Why Mortal Kombat X Has Renewed My Enthusiasm for the Series

Get over here!

It's been a long time since I've had any interest in Mortal Kombat. When it first arrived on the scene in 1992, I was taken in by its absurd violence and digitized characters, but Street Fighter II was still my go-to game for serious competition. It simply felt better match to match, move to move. Fluidity is something I value in a fighting game, and Mortal Kombat was simply too stiff for my liking. I would still play it with friends from time to time, but it was always at their behest, and this is a trend that's continued throughout the years, even with the highly praised Mortal Kombat reboot in 2011.

For the first time in a while, I'm ready to give Mortal Kombat another shot. After experiencing Mortal Kombat X first hand at Gamescom, my suspicions based on the initial gameplay videos are confirmed; Mortal Kombat X is the most fluid entry in the series to date. This is great news, because I've always had an affinity for the comic-book-esque setting and visuals, and now I might actually enjoy playing in that world as well. Granted, some of the best Mortal Kombat players have been able to seamlessly string together combos in past games for years, but it comes far more naturally than ever in X, even for a relatively inexperienced Mortal Kombat competitor such as myself.

I'm also intrigued by its character variation system, which grants you three different styles to explore and master for each character. Though it has different implications, in that it doesn't remix gameplay systems, it reminds me of the "Ism" system from some of Capcom's fighters, including Street fighter Alpha 3 and SNK vs. Capcom 2. It's good for variety, but more importantly, it might make a character who would otherwise end up on the sidelines interesting enough to give a chance. For instance: Scorpion players get to choose from a version of the character that fights with a sword in each hand (Ninjutsu Scorpion), one that emphasizes fire-based special moves (Hellfire Scorpion), and another that gives him the power of voodoo-like control over an off-screen demon who stabs at enemies from above, below, and behind. While fundamental skills persist between character variations, there are distinct strategies and movesets to explore if you're a serious Mortal Kombat competitor.

What Else is New?

Mortal Kombat X isn't being developed specifically for jaded "kombatants" such as myself. If anything, it's made for the hardcore Mortal Kombat fan, and sure enough, they have plenty of new things to get excited about.

If fatalities are your thing, never fear: Mortal Kombat X continues the tradition of dismemberment and dissection of unlucky fighters, and the samples shown at Gamescom indicate that NetherRealm Studios will deliver new flavors of brutality to satiate your twisted tastes. In particular, Scorpion's handling of Sub-Zero at the show was particularly unsettling. It begins commonly enough with lance through the belly, but Scorpion's attention quickly moves to Sub-Zero's face. With blade in hand, Scorpion lops off the front half of Sub-Zero's head, which slowly slides away, allowing his brain to slither out of his skull and his tongue to writhe free from the shackles of skin and teeth. It's no doubt a disgusting and shocking display, which sounds bad, but it's also what Mortal Kombat's known for, and what many of its fans crave.

In addition to series mainstays, there are also a handful of new characters to explore, including Cassie Cage, the offspring of classic Mortal Kombat characters Johnny Cage and Sonia Blade. Cassie's an unmistakable combination of her parents' looks and fighting styles, which might mean she's the only member of the cage family that'll make an appearance unless there are plans to pit father or mother against daughter. Joining Cassie is D'Vorah, a creepy hybrid of human and insect, and the duo Ferra and Torr, a fiendish female and her massive, brutish subjugate.

With only eight of 24 character slots filled, there are still many characters for NetherRealm Studios to reveal. Most recently, we received word earlier this week that the Australian cyborg Kano is joining the fray, putting the number of classic and new characters at an even split. When Ed Boon was asked by a fan earlier this week if that trend would persist throughout the rest of the roster, he simply replied: "seems accurate."

While it's hard to predict what sort of new characters might appear, if you were going to choose a stable of classic characters to bring back, whom would it include? Let us know in the comments below.

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Discussion

179 comments
gatsbythepig
gatsbythepig

It's way too fast.  One reason MK was so awesome, was the deliberate moves that were closer to human speed. MK also included gritty graphics with absurd violence, which allowed it to feel far more visceral than the fun(cartoony) Street Fighter Series.  Just like the Unreal Tournament games, Street Fighter was made as fast as the hardware would allow.  It was fun pushing the limits back in the day, but I'd rather have the more 'realistic' movement like Halo or the older MK games had.  


The Unreal games seemed like an FPS on roller skates.  The Street Fighter series have characters who move as if there is no physical weight or mass to them, which is why they can move their limbs at light speed.  Those types of movements were interesting when they were previously impossible to create.  Now I prefer what is fun versus what is possible.


Looks cool though... pretty graphics

mairkou
mairkou

I hope to see  Mileena in this new "Mortal Kombat X" :'(

beuneus12
beuneus12

Somebody missed out on MK9...

bourne2live
bourne2live

That Mortal Kombat Vid was pretty misogynistic. :)

ferna1234
ferna1234

best mortalcombat : 3 ultimate pc version. it isn't called ultime just because.

sambucca
sambucca

I always thought Kano was British. Even in MK 2011, his accent sounds very much cockney/east London. Even in the film he was a cockney. The fact that people think he's Australian (including this author) is because American's have a hard time telling the difference between a cockney accent and an Australian accent.

bakasora
bakasora

I liked the story mode of MK9. I hope MKX has it and longer.

downsidenz
downsidenz

Can see this being banned in Australia . The r18 restrictions on video games here is retarded if they show stuff on tv that is 5 times as violent how can video games be different

naryanrobinson
naryanrobinson

Yeah I was pretty bored by the last game in the series as well.  I'm not a huge series fan but in my opinion Deception was the best.

jerusaelem
jerusaelem

"...you can now sort of...uh...use things to jump over the head of someone..."


Uh...just like you could in Injustice. Wow. Brilliant observation, fella! If you weren't clearly a paid professional video game columnist I'd swear you've never played ANY of these games before!


HACK! ...excuse me. Allergies.

schu
schu

The article writer here apparently didn't play any of the games in between. There were multiple games where you could switch between fighting styles.

xgalacticax
xgalacticax

Wow! You weren't that interested in MK9? That was the perfect MK game. It MK1/ MK2/ MK3 as they were meant to be. Great story, great combos and awesome fatalities. Plus Kratos!

Payasoplas
Payasoplas

Now Scorpion adn SubZero are not wearing those stupid gas masks they've been wearing since MK II, simply the worst characeter deisgn fail ever..

ConanTheStoner
ConanTheStoner

If your enthusiasm wasn't renewed with the last MK then you can gtfo of  here.

kheromondius
kheromondius

I'd like to see Reptile, Mileena, and Cyrax in the game.

daviz88
daviz88

The game looks great but my biggest problem is why is it set 25 years later? resulting in the disposal of several characters. I hope we won't get another MK4.

ujiosangi
ujiosangi

With this new character variations , I hope we wont see many useless online players who spam the same crap over and over again.

TheExxorcist
TheExxorcist

As long as I have Baraka and Cabal... I'm getting this... I also liked Stryker in the last iteration

My full on killer was Cyrax though... He is one of the few that have options in almost any situation.

PikaPichu
PikaPichu

I'm sorry, but this article is pretty stupid. If the previous Mortal Kombat didn't reinvigorate your interest in the series, I doubt this one will do any better.

AJC3317
AJC3317

sorry but if mk9 didn't reinvigorate your hope for the series, I kinda have doubts about how much you actually like it

RELeon
RELeon

I am interested to see how much they follow up on MK9's storyline. If I recall correctly, major characters like Liu Kang, Smoke, Jax, Kitana, even Sub Zero died in MK9. Im sure some of them won't return, but some of those characters are fan favorites, and taking them out could completely turn a lot of fans off.


Odd part is, I beat the campaign twice in MK9, but I don't remember half of these deaths, so I am lost. Ill be a sad panda if Kitana doesn't come back though.

so_hai
so_hai

Mortal Kombat X isn't being developed specifically for [jade]d "kombatants"

Jade!

HesamB
HesamB

Scorpion for life dude!

crazynotstupid
crazynotstupid

@naryanrobinson then you really know nothing about MK. The last game (MK9) is hailed as the first good MK game since MK3, and MK2 is usually considered the best in the series. Deception was one of the worst MK games ever made.

alien33
alien33

@Payasoplas  Wow talk about different tastes!! The MK2 ninja costumes are amongst my favorite fighter designs ever.

spacecadet25
spacecadet25

@ConanTheStoner  If you are not open to other peoples' opinions,on a highly subjective topic, then why are you reading the comments?  Would the comments even be interesting if everyone said "looks cool", "oh yeah", "can't wait", "I'm happy with everything I see", etc?  That would be the most boring set of comments ever.

spacecadet25
spacecadet25

@PikaPichu  I disagree.  I would much rather see this game 3D instead of 2D, however even I have renewed interest in this game compared to the last outing.  More new characters, amazing graphics, crazy moves, and hopefully much more to be announced (like additional modes).

oflow
oflow

yeah, unless hes saying the game is easy mode now and they made combos noobs friendly, I dont really see how its different besides better eye candy.  

TheExxorcist
TheExxorcist

Soul Calibur was pretty close... but Tekken did well...

twisted_outlaw
twisted_outlaw

@RELeon Not like they have to follow the same storyline. It could be completely new.

dominoodle
dominoodle

@RELeon Well Sub-Zero is back in one form or another. I'm sure if they wanted to bring back one of the dead characters they could figure out some way to do it.

simonbelmont2
simonbelmont2

@crazynotstupid @naryanrobinson He is entitled to his opinion and I think he knows about MK. However, I do agree that personally I think MK9 is one of the best games in the series and Deception was one of the worst.

spacecadet25
spacecadet25

@PikaPichu  However, I should add, that I'm still going to wait until this game is really cheap until I consider buying it.  I got tired of the last game after about 2 hours, I bought it really cheap and regretted it.  I have hopes that this one will be better, even though it's still just 2D.

spacecadet25
spacecadet25

@naryanrobinson @crazynotstupid  They commonly post on the Mortal Kombat stories, they think only 1 opinion matters regarding MK and no other opinions should be heard, and if you disagree then you haven't been a long-time fan.

naryanrobinson
naryanrobinson

@simonbelmont2 I didn't really like MK3 either, I thought it was more of the same really, same as MK9.    Maybe I just had higher expectations for 9 since it was for the new consoles.  In Deception the only part I really liked was the actual fighting, but I did think it was good; more fluid even than 9.