With the recent reboot of Mortal Kombat being very well received, it stands to reason that a sequel would not be too far behind. At this year’s E3 we got to see a little bit of what that looks like. Spoiler Alert: It looks good.
The game cleans up and enhances many of the systems that were introduced in MK9. X-Ray moves return, so you’ll be seeing a lot of brutal “Ow” inducing moments throughout your fights. Added to the mix is a stamina bar, which allows your character to run at your opponent. The system is similar to what we saw in Mortal Kombat 3, but seems to be exclusive to running this time around.
The fights themselves have been sped up a bit. MK9 had a very deliberate, methodical pace to the combat, while MKX seems like it’s hit the right mix between speed and strategy. It’s not as fast as a Marvel vs Capcom game, but it’s certainly quicker than what we’re seeing with Street Fighter IV. A good comparison would be Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, which along with MK9 is generally regarded as the other “high point” MK title.
Another neat new addition to Mortal Kombat X is the ability to choose different variants of a character. Each character has three such variants with different special moves, making it similar to Street Fighter III’s Super Art selections, but with further-reaching ramifications than meter properties and a single super attack. That will make for a huge variety of potential matchups. Along with the new character variety, stage interaction has been lifted straight out of Netherrealm’s other fighting franchise, Injustice, to make its Mortal Kombat debut here. It’s possible to use jump off a stage wall, or snatch objects in the stage up and throw them at your opponent. There’s no word yet on whether stage fatalities will make a return, but it seems highly likely that they will. While not confirming this fact, Ed Boon seemed coy when asked about it.
From the E3 build, we know of six characters so far. Sub-Zero and Scorpion are a given in any MK game. It simply wouldn’t be Mortal Kombat without them. The other four are newcomers. Cassie Cage is the daughter of Sonya Blade and Johnny Cage, who implies a Tekken 3-style timeskip in the storyline just by her presence; D’Vorah, a bug lady of sorts; Ferra and Torr, a pairing of a huge masked man and a small girl reminiscent of how Chang Koehan and Choi Bounge played in Capcom vs SNK 2; and finally, Kotal Kahn. Not much is known about this fighter, though he’s likely a relative of Shao Kahn, and appears to prefer to drink blood fresh from the heart. New characters will no doubt be revealed leading up to the game’s release, with a character select screen implying a roster of 24 fighters.
From what we’ve seen so far, Mortal Kombat X looks like it will be a solid entry into the newly-rejuvenated franchise. No release date has been set as of yet.