Decades of aggression
Mortal Kombat X is another entry in the long-running fighting series, famous for its brutal, violent and incredibly gory gameplay. This time the fighters have more moves available than ever before, and fans will be eager to try out the new 'fatalities' of each. While the gameplay in Mortal Kombat X is a step forward from previous games, this PC version has some features we're not so keen on - paying real money for in-game currency that's used to buy various upgrades in the game.
Mortal Kombat X has 29 fighters for you to master. Some are returning favorites, and there are some newcomers. Here's the full list: Cassie Cage, D'vorah, Ermac, Erron Black, Ferra / Torr, Goro, Jacqui Briggs, Jason Voorhees, Jax Briggs, Johnny Cage, Kano, Kenshi, Kitana, Kotal Kahn, Kung Jun, Kun Lao Liu Kang Mileena, Predator, Quan Chi, Raiden, Reptile, Scorpion, Shinnok, Sonya Blade, Sub-Zero, Takeda, Tanya and Tremor.
Does that look like a lot? As well as 29 characters, each also has three different combat styles, and each style has a wide range of moves to learn. So, mastering all the characters in Mortal Kombat X looks like quite a mountain to climb. Of course, most people settle for perhaps two or three characters who most suit them, and in this sense Mortal Kombat X's library of characters means you should be able to find something that fits you just right.
There is a single player campaign in Mortal Kombat X that lasts about four hours. That may sound short, but it's good for a fighting game. Where in games like this the 'story' seems tacked on, and a bit pointless, in Mortal Kombat X's story campaign is a really fun, cinematic experience.
Mortal Kombat fighting environments have always been characterized by their interactivity. Mortal Kombat X takes this a step further. Each environment is unique, with its own set of objects you can use to hurt your opponent. They can be used to as the start of combo moves, or as the final flourish of a combo.
Mortal Kombat X is also rich in game modes. Faction Wars is its online game, where you join one of five factions, and from then on everything you do contributes to that clan's worldwide ranking. Living Towers mode returns, with more variety and challenges than ever. There's no shortage of things to do in Mortal Kombat X.
Gorier than ever
On PC, whether you use a keyboard and mouse or a controller, the controls are well designed and implemented. Whether or not you can master the plethora of moves available to you is another thing.
Graphically, Mortal Kombat X is impressive, with matches running at a smooth 60 frames per second. However, for some reason the cinematic cut scenes and Fatalities only run at 30 frames per second, which seems an odd decision.
Despite their reduced frame-rates, the fatality moves, a complex combination of controls that you execute just before beating your opponent, unleashing a ridiculously violent death, are no disappointment. If you like that sort of thing. The series has been famed and infamous for these gory match ending moves, and Mortal Kombat X ramps up the over the top violence even more.
Great fun with questionable in-game payments
So, Mortal Kombat X has great graphics, excellent gameplay, and a ton of modes to keep you entertained, but there are some problems. You earn in-game currency by playing the game, but you can speed up this process by paying real money to get more. One innovation here is the ability to by 'Fatalities' that are easier to do. This feels wrong - the point of a fatality was to rub your opponents face in your superior skills, by finishing with a move that was complicated to do. Buying easy fatalities spoils this glory, somewhat.
The available DLC for the game unlocks four more characters and some skins. This seems like paying for something that should have already been included, as it's a full-priced game.
If you're a fan of the series, the schlocky campaign will be extra-enjoyable, and the actual combat is very good, and looks fantastic. The sheer amount of moves to learn could be off-putting for newcomers, whereas veterans will be angered that newbies can pay to make special moves easier.