Game Review: 'Mortal Kombat X'

The latest incarnation of the greatest fighting game of all time scores a flawless victory.

Fighting games haven’t gotten much love on the Xbox One or PS4, but that’s all about to change. Mortal Kombat X is here, and it’s brought its own special brand of ass-kickery to the most powerful consoles yet.

MKX puts that next-gen hardware to good use throughout—levels pop with absurd attention to background detail, fighters flow through rampages of combos that are as fun to watch as they are to execute, and it’s all encapsulated in an overarching story told through movie-quality cut scenes. Oh, and the fighting isn’t bad either. MKX has the tight, purposeful mechanics that have been almost as much of a signature of the series as the uber-violent fatalities that first made the game infamous.

Putting aside the campaign and the character-centric chapters that unfold within it, Mortal Kombat X’s most replayable mode is the Living Ladder. Made of hourly, daily and premier challenges handed down on high from the titanic overlords at NetherRealm, the Living Ladder will be constantly evolving, to give players a reason to keep returning to the game and test their technique against MKX’s huge roster.

Rounding out the appeal of MKX is a bonus system call Faction Wars. At the outset of playing, gamers will choose a faction with which they’ll align themselves. From there, all of the experience you earn in the game contributes to your faction’s overall score on a global scale, across platforms. If your faction wins the week, expect to see some bonus items for your characters the next time you start up the game. We weren’t really able to feel the effects of the faction war progress in our time with the game so far, but we can definitely see the communal effort towards bonuses as something that would help hold our interest.

Then again, we’ve been coming back to play the Mortal Kombat games for twenty years, because it’s simply one of the most fun fighting games around. Mortal Kombat X definitely fulfills the expectations we place on the series…or maybe we just really like the Fatalities.

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