Mortal Kombat X: Kome Get Some

As extreme as the violence portrayed in Mortal Kombat is, it’s always managed to avoid being offensive by being so gratuitously over the top that each brutal bout becomes a thing of hilarity rather than horror. The fatalities and X-Ray attacks (a carryover from the excellent MK9) in Mortal Kombat X are possibly the most extreme the series has shown so far, with the new and gorgeous graphics engine showing them in all their crimson glory. Cassie Cage, a new fighter the daughter of
Sonia Blade and Johnny Cage starts off her X-Ray attack by using her father’s signature nut punch, crushing the opponent's balls (or pelvis if the opponent doesn't have any), then following up with her mother’s gun and shooting the opponent in the head.

In typical MK fashion, severe testicular traumas and a bullet to the thinking bone have no lasting effects other than some lost health. It’s hard not to laugh at that. Seeing D'Vorah, one of the new fighters, an insect woman, use her swarms to eat two holes through the chest of an opponent before having them devour the victim’s face to the point that their jaw bone falls off is equally amusing.

It’s not just blood and gore, however. From what we’ve played so far, MKX feels right. The fighting engine will feel familiar to fans of the series, and many of the returning characters utilise the same button presses for special abilities, but there are enough new ideas to make the game feel totally fresh. NetherRealm have imported the environmental interactivity they used in Injustice: GAUs and it feels right at home in the MK universe.
Rather than having the switching stances that were introduced a while back to give more variation to fighters, MKX instead opts for a system that allows players to choose from one of three styles before starting a match. Each of these styles plays radically differently and essentially serves to triple the already large character roster. Ferra/Torr, one of the new characters, is essentially a Mortal Kombat take on Master Blaster, with an armoured dwarf woman riding around on a hulking brute. One of the combat styles focusses on a balance between heavy melee and dwarf tossing ranged attacks, whilst another leaves Ferra on the sidelines and changes Torr into a grappler without any ranged abilities at all. It’s an extremely clever system and should be interesting to watch when the game inevitably becomes part of the competitive scene, as players will have to work out multiple different counter strategies to every fighter.

Mortal Kombat X isn't due until early next year, but already looks incredibly polished and feels well balanced. We can’t wait to see what surprises are in store in the final version.

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