E3 2014: A look at Mortal Kombat X

The world’s biggest video game expo has come and gone for another year and obviously we’re super excited about Mortal Kombat X. Here is part 1 of DMK’s thoughts on Mortal Kombat X so far.

Holy Grail:

The look.

Reportedly the engine is a re-coded version of the same Unreal 3 engine as used in Mortal Kombat (2011). When I heard this I was concerned. But once you see the footage, that concern disappears. It looks GORGEOUS. However within that, let’s consider that the game is going cross-gen meaning it will be out for X-Box One, PS4 as well as their older cousins in X-Box 360 and PS3. I am under no illusions that the footage we’ve seen is from a ‘next-gen’ console. The older consoles simply wouldn’t be capable of that level of fidelity while maintaining the high frame rate fighting games demand. So if you haven’t upgraded and are rejoicing the cross-gen move, be aware, your experience may differ from what we’ve seen so far.

mkx_1

Also MKX looked FAST. Make no mistake, it’s still Mortal Kombat styled gameplay but it looks like they’ve spent quite a bit of time on the transitional animations – no more of this suddenly standing upright and falling over. To be clear, it’s no Dead or Alive, but it’s the closest MK has been to that kind of fluidity in years.

The design.

For the first time in a long time, I’m looking at newly designed MK characters and genuinely excited. Not only do they have unique, well-crafted looks, but some of the play styles are great – Ferra/Torr is the prime example but also the concept of totems used by Kotal Kahn are a welcome addition. Also, Cassie Cage might not be the most outrageous addition, but it was actually refreshing for a female character to fight in something FUNCTIONAL rather than barely there. Your mileage may vary but it highlights a maturity in the series – and I don’t mean blood and gore. Forget Drahmin, Mavado, Jarek and many others, these new players are the real deal. The question is, can they keep it up as more characters are revealed?

Speaking of the blood and gore, just when you thought the Fatalities couldn’t possibly top MK9…. Yeah. They did. And we’ve only seen a handful of them! Reports indicate that the team worked on the body physics meaning that it can now be sliced, diced and torn from any angle, not just at junctions of key limbs. It seems that the imagination is literally the only ceiling that exists. How this affects territories with stricter control on video-game violence, remains to be seen…

mkx_fatality

The plot.

Always a source of angst and flame-wars for MK fans, MKX is both a continuation of the MK9 story and a leap 25 years into the future. Whether this will be a back-and-forth deal (complete with Flux Capacitor) we can’t really say. But it certainly does the franchise room to breathe while keeping the lore that we all grew up with intact. I think this is pretty clever move and one that I’m excited to see play out.

The variations.

As someone who writes the moves guides here at DMK, this has me both excited and terrified. I think it’s a great concept and gives another layer of depth to the meta-game. Even if you restricted two players to particular characters, they still have flexibility and some strategic choices to make. It will make tournament grade fights all the more interesting as PerfectLegend and his ilk choose their character.

Questions that aren’t answered – alternative modes. Will Konquest make a come back? What about Kreate-A-Fighter? Mortal Karts anyone? Also the inclusion of another finisher type. In their playthrough IGN did confirm that the in-game moveslist did have a 5th finisher listed alongside the usual two fatalities, babality and a stage finisher.

In any case, the future of MK has never looked so bright and I can’t wait to see what else the NRS team have in store for us all.

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