp while utilizing claw-like arms that protruding from her chest. Ferra/Torr will instantly draw parallels to Master/Blaster from Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, as the two characters combine their talents in a deadly dance.
As the fight between D’Vorah and Ferra/Torr played out, the flurry of combat was entrancing. The game’s crisp animations and visuals drew the viewer’s eye to the action, while the impressive background of the stages served their purpose perfectly.
Ferra/Torr went on to showcase Mortal Kombat’s other best known feature – the fatalities. Similar to the x-ray moves, MKX’s fatalities have been given an even more violent overhaul, as seen during Ferra/Torr’s move which split their foe in half, followed by a torrent of raining guts on the stage.
Violent, yet thoroughly enjoyable, to say the least.
Mortal Kombat X looks to be everything that fighting game fans desire. The game’s tight controls, fast-paced combat and absolutely brutal moves will be sure to keep players coming back time and time again.
Set to release next year for the PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Xbox 360, Mortal Kombat X is one of 2015’s most promising titles.
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