Game On: ‘Mortal Kombat X’ lives up to the hype and brings the gore

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I love fighting games. One of my favorites is finally coming to the new generation of consoles. The amazing, super gory “Mortal Kombat X” is one of the games I’ve wanted most this year. The appeal of these games is the superb fighting and the over-the-top, comical violence. It certainly isn’t for everyone, but it is so unbelievable amount of gore is pretty funny — if you like that sort of thing.

What you notice first are the graphics. This is the most breathtaking the series ever looked. The attention to detail is as absurd as the violence. The tiniest of facial details, even the sweat on your fighters’ faces, is noticeable. The background scenery is alive, employing realistic weather conditions and even interactive elements. The sounds in the game are pretty fun, as well. The characters have little quips and taunts they say to each other and most of them made me laugh audibly.

The fighting mechanics are very similar to “Mortal Kombat 9,” released in 2011, with some minor tweaks and upgrades. There are levels that allow interaction with things you can throw or things that you can slam your opponent on. They don’t totally change the game, but they definitely make a difference. Some of the old fighters you remember are back — big ones like Sonya, Sub Zero and Scorpion. There are new characters to choose from who are a great addition to the series. They have their own personalities and most of them are children of existing characters. The new fighters are a breath of fresh air for the series.

The thing that changes the game most is the introduction of fighting style options. When you select your fighter, you get to choose from three different variations. Each one gives you specific moves and takes away others, so you must figure out which style works best.

The thing that sets “Mortal Kombat” apart from other series are the killing moves. Fatalities are achieved by executing a specific button combination within the time limit. This unleashes an over-the-top killing move. “Mortal Kombat X” improved a killing move called a “brutality.” These moves occur before the iconic “Finish Him/Her.” If you meet the specific conditions of a certain brutality, it unleashes a devastating blow at the end of any combo. They aren’t as flashy as the normal fatalities, but they are very brutal. They don’t have some of the other moves like “babalities” or “animalalities,” but there are still a ton of ways to kill your opponent.

The amount of “Kontent” in “Mortal Kombat X” is mind boggling. Just the single player alone is worth the price of admission. There is the standard ladder-style towers, “Test Your Might,” “Survivor,” “Test Your Luck,” and a really long story mode. There is also a comprehensive practice and tutorial mode, along with a fatality practice mode. When you first start the game, it asks you to join a “Faction.” As you play the game, you earn faction points which increase your faction’s global standings online. If your team wins each challenge, you earn all sorts of extras just for playing normally. If you want, you can also change factions. It doesn’t change the game much so just pick your favorite group. Once in a while, there is an invasion from another faction and you’ll have to do complete extra challenges in order to stop the invasion.

The online modes are really what make things interesting. Technically, the game is always connected to the internet since it is saving all of the progress you make within your faction, but you there is also a full online mode where you can play against fighters from all over the world. You can compete in regular matches, ranked matches, teams and even a “King of the Hill” tournament. Each thing you do bolsters your experience, earning you faction points and increasing your team’s reputation.

The online mode also nets you “Koins” that you can use to unlock things in the “Krypt.” The Krypt isn’t new — it has been in the last few games, but this time, it is more like a game in and of itself. It is like an interactive maze rife with pitfalls and places to explore. You trade in your Koins to unlock new fatalities, brutalities, concept art, fighting levels and new costumes. You will have to play this game a lot in order to unlock everything, or pay an extra $20 and just unlock it all automatically.

“Mortal Kombat X” is the best game in the series. The graphics are phenomenal and there is a gigantic amount of Kontent to unlock and modes to play. I wish there where more characters, but they might put them out as DLC. If you are a Mortal Kombat fan, this is a must buy. You’ll have fun even if you are a “newkomer” to the series. “Mortal Kombat X” is one of the best looking and most competent fighters on the market right now, even if it is more over the top and violent than ever.