The New Mortal Kombat Is Fun, Y’all

The New Mortal Kombat Is Fun, Y’all

I’ve been playing Mortal Kombat X since late last night and I don’t want to stop. Honestly, I’m a little annoyed that I have to stop playing NetherRealm’s newest instalment of the long-lived martial-arts series to actually write about it.

Whether it’s been in the snarkily self-aware Story Mode or playing against another human online, MKX so far feels like a guilty pleasure without the guilt. The established formula’s still there but you can feel its evolution as you play, with enough secret ingredients to make you compulsively keep fighting despite your body’s pleas for rest.

Warning: Mild spoiler stories follow.

Around 9 A.M. this morning, I played my Kotaku colleague Mike Fahey in a few quick online multiplayer matches. We faced off in the PS4 version of the game and, as far as speed and stability go, things were pretty smooth. It’s not even been 24 hours since the game’s been out so it might be too soon to award MKX any hosannas as far as online. But I noted only one significant instance of lag. You can see the matches we played, courtesy of the Match Archive feature that’s built into the game.

My online matches with Jacqui Briggs got me pleasantly intrigued with her moveset, which offers a nice mix of ranged attacks and powerful up-close strikes. Match Archives loaded quickly and offer a full breakdown of players’ inputs, useful for those wanting to hone their skills to lethal sharpness. Most of my time has been wrapped in various single-player options, particularly Story Mode. But before I talk storyline, let’s watch a match I played in Test Your Luck mode:

Test Your Luck is a returning feature from the 2011 Mortal Kombat. Like last time, it spits out a bunch of modifiers that affect various aspects of the game differently. So, you’ll get a restrictions like No Throwing or a variable like Hyper Kombat, which makes things super-fast. It’s a welcome return that can keep you play in freshly mixed-up ways when other people or internet connectivity let you down.

I’m only up to Chapter 5 of MKX‘s Story Mode but I’ve already got favourites from the new characters. At first, I thought I was not going to like Kung Jin, the archer who’s the son of Shaolin warrior monk Kung Lao. His intro is all swagger and smart-mouth and I was prepared to hate on him the same way I do on X-Men character Gambit. But you can see that he’s more than just a smooth-talking thief.

His moveset favours the style I tend to enjoy most when playing fighting games: quick strikes with options for keeping opponents away. I’m nowhere near done exploring what Mortal Kombat X has to offer in single-player or multiplayer modes. But, unless it screws things up pretty badly later on in Story Mode or with really server problems, I can tell it’s the kind of game that I’m going to be obsessed with. We’ll have more on Mortal Kombat X as the week unfolds.


  • Yep, it’s major fun. A whole lotta fun.

    But that season pass price…

    Those microtransactions…

    Neither are necessary and I’ve purchased the game myself, I won’t be getting either, there’s plenty to do without them, but still, NetherRealm, c’mon. Such a great game marred by those two things.

    • It’s certainly shitty, but I get the feeling that the decision on both those things was more on Warner Bros than NetherRealm.

      • Don’t be so quick to throw that on WB solely, watch the Angry Joe interview with Ed Boon. A developer has a certain amount of responsibility in that area too. WB definitely has input with that, but NetherRealm could’ve at least chosen a better place to spend it in :\

        • The purchasing of ‘easy fatalities’ really irks me. Not only does it take away from what performing a fatality should be (they’re already vastly easier to pull off compared to the original), but in a case where I don’t see why the ridiculous microtransactions are necessary in the first place, it’s a really stupid place to put it. As you said, pretty much.

          The game itself is amazing, definitely wraps the best parts of the series up neatly in one package, it’s just the additional packages and transactions that – whilst they don’t affect you if you’re not into them – probably just shouldn’t exist with how poorly they’re implemented.

          • Indeed. Their best bet, honestly, would have been to keep releasing ‘kostume packs’ instead.

            “Mortal Kombat Kostumes” for all characters
            “Mortal Kombat 2 Kostumes” for all characters

            Then 3, 4, Deadly Alliance and on and on and on…

            Hell, even go as far for kicks, as releasing ‘low polygon MK4 retro model packs’ or something.

            THAT to me, is far more credible than what they’ve done.

    • Hi I have a problem with the game I just bought it today but I cant play the story mode. Is written in red and I cant click on it !! Help pleasd anyone ?

    • Hey don’t worry my PS4 version won’t work, crashed my PS4 dozens of times and corrupted the hard drive, no access to anything but single fight and tutorial if I do get it working.
      Edit: My disc was faulty, swapped it no more issues,

      • Hmm, I had the issue with Story mode etc showing in ‘Red’ and thought it was to funnel you into completing the tutorial. Which seemed to be the case (maybe?) as after completing it all options were available.

      • Minus the PC issues (which as I’ve read everyone is fully aware of), the part about sections of the menu being greyed out is intended to be standard fair I think. I played a match and the whole menu became unlocked thereafter.

        • I’ve played through tutorials 3 times and played about 20 single fights, no change.

          • Hmm, sounds like that steam streaming fiasco, perhaps those parts of the game aren’t installed yet.. check your downloadable content for the game in steam, apparently the basic modes are designed to allow a taste of the game,the rest are considered dlc so make sure they’re there?

          • Turns out my disc was faulty, stopped installing halfway and pretended it was done. Swapped the disc and have no more issues.

  • MKX is farkin awesome. The storyline mode I’ve found really fun so far and great to get into the title. The fighting is accessible but deep as you’d want to go.

    I should have bought in digitally though as this won’t get traded in, and will be required for spontaneous games against mates for a long time to come.

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