If there’s a genre that typifies the guy-gamer mentality more than that of the fighting game, then there’d have to be a pretty strong case stated for one to be convinced of it. Likewise, it would take some serious persuasion to convince any gamer than Mortal Kombat isn’t one of the greatest fighting games ever to exist for any platform, ever.
It is with much joy, therefore, that Mortal Kombat X hit the scene in April 2015, bringing with it a variety of modes as well as all of the Mortal Kombat characters fans have grown to know, love, and fight with over the game’s 24-year history. With each character comes a unique set of moves, combinations, and finishers, a signature that makes Mortal Kombat so great to play, and Mortal Kombat X arguably one of the most impressive titles of the series to date.
Men come to Mortal Kombat for the fighting, but stay for the fatalities. Luckily, Mortal Kombat X has both in large quantities and with all of the action being of the utmost quality. Players will note that the action isn’t quite a fluid as rival fighting games like Tekken, for example, but the stop-start, short-burst nature of the action becomes more accepted the more you play, at which point you can then sit back and enjoy the ridiculous selection of character-specific moves, combinations, and of course, finishing moves.
Where Mortal Kombat X truly stands out in terms of unbridled gore and perfect-for-guy-gamers eviscerating action is its X-Ray finishers. Build up your power bar to max, and you’ll be able to unleash a character-specific move that involves brutality that can be seen as spine-chilling even by Mortal Kombat’s gory standards. The X-Ray portion of the title is exactly how it sounds: finishing moves commence and the most bone-crunching, organ-wrenching parts are displayed in slow-mo while an X-Ray camera shows you what’s going on inside the body as the moves take place. It’s pretty gruesome, as you can imagine. The ability to utilise parts of each stage’s environment as weapons/items of combat is also a welcome augmentation to the gameplay mechanics.
Longevity of Content
Mortal Kombat X isn’t just a fighting game fit for a few hours of gameplay. Everything - from its gameplay mechanics, fight structure, and its various gameplay modes – is structured in such a way that X is a game with more longevity than you’ll ever find in any other fighting game.
Take story mode, for example, whose plot is admittedly a few hectares west of sensible but manages to weave together a multi-layered story that gives the player an opportunity to gain some perspective on a multitude of the game’s characters, as well as neatly stitching in the ability to explore each characters’ many unique moves and finishers along the way. In other words, even though a Story Mode isn’t an expected venture for what is primarily a 1 vs 1 fighting game, NeverRealm’s development team went ahead and gave us a ridiculously-plotted yet utterly substantial and enjoyable story mode to enjoy, and that’s just the starter in a multi-course fighting-game meal.
Most fighting games wouldn’t have even given us a Story Mode – many simply rely on lazy multiplayer re-workings of the single-player mechanics to tack on another few potential weeks of gameplay (at best) – yet Mortal Kombat X keeps delivering in its other modes as well. Towers mode is another ridiculously engrossing branch of the game, comprised of a series of miniature campaigns where you choose and stick with a single character, whose skills you’ll utilise against a series of opponents that increase in difficulty.
X isn’t finished here, though, as it’s got even more content for its players. Krypt is a dungeon-exploration mode that has you collecting bonus items as you explore its first-person action. There’s also a Factions addition, which includes online fights, Faction Towers, and Faction Boss Battles. Factions is merely a way of choose from one of five factions (White Lotus, Lin Kuei, Special Forces, Brotherhood of Shadows, or Black Dragon) and having all the progress you make count towards one side or the other. It’s effectively a sort of game-within/above a game, often being called a “meta-game” by many who describe it. Whatever it’s called it works, and it works fantastically well towards giving the game some serious longevity.
It Doesn’t Get More Manly Than MKX
If you’ve got a next-gen console such as a PS4, then Mortal Kombat X’s graphics are truly stunning, though they’re not exactly disappointing on other platforms, even on mobile. To summarise the game is difficult, but needless to say that it’s arguably the most stunningly-presented, content-rich representation of the Mortal Kombat saga to date, and the quantity of gore involved will more then please your average guy-gamer.