As an addition to the Mortal Kombat franchise, the developers make it clear that Mortal Kombat X is geared more toward the competitive scene. While the larger variance of characters makes combat more fun, the story fails to properly introduce them. Coupled with the strange micro transactions within Mortal Kombat X, it feels as if there is too much emphasis on generating money through micro transactions rather than improving the base game.
Mortal Kombat games have always been known for their rich story. It provided a movie like experience within the single-player mode. Unfortunately, Mortal Kombat X tones down the story as compared to previous games within the franchise. While the story is still more in-depth than other fighting games, it feels lacking for a Mortal Kombat game. Also, the story in Mortal Kombat X is extremely short. This is problematic due to the many new characters that are introduced. Your favourite characters might have one or two lines within the story, if they say anything at all.
Thankfully, the Towers are back. The Towers provide challenges in an arcade style format with specific goals or rules set in place. By playing the Towers, you can explore more into your character’s background who might have not had that much time in the story mode. It also unlocks alternate costumes and concept arts based on which Tower is completed, and should provide an outlet for those who wanted more out of the story.
In terms of just fighting mechanics, Mortal Kombat X does a great job. Along with the new characters introduced, each character is given three variations. Each variation offers a different specialisation tied to that character and offers a unique form of play. This basically triples the amount of playable characters. Using the energy bar as with the previous Mortal Kombat game, you can use special moves as the bar fills up. With the more powerful moves using larger portions of the bar, fighting becomes tense as you debate using the bar to get an early advantage or save up for a more powerful move.
There is also the inclusion of an interactive environment, allowing you to use the surroundings to your advantage. For the more hardcore players, this can be turned off to allow a fairer and consistent fight. Mortal Kombat X favours medium to long combos which often takes a good amount of skill to execute; however, the basics are simple enough for newer players to learn the basics. Unfortunately, the transition from a newer player to becoming a skilled player is difficult. This comes from Mortal Kombat X not having a good tutorial which explains the combos which can be executed by the characters. A lack of a good tutorial is a strange tradition among fighting games, which Mortal Kombat X has followed.
One of the main selling points of a Mortal Kombat game is its fatalities. This game does not disappoint, with some of the goriest fatalities within the Mortal Kombat franchise yet.
The fatalities keep their tradition of being so over-the-top that it becomes almost cartoony in nature. While brutalities are also included, more unique finishers such as babalities has been removed. There are also no environmental finishers, which seems odd considering Mortal Kombat X has an interactable environment. Still the fatalities and brutalities given to you are still impressive and incredibly unique for each character. While the visual nature of the fatalities is impressive, the new way to execute them is debatable.
Easy Fatalities can now be purchased as a micro transaction within Mortal Kombat X. As the name implies this allows you to execute a fatality without learning the combo needed. In a purely mechanical sense, this doesn’t do anything at all. Fatalities could only be done after winning a match, making the addition of a paid fatality non-consequential to the fight. Yet there is a feeling of loss when you realize that the fatalities can now simply be bought. Fatalities used to be something that only people who loved the series would bother to do, it doesn’t affect the fight at all and is usually overly difficult. Now that feeling is gone and using a fatality feels less special. While it is understandable that a company needs to make money, the changes to the fatality system seem questionable.
Mortal Kombat X also includes the infamous day one DLC which has become a trend among games. While Mortal Kombat X includes Goro in its files, you will have to either pay extra or have preordered Mortal Kombat X to have access to him. This makes Mortal Kombat fans feel cheated by having such an iconic character barred off with a paywall.
Combined with the fatalities losing what makes them special, it feels as if Mortal Kombat X is desperately trying to make as much money as possible without considering what it would do to the game and player base.
Mortal Kombat X has improved mechanically. The addition of character variations provide much more choice in terms of choosing a playstyle that suits you. The energy bar will allow for an added mechanic to the fighting, while the interactable environment adds additional fun factor for casual or semi-hardcore players. Yet with these mechanical improvements, the identity of the franchise was somewhat compromised.
The lack of story will be disappointing to fans of the Mortal Kombat single player mode. Even hardcore players might find this disappointing as their favourite characters become severely underrepresented within Mortal Kombat X. Then there’s the monetization of the fatality system. It takes away the special sense of performing or even being on the receiving end of an awesome fatality combo. Don’t get me wrong, Mortal Kombat X is a good fighting game, but many will wish that it was a great Mortal Kombat game too. Somewhat a loss of identity.
● Character Variations
● Great looking fatalities
● Unique character feel even with all the variations
● Lacking story compared to previous games
● Questionable micro transactions