GSY REVIEW | X360, PS3, PC, PS4, Xbox One Wednesday, August 20, 2014 | 5:10 PM

GC : Mortal Kombat X Preview

GC : Mortal Kombat X Preview

When Mortal Kombat re-emerged last generation on PS3 and Xbox 360 it made quite a splash. Not only did it manage to completely revive interest in the series, much like what we saw with Street Fighter IV, but it also redefined what a single player fighting game can be thanks to its new take on story mode. Now, with the latest consoles in mind, Ed Boon and NetherRealm Studios has returned with a new found swagger in their step ready to unleash the latest in this long standing franchise: Mortal Kombat X.




Mortal Kombat X was unveiled back at E3 but since then, they revealed a few additional characters and some new stages to fight in. While, unfortunately, we still known nothing about the story mode (though the appearance of Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade’s daughter certainly leaves us wondering) but we have had a chance to go hands on with the games versus mode.

For Gamescom they chose to introduce Kano and a new stage taking place in a jungle environment. The slow trickle of carefully targeted information seems a bit silly at this point but the actual new content revealed is quite solid. The new stage, full of dense foliage and interactive pools of water, is absolutely gorgeous. The current roster that has been revealed now consists of eight characters and four stages. While we didn’t have time to sample every character we did have a chance to fight across all four stages.



X-tremeeeee

First and foremost, Mortal Kombat X plays a whole lot like Mortal Kombat 9 but with a handful of changes and improvements slotted in. It’s clear that the time spent on Injustice: Gods Among Us gave the team some ideas for the MK franchise and it’s made most clear in the form of interactive stages. It sounds gimmicky on paper but it actually seems to have a lot of potential and allows the selected stage to move beyond simple background scenery. All of these actions are triggered with a single button press when positioned in the right spot. This feature manifests itself primarily in the form of quickly distancing yourself from an opponent, escaping the sides of the screen, and dealing damage. In the jungle stage, for instance, it was possible to grab vines and swing quickly past your enemy while another stage allowed you to grab an old lady in the background and use her as a meat club (yikes).

The fighters are a bit different this time as well. When you select your character you can now choose between three different styles which have an impact on the move-set available to you. Certain styles may focus more on ranged attacks while others deliver a fury of close proximity strikes. It will be interesting to see how this ultimately plays out as it effectively increases the roster. In some ways it feels like an attempt to reconcile all of the different forms of these characters that have existed at various points in the series.

We did sample a number of fatalities here as well which are incredibly gory to the point of being cheesy but that’s not a complaint. The series has looped back around on itself to the point of pure absurdity and it’s clear that the team has had a blast creating some of the wildest things you could imagine. That goes for the X-ray attacks as well, by the way, which have also returned. It did seem as if the commands for executing fatalities were simplified for the press, though, with all fatalities being executed with a simple down-down-square command.



This is Unreal

With WB recently doubling down on its commitment to Unreal Engine 3 it’s no surprise that MKX remains based on this workhorse of an engine. There have been huge strides made to the visuals, however, producing results that far exceed what we saw last generation. Naturally the fighters and backgrounds are more richly detailed but the addition of Tekken Tag 2 style motion blur dramatically enhances the games appearance in motion. We also see a nice use of bokeh depth of field highlighting certain camera shots and very sharp texture work throughout. Even at this point, the game effortlessly cruises along at 60 fps on PlayStation 4, which is the system on which we played it. The introductions and X-ray attacks are still updated at a lower frame-rate, unfortunately, but this does appear to be a stylistic choice as opposed to a technical limitation. NetherRealm is fully dedicated to the PS4 and Xbox One versions of this game, thankfully, with the last generation ports being handled by High Voltage Software; the crew which handled ports of NetherRealm’s previous fighting games to PC and PS4 as well as, more infamously, the original release of Zone of the Enders HD. Seems like they’re going to have quite a challenge ahead of them with porting this one.


So that’s Mortal Kombat X. It’s more Mortal Kombat as defined by Mortal Kombat 9 and it’s looking great. It feels like a very confident game. I’m sure, when developing MK9, the team really felt the pressure to get it right and restore the brand to its full glory. Now that they’ve achieved that, it really feels as if they’re going all in with this latest game. They’ve leaned in to every feature that made MK9 a great game and the beautiful new coat of paint really makes the whole thing feel fresh. We can’t wait to see how it turns out.

All comments

Commented on 2014-08-20 17:27:57
meh because yet again a developer is chicken its on the old consoles too and you can tell, the game does not look all that great or different from the last game.

ill skip this one and get the next if its only on ps4 and xbox one
Commented on 2014-08-20 18:04:54 In reply to lilmarkuk
Ed boon himself stated that they are focusing on current-gen platforms and if 60FPS and new gore techniques were not possible on last-gen consoles, they would release the game only on PS4-XONE-PC.
Commented on 2014-08-20 18:09:06 In reply to DFGHTENNIS
Maybe if he actually read the article...
Commented on 2014-08-20 18:20:51
Another title held back by its appearance on older consoles. I'm still waiting for the true next-gen.
Anyways, they still haven't shown much interesting stuff about the game. I hope they will take the best of the other fighting games and put it in here to spice it up.
Still, I'm gonna miss the old life-action style of the first 3 games. Today with large media a live action action game would look awesome in HD. In my eyes, MK didn't survive transformation into 3D quite well and I still like Soulcalibur series better (or Tekken, for that matter).
Commented on 2014-08-20 18:29:21 In reply to Driftwood
i did and its aload of balls because the game does not look all that good graphics wise

its a fact that when a game is on the new consoles and also on the older ones that different teams work on each platform

but you can always see in the new console versions that it was not made just for the new consoles

AC4 was made by a different team for xbox one and ps4 yet that did not look that good or that much better than the ps3 versions
Commented on 2014-08-20 18:38:12 In reply to lilmarkuk
Ok, dark10x saw the game for real a week ago and he's a tech entusiast but you know better. You lucky dog. :)

Talk about balls...
Commented on 2014-08-20 19:16:03
where are the videos?
Commented on 2014-08-20 20:41:56
.
Commented on 2014-08-20 20:52:43
Seems obvious to have used UE4 and just made it current-gen. :(

Oh well, at least there's Tekken 7. :)
Commented on 2014-08-21 00:09:35
MK-X doesn't look too bad, however i was expecting a lot from that CG trailer they first showed. still might be a fun game to play.

Tekken 7 started out with a much lower-key trailer. My expectations of that game is pretty high. I hope they take advantage of the new UE4 engine. the engine has been getting lots of praise by many content creators, i can tell by the youtube blowout it has of users getting their hands on it.

someone even imported Lighting from FFXIII into UE4.
http://facepunch.com/showthread.php?t=1378327&p=45...

crazy stuff!!
Commented on 2014-08-21 02:46:03 In reply to lilmarkuk
Posted by lilmarkuk
meh because yet again a developer is chicken its on the old consoles too and you can tell, the game does not look all that great or different from the last game.

ill skip this one and get the next if its only on ps4 and xbox one
Game dev is chicken??


Theres 80 million PS3s sold as of 2013 and there have to have sold more by now.
Theres also 80 some million xbox 360s whiles theres barely 15 million of BOTH Xbone and PS4 combined.

Who is chicken now?

Making the game for all those platforms is a wise move.

last gen Mortal Kombat needed improvements, no doubt they will do so and the current gen consoles will just have "perks" as usual.

Add up all those consoles and you have the potential for a huge sales fest that you are gonna be taking photos of wiping your butt with 100s notes.
Commented on 2014-08-21 05:02:04 In reply to Akumajo
Posted by Akumajo
Making the game for all those platforms is a wise move.
Comparing sales of games on current gen vs. last gen shows that the old platforms sell next to nothing by comparison. And by watering things down technically in order to be cross-gen, developers are creating a lower-quality product overall. There's no reason, outside of a next-gen launch window, to ever develop for the previous gen when building a game from the ground up.

Guess what, there's over 150M PS2s out there! But guess what, how many are still being played? Certainly there are more PS3/X360 players, but those players have been dropping like flies for some time now.

Going cross-gen was a mistake, plain and simple.
Commented on 2014-08-21 08:38:51
X-ellent article :)
I'm still bummed about cross-gen feeling of visuals but this is still my most anticipated retail game alongside Bloodborne.

Also, a huge thanks for a more in-depth graphical analysis, especially compared to all the other sites that just say "Oh it looks good" or "bad".
Commented on 2014-08-21 09:01:44
Gotta say I'm not super hyped for this one and i LOVED MK9. Think they went with a questionable direction w/ the 3 versions of each character, I just don't find that appealing at all. Also will echo what others have said that it doesn't look great aesthetically.
Commented on 2014-08-21 17:11:12 In reply to theshape31
The difference between the PS2 and Xbox360/PS3 is 2 of them were just "replaced" market wise where the PS2 has been essentially obselete for a few years.
Commented on 2014-08-22 01:07:26
the game doesn' t look that good? Do you really thing that Tekken 7 will look leagues ahead of Tekken Tag 2. The only thing you will get this generation is more post processing effects. The new title on the xbox one, and PS4 can barely compete with PC games from a year ago. You are not going to get the leap that u had from the Playstation 1 to PS2,: Cross gen development or not.
Commented on 2014-08-22 02:36:48 In reply to theshape31
Posted by theshape31
Comparing sales of games on current gen vs. last gen shows that the old platforms sell next to nothing by comparison. And by watering things down technically in order to be cross-gen, developers are creating a lower-quality product overall. There's no reason, outside of a next-gen launch window, to ever develop for the previous gen when building a game from the ground up.

Guess what, there's over 150M PS2s out there! But guess what, how many are still being played? Certainly there are more PS3/X360 players, but those players have been dropping like flies for some time now.

Going cross-gen was a mistake, plain and simple.
Your argument is filled with flawed holes.

You are ignorantly dismissing the power of PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 and the fact that their dev tools are over 7 years mature so the only limitations are pretty obvious.

The new platforms are obviously gonna have their perks...but guess what?

It cost money, no matter how "easy to dev for" a console is, it cost $$$$ and it needs to MAKE money back as well.

The best way to look at this is that games like these are going to sell huge and help finance future game development in current gen consoles which btw no matter how easy they are or claim to be, it still takes 3 years on average to create a custom full power 3d engine that takes full advantage of the hardware and both PS4 and XBone are nearly the same crap hardware wise.
Commented on 2014-08-22 02:50:04
money doesn't grow on trees and so far last gen only Call of Duty was able to secure the double digit million copies sold.
for that reason the newer Call of Duty games may benefit from more talent being hired if thats what they do because they have to...since Battlefield is becoming huge competition for them.
Capcom keeps refining and revising and making their game tighter, at least they have steady sales but they have nothing like those Call of Duty sales and I am not comparing a first person shooter to a fighting game...I am talking sales and what it takes to get videogames made is not some "magic" money that comes out of nowhere.

It is a wise move to make it for all those platforms, no doubt Netherrealms will try to make sure that each console gets some special perks and parity...so xbox 360 and PS3 will have similar graphics but different perks...
PS4 and XBone will also have their higher graphics...which is hard to quantify right now but they will have their perks and PC is just PC...who cares...consoles can pop a game and play in less than a couple minutes...PC is a different platform.
Commented on 2014-08-22 03:08:32 In reply to Akumajo
Posted by Akumajo
PC is just PC...who cares...consoles can pop a game and play in less than a couple minutes...PC is a different platform.
I can boot into my PC pretty fast off of my SSD, and boot between games faster than many can swap out blu-rays. :)

PC is NOT as old school as many would believe. steam has a console mode for which you can boot up at the push of a power button.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCNZ9AVMkU4

you can even type and browse the net all off of your controller if you like.
Commented on 2014-08-27 02:25:12 In reply to GunsnSwords
Posted by GunsnSwords
I can boot into my PC pretty fast off of my SSD, and boot between games faster than many can swap out blu-rays. :)

PC is NOT as old school as many would believe. steam has a console mode for which you can boot up at the push of a power button.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCNZ9AVMkU4

you can even type and browse the net all off of your controller if you like.
You are getting overly defensive of the flaws of PCs...its a Microsoft Windows platform.
Microsoft prefers gamers buy Xbox because they get a cut on every game sold, unlike PC.
SSDs are not standard equipment and sounds like you built your own...good for you however the other million people who have PCs are NOT going to have identical specs and are not going to really be playing games on their PCs.

PC gaming is a nice novelty...its nice...thats about it...its not efficient nor functionally dependable for gaming. or sales.
Commented on 2014-08-27 16:07:11 In reply to Akumajo
Posted by Akumajo
SSDs are not standard equipment
...lol
Posted by Akumajo
PC gaming is a nice novelty...its nice...thats about it...its not efficient nor functionally dependable for gaming. or sales.
This stuff is rich! Keep'm coming.
Posted by Akumajo
You are getting overly defensive of the flaws of PCs...its a Microsoft Windows platform.
There was no defense given here, nor is there any really needed.
Commented on 2014-08-27 16:23:42
Christ, who took him off his meds? XD

PC has a perfectly justifiable place in gaming (although Skyrim is a complete pig to play with no controller support - horrible!), but I don't want to be the next victim on his day release, so I won't go any further... :oS

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