The world’s most graphic fighter returns for another round of over-the-top violent fatalities, brutalities, and bone-crunching X-rays. Mortal Kombat X builds on the foundation of 2011’s excellent Mortal Kombat, and continues the rebooted story. Get ready to slice, dice, decapitate, and mutilate once more! Ready, FIGHT!

Mortal Kombat X is not only living up to the high standards set by its predecessor, but is also the first game in the series to debut on the new generation of consoles. Thankfully, this new instalment delivers with smooth and intense game play and a diverse roster of kombatants. A fair share of fan favourites have been left out but there are still a lot of familiar faces, as well as a handful of new characters. Each fighter has their own unique feel to them, and overall the roster is deep, varied and well balanced.

MKX screenshot

Once again Netherrealm studios presents us with a hefty story mode that has us fighting for the survival of Earthrealm and Outworld against the evil forces of Netherrealm. Several years after the point where the last game’s story left off, the sorcerer Shinnok is leading an attack against Earthrealm. After being defeated by Johnny Cage, Sonya Blade, and Kenshi’s special forces team: he is confined to an amulet and sealed away. For now… Fast forward twenty years and political strife in Outworld leads to trouble once more, and it is now up to a new generation of fighters to save the day.

The story is told through chapters where each one has you playing a specific character. It is also told in a non-linear way, where it will jump back and forth in time through a series of flashbacks. It is a lot of fun to experience the backstory of the characters, both old and new, the only drawback being that some of the plot points might be lost on those that did not play through the last game. The campaign isn’t as long as MK 9’s and not quite as good, but aside from that the story is very enjoyable with a camp sense of humour that compliments the brutal violence, striking a nice balance between seriousness and self-aware hilarity.

Aside from the campaign there is of course a wide selection of awesome modes to choose from. There are the usual suspects: versus battles, practice mode, the challenge tower and the Krypt where you can spend your hard earned koins for massive amount of unlocks. Then there are the Living Towers, Mortal Kombat X’s equivalent of the daily challenges of other games. The three living towers change hourly, every few hours, or daily and they all offer a wide array of different set ups and modifiers.

The option to input code combinations before versus fights has been transferred to the test your luck mode, which adds random modifiers to any battle. You might get health buffs while fighting in low gravity, or be poisoned while avoiding random laser strikes. No two matches are the same, adding to the game’s already great replay value, and test your luck makes for an ideal party mode.

Perhaps the biggest new game play feature is a variation system where each character can choose between three different fighting style variations. Every fighter still has their basic move set, but each variation changes enough to make a meaningful difference in combat. It is interesting to try out the different variations and discover new ways to use your favourite characters. Whether you like to zone, bust crazy combos, or get up close: Mortal Kombat X has plenty of characters and variations to play around with.

The game runs extremely smoothly and is very pleasing to the eyes and ears. The insane violence looks both gross and awesome, animations are fluid, characters sparkle, and the stages suck you right in. The audio design is fantastic as well, as the crunch of bones and spilling of blood interplays with character grunts and thumping soundtrack. Even the voice acting is pretty damn good, and overall the presentation is rock solid.

The online multiplayer is also strong in Mortal Kombat X. You’ll find the classic modes you’d expect with some new additions like test your luck. Another addition is the faction system where each player joins one of a handful of factions. The factions then compete for experience bonuses weekly. Matchmaking is solid and we haven’t encountered any real issues with the multiplayer post-launch.

Mortal Kombat X is a very worthy follow-up to MK 9. It is familiar, yet fresh, with new characters and the different variations. There is a lot of content and replayability, and this is definitively a title that fighting game enthusiasts will come back to again and again.

Mortal Kombat X Review
GRAPHICS85%
AUDIO85%
GAMEPLAY90%
STORY70%
PROS
  • Balanced mechanics & gameplay
  • Great presentation
  • A lot of content
CONS
  • Campaign is on the short side
83%Crushing!
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About The Author

Ingólfur Ólafsson

Metal head, front-man, natural gamer and editor at Eskimo Press.