This game is great. There, I said it. If you were going into this review expecting to read how terrible it is for Netherrealm Studios giving the PC version and the community the boot to the face, then you'd be mistaken. I'm going to tell you why I think it's great.
Let's be clear first. The game has ceased development. The developers are no longer patching this game, so there is NO Kombat Pack 2 or recent updates that come with the game. That's right. No Triborg, Alien, Bo Rai Cho, or Leatherface. If that turns you off, I don't blame you. Many of the the things I'll say will make you want to buy the game, and more power to you. But on PC, it's worth noting that you will not get the full experience. Although, besides these shortcomings, the game can still be one hell of a good time with friends and the rest of the community that still fight online (i.e. 500+ people).
I love this game with a passion. It was the first fighting game I picked up in years (since Tekken Tag Tournament 2), and enjoy it still to this day. I've played about 400 hours and Steam and it's got me addicted. It's a game that any casual or experienced fighting game fan can pick up and have a good time with. It is also very easy to play, with fun characters and simple combo mechanics. Sure, some characters are more enjoyable than others, but once you find a character that clicks with you; you'd want to master him/her.
The game comes with plenty of modes to choose from: Story, 1v1 Casual Fights, King of the Hills, Online Ranked and Player Matches. Even a Kustom Kombat mode where you can create your own modified battles. Such as giving your character slow motion, double damage, or performing fatalities mid-battle if you're quick enough. It's a fun little game mode. Great with friends, especially.
The battles are simple enough. You start off the round with 1 bar of super meter (used for enhancing special moves, performing breakers, etc.). You battle for a given amount of time until your opponent is knocked down for 2 rounds. It's been done in fighting games before, and hasn't changed much. What's different is that you have a stamina bar below your life bar now. It is used for a new run mechanic you can use to get close to your opponent and grab them, apply pressure, or perform run cancels, where you cancel a special move to continue a combo string. It's a very interesting mechanic, and makes for nice variety. It also makes for a great skill-based fighting game, and with enough practice you can look past the difficulty curve.
The story mode is a real highlight of the game because of the great voice acting, new characters (we haven't seen in the Mortal Kombat Universe before) which makes for interesting battles, and a well-paced plot that's told through different characters. I won't spoil anything, and the story is really short. The story also contains quick-time events where you click a button at the right time to initiate and action sequence. If you fail to press a button at the right time, the action will change. Though, it doesn't affect the way the story is told. The quick-time events are a nice change of pace, and doesn't detract from the overall experience. Plus, if you complete every quick-time event without fail throughout the story, you recieve a new emblem for your Kombat Kard. I think it's worth doing. When you beat the story, you unlock a new fighter (a new fighter which I won't spoil). You are able to play him in multiplayer. Let's just say he is arguably one of the best characters in the game.
Scorpion and Sub-Zero are back, and they're more fun to play than ever before. This time when you pick a character, you choose between three different variations. Each variation gives the character different move-sets and special abilities. It's a great system and works well to balance out each character. Although, some variations aren't as good as others because some of the special moves and abilities don't help to strengthen the character, rather weaken him/her. This isn't the case for all characters, though. I'll give an expample. Scorpion's Inferno variation gives him the ability to have minion attacks; one hitting mid, low, and overhead. It's interesting because the game is mostly about 50/50s and you don't know whether the player is going to hit low or overhead. It's a fun, but gimmicky variation unlike his other variations. It's very unsafe and can be easily punished, such as when Scorpion does b3 (back X or A) into low minion; which you would fall for at first, but since Scorpion's overhead (f4) and his overhead minion are so slow that you would want to instinctively block low first. I'm not saying it's abad variation. I'm saying it's not as strong as his other variations. In the Hellfire variation, you can perform fireball cancels to create high damaging combos and apply pressure. In the Ninjutsu variation, it's all about spacing and footsies, where you use your swords to launch your opponent from different angles.
The gameplay overall is fast, fantastic, bloody fun. Fatalities are back and they've never been this gory. They can get old seeing them over and over again, but they're still fun to do after finishing a set with an opponent. Brutalities are another addition, which require you to do some combination of moves in order to pull off a crazy finishing move to finish your opponent in style. For example, Johnny Cage can execute a nut-punch and make their head fall off. Brutalities can only be done when your opponent is low on health at the end of the last round; and it's so satisfying.
Everything from normal moves to special moves will come to you at east once you practice enough. And boy is it satisfying when you start learning combos and pulling off ridiculous moves on your opponent. The tutorial is a great way to get you into the fray. It teaches you basic combos, how you can connect a combo string into a special move, breakers, block breakers, and enhancing special moves. It also teaches you about the run mechanic, but it doesn't teach you about run cancelling into moves. It's pretty simple, with enough practice. For example, with Heavy Weapons Jax, you can cancel with his rocket launcher. First, you do a combo string that can connect with the rocket launcher (e.g. 123, XYA, or Square, Triangle, X; connecting that with Down, Back, 2). Then, without firing the rocket launcher, you hold down the button (2) and run (Forward, Forward, RT, R2, or whatever button used for blocking) for a brief moment. Then right after you run, you do another combo string into another special move (e.g. 123 into Back, Forward, Down 2; his downward dash punch). You don't want to run for too long, or the combo won't connect, so you have to be quick. The tutorial is simple but helpful when you want to get started.
The multiplayer and online can be great fun when the connection is good. Of course, when you're playing offline (e.g. casual 1v1), you're not going to have connection issues. Usually when you're in close proximity with a player online, the match can go pretty well. Although, the game can bite you in the ass and tell you it's not going to take your shit anymore and drop below 15 fps. Even worse, you will get disconnected from the match entirely and both you and your opponent will get a win for your records. Now, that's not fun. Even when you're playing a match online that start to go well, you will still encounter problems. The so-called "netcode" hasn't been patched (until later only on consoles). You won't be seeing the new netcode on PC for until... Probably forever. It's also very hard to join KOTHs (King of the Hills) sometimes. Maybe it's just me, but it usually works when you set up a private KOTH of your own. For me, when you join someone else in a room, you'd be hard pressed to actually join without seeing a message saying "This game session is no longer available".
I'm running this game on a GTX 660 TI 2GB GDDR5 GPU; Intel Core i5 2500K CPU @ 3.3 GHZ; 8 GB RAM; 1 TB HDD; Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. I get up to 60 frames per second, dipping to about 30 at times. It is barely playable.
The PC version of Mortal Kombat X is a great fighting game with technical and developmental problems. It's the best Mortal Kombat game to date and it lives up to the hype, but with the technical shortcomings and developmental issues of ridding the PC version entirely, I wouldn't recommend this one. This game may not be as great as the version on consoles, and most of the online community abandoned the PC version. However, I would recommend this game if you want to play this with friends and/or for the story mode. I, also, do NOT recommend buying this if you're looking for a great online multiplayer experience, which is mainly what the game was intended for the casual buyer. Especially for the experienced buyer, you should stay away. Unless you're looking to play with randoms online with non-stop lag.
If you want to play with me, just hit me up on Steam. My gamertag is AshHousewares445. I play multiple characters at a somewhat high level. Some of the characters I play are Kano, Tremor, Goro, and Jax. I hope you enjoyed this review, and have a good day.