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Mortal Kombat X Hands-on Preview – Fatality Fury

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I'm laughing and cringing at the same time, as Kitana's severed head flies through the air and Raiden zaps it into tiny little bloody fragments for the fourth time. Only Mortal Kombat can elicit this kind of conflicting response, as the overt absurdity of the game's violence hits home each and every time you perform a fatality or X-ray move. Mortal Kombat X takes its trademark gore to another level, with wince-inducing shattered vertebrae, sliced faces, chunks of brain matter, skull and offal. As ever, it ain't for the faint of heart.

Not that Mortal Kombat has ever pulled its punches, mind you. Mortal Kombat X is the most varied instalment yet, featuring three versions of each character. I've already got to grips with Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Kotal Kahn, Cassie Cage, Raiden, Kano, Ferra/Torr and D'vorah during previous hands-on sessions, so this time around I got to go hands-on with Kitana and Kung Lao; two of the latest additions to the roster.

 

med_MKX_Kunglao_KotalKahn.jpg

 

Of course, since playing the game for the third time, Reptile and Ermac have recently been announced, and they were sadly absent from this latest build. Other than two new characters, however, there are major new modes to check out, the most significant of which are the so-called 'living' Towers.

In this new Towers mode, you'll be able to tackle three different ladders, with a Quick Tower offering a brief five fights, while the Daily Tower and Premier Tower present you with a succession of eight or more bouts with the former updated every 24 hours and the latter giving you themed or seasonal battles to enjoy on a periodic basis (anywhere from a few days to a week). Fights simply play out one after another, but there's a twist.

Towers chuck in numerous modifiers, like grenades, falling bombs, portals randomly appearing, airstrikes, lightning bolts, Cyrax Assist (explosives) and Rain Assists in the form of bubbles that encase your fighter when touched (Cyrax and Rain's presence here also kind of implies that neither of these characters will be featured as playable fighters in the game). “We have hundreds of different modifiers that we can combine in a number of ways. There are over a thousand ways in which we can combine things,” says Warner Bros. Marketing Games Manager, Brian Goodman. There are specific challenges to tackle too that pop up on the tower floors as designated by spectral dragons and there'll be leaderboards and such.

 

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If the 2011 Mortal Kombat reboot was an effort to return to the series' arcade roots – and that's what Goodman, says it was – then Towers is part of that arcade experience playing an even larger role in MK X. “Living Towers is sort of an evolution of the Challenge Tower that appeared in the 2011 Mortal Kombat reboot, and it's taking that idea of adding challenges and modifiers to the core gameplay but making it dynamic,” Goodman explains.

"What that means is, it's an online single-player mode and we're presenting three tiers of challenges that change periodically. The Quick Tower is going to be a shorter tower that will change every couple of hours, so we're always adding new content into the game. The modifiers can be a number of different things adding new elements into the gameplay that make it more challenging, interesting and give it a little variety.”

Towers isn't the only new addition to Mortal Kombat X. There's also a new meta game that takes in almost all of the available modes. It's called Faction War and involves aligning yourself with one of five different Outworld factions: Lin Kuei, Black Dragon, White Lotus, Special Forces or the Brotherhood of Shadow. Faction War is a platform agnostic weekly online contest that resets every week once a winning faction is crowned, and rewards players for delving into everything that MK X has to offer.

 

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There are daily faction challenges to take on with competing and bagging wins earning rewards like faction finishers while simply taking part contributes towards your faction's overall score. Ultimately, however, it's all part of injecting increased longevity into Mortal Kombat X, while embracing both veteran players and newcomers to the series.

“It's fairly all-encompassing,” Goodman says of the new online mode. “Many of the things that you do in the game – playing the game naturally as you would – single-player, online, competitive in various ways will all contribute to your Faction War,” he adds.

“We really wanted to give players who might not necessarily be at the top of the skill level a way to compete, so it fosters competition without having to master every facet of the game's fighting engine. And again, it's a way to keep people engaged and coming back every day to find out if there's a new challenge to complete to contribute to the ongoing Faction War. That makes the game a lot more social, playing against and with people all over the world, which we think is very cool.”

That's the new modes, but what about the new kombatants? There's Kung Lao with his Buzz Saw, Tempest and Hat Trick variants offering a spiky brimmed version of his trademark hat, hat traps that you can drop, and an emphasis on classic hat throwing projectile moves respectively. There are alight visual differences between the three, but by and large they play fairly similarly.

 

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Pulling off Kung Lao's fatality sees a typically grisly end for your opponent, with the razor-sharp brim of his classic headwear doing its usual job of slicing things in two. It's Kitana who's the main focus of our demo, however, and Goodman gives us a more in-depth rundown of her three character variations. Royal Storm is all about zoning with her trademark razor-edged fans, whereas her Assassin variant is primarily focused upon rush-down attacks to cover ground and get up in your opponent's face.

The one that stands out the most is Mournful, a fighting style that sees Kitana busting out special attacks using the glaive and staff of her close friend, Jade. Whatever style you choose, Kitana is pretty nimble, able to keep opponents at bay with kicks and devastating fan attacks. Her X-ray attack is also pretty nasty, featuring two daggers plunged through her rival's jugular. Sadly, her fatality was unavailable in this current build of the game, so I didn't get to see it.

A third hands-on, and Mortal Kombat X is still feeling incredibly meaty, with the heft and impact of NetherRealm's previous fighting games intact, and enough extreme violence to desensitise you for life. Fans will be looking forward to seeing more characters, but only so many can make the cut. “We pride ourselves on delivering great fan service,” says Goodman, so NetherRealm will no doubt do its best to fill the remaining 13 character slots I counted on the fighter select screen with fan favourites.

 

med_MK10_Ermac_vs_Raiden_DestroyedCity_0

 

Loads of characters, three fighting styles for each and several game modes, including a story that picks up 25 years on from 2011's Mortal Kombat, and “a very robust online feature set,” according to Goodman, means that Mortal Kombat X could be the most fully-featured and robust instalment in the series yet. “We hope that people will stick with [the new modes] and get more out of the game,” Goodman remarks.

It certainly looks like NetherRealm is on the right track, although the repetition of X-ray moves and fatalities can get a little wearisome. I got so tired of watching the same animation sequences over and over that I stopped bothering to finish fights with a fatality. I'd like to see a return to Mortal Kombat II, with its babalities, friendships and other silliness included as finishing options.That could still be the case, of course, although it's fatalities that Mortal Kombat has always been famed for, and on that front, Mortal Kombat X is set to deliver the gore in overflowing buckets.

 

Mortal Kombat X is koming on 14th April 2015.

 

Source: Playstationtrophies.org

 

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I get more excited about MKX with everything new they show. There's also a new trailer that was shown today, I'm not sure if anyone has posted it here yet:

 

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Im going krazy to play Ermac & Kung Lao, Ermac seems to be extremely OP and has a better juggle system than MK9 for what i saw.

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So excited for this game. I haven't kept up with all the character reveals though, but old man Kung Lao looks badass.

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This game will probably be the first game i buy for the PS4. Seriously, it looks so good.

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i just hope the story mode is as interesting and cinematic as the last MK was. Even though i'm not a big fan of fighting games, that story mode had me compelled enough to keep playing.

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one of the reason's i bought my ps4. not the only reason, but one of the main ones.

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Taking in consideration that Cassie is Johnny and Sonya's daughter, we can assume the first two wont show up right? Or at least they wont be playable...since its been 25 years... I mean what would be the point... i think it would just be a waste of two slots of characters, considering there's only 24...

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I preordered the Coarse Edition today :) I wasn't sure if I would or not and I haven't preordered a game in years but I had to make an exception for MKX. The only problem... I don't have a PS4 to play it on :(

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I preordered the Coarse Edition today :) I wasn't sure if I would or not and I haven't preordered a game in years but I had to make an exception for MKX. The only problem... I don't have a PS4 to play it on :(

I totally understand your predicament bro :(

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