Mortal Kombat X Preview

With the upcoming release of Mortal Kombat X the development team at NetherRealm Studios mixed things up to create what could be the biggest and best Mortal Kombat to date

Release Date: 17/07/2014
Mortal Kombat X for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC at GAME

MK for the new generation

Mortal Kombat went back to the beginning with the release of Mortal Kombat 9, also known as Mortal Kombat. With the upcoming release of Mortal Kombat X (that's X, not 10), the development team at NetherRealm Studios mixed things up to create what could be the biggest and best Mortal Kombat to date. Although it's difficult to top the 64-character roster of Mortal Kombat Armageddon, MKX may have found a way to do this without the need to include every fighter to grace the franchise.

Get strategic with unique fighting styles

In Mortal Kombat X, every character will have three separate fighting styles. Once you select your character, you must then determine which fighting style you wish to use, and most of the trademark special moves these characters have used throughout the series reappear in every fighting style. For example, Sub-Zero's fighting styles are Cryomancer, Grand Master and Unbreakable. He can use his patented Ice Ball projectile in all three fighting styles. However, his Ice Clone is only available in the Grand Master fighting style. Meanwhile, he gains the use of ice-based weaponry in the Cyromancer style, and an Ice Parry in the Unbreakable fighting style.

The latest demo of the game featured a character select screen with room for up to 24 competitors. That doesn't mean we'll see 24 characters when the game launches in 2015, but at the moment, the only confirmed returning characters are Sub-Zero, Scorpion and Raiden, with newcomers Kotal Kahn (possibly related to Shao Kahn), Cassie Cage (the daughter of Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade), D'Vorah and Ferra/Torr.

Mortal Kombat X for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC at GAME

Sub-Zero, Scorpion and Raiden play similar to their MK9 counterparts depending on which fighting style you choose. Scorpion's fighting styles are Inferno, Hellfire and Ninjitsu, while Raiden uses Thunder God, Displacer and Storm Lord. D'Vorah controls the insect realm and uses the Swarm Queen, Venomous and Brood Mother fighting styles, while Cassie Cage is a mixture of her parents, using Hollywood (Johnny Cage), Spec Ops (Sonya Blade) and Brawler fighting styles. Ferra/Torr, on the other hand, is two characters in one using the Ruthless, Vicious and Lackey fighting styles. Finally, Kotal Kahn looks like an ancient warrior and uses the War God, Sun God and Blood God fighting styles.

The story of Mortal Kombat X picks up right where MK9 left off, and continues throughout the 25 years that follow. Because of this long span of time, many of the old favourites will not return, replaced by newcomers. Ed Boon, Lead Director for Mortal Kombat X, stated that this MK title will feature more new characters than any previous Mortal Kombat. We can already see the impact of the time span with the daughter of Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade. However, that doesn't mean we won't see Cage or Sonya.

Injustice extends its influence, while past MK features return

Between Mortal Kombat 9 and MKX, NetherRealm released Injustice: Gods Among Us. While that was a different fighting game that didn't have a block button and introduced a few new elements not present in the MK series, Mortal Kombat X was clearly influenced by that title. The stages are far more interactive than in most MK games. While the stage interactions don’t measure up to those found in Injustice, they're far more interactive. The big difference? Players can block these stage interactions, which is the opposite of what happens with Injustice.

Mortal Kombat X for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC at GAME

Not everything in MK was influenced by Injustice. The ability to run, first introduced in Mortal Kombat 3, finally makes a triumphant return. In addition, a new stamina gauge was added just below each character's health gauge. This is similar to the run meter from MK3 and works in almost exactly the same way. You are free to run so long as there's meter left in the stamina gauge. Once it runs out, you have to wait for it to refill before you can run again. This replaces the dash blocking of MK9, which was the preferred way for skilled MK players to quickly move across the screen.

The final bit of Mortal Kombat X information is that the boss of the game is a returning character that may surprise fans. This character is unknown, but speculation runs rampant about who it could possibly be. Shang Tsung? Goro? We’ll have to wait and see.

Round one, fight

On that note, expect to see Mortal Kombat X in 2015 on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Expect plenty of new details, including the gruesome fatalities, in the months ahead.

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