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    Mortal Kombat X: More Characters

    It’s more than just a line. It’s something that every gamer can identify. It's synonymous with a franchise that has helped change fighting games into the shape we know today. It’s so iconic, that whenever we hear it we know exactly which series we’re talking about. Now, Mortal Kombat X will arrive shortly, so get over here and read what NetherRealm Studios is doing with it.
    Mortal Kombat X  will bring numerous tweaks, refinements and complete game-changers to the formula. Graphically, the game is taking full advantage of the Unreal Engine 3 with which it was built. Characters are highly detailed, the lighting looks realistic, and the arena backgrounds are crammed with immersive details like civilians or animals going about their business. The animations are also noticeably improved, and NetherRealm has stated they are aiming for 60 fps in gameplay.
    The Unreal Engine should also allow for a lot of scalability, so the game should look good across all its consoles.

    Besides the looks, the game handles differently. It’s faster-paced, and feels similar to Injustice. Most noticeable is the increased environmental interactivity: a quick tap of a shoulder button will either let you escape a corner, or slam a nearby wooden barrel into your opponent’s jaw. X-Ray Moves also return from  MK9  and are even more gruesome than ever.

    Another exciting feature is the characters’ Variant Styles. Each character has three different fighting styles, based around some core tenet. Selecting a style locks you into it for the duration of a fight, and gives you different moves, combos, and tactics to learn. For example, if you play as Scorpion with his Ninjutsu style, then you’ll be using far more weapon combos and sword attacks, whereas his Hellfire Variant is based more on ranged attacks and other fiery shenanigans. What the Variant Styles essentially do is triple the number of characters, and requires you to learn more about your favourite character (and your opponents) if you want to succeed.
    “Mortal Kombat X is clearly turning the violence dial up to 11.”
    And finally, the gore. Oh the gore.  Mortal Kombat X  is clearly turning the violence dial up to 11. Watching an X-Ray Move or an iconic Fatality makes you want to simultaneously cringe and cheer at the detail. Bones will be pulverised into chips, eyeballs will pop, and enough blood will be shed to keep a hospital well stocked with O-negative for years to come.

    Any fighting game depends on two things: its fighting system and characters. And besides violence and ultra-gore, the Mortal Kombat franchise has always been famous for its characters. Where the first game only had seven,  MK X  will have 24. Some of these are new faces, but a lot are series veterans and returning favourites.

    Obviously, it wouldn't be an  MK  game without series mascots Scorpion and Sub-Zero. Scorpion plays as the series’ anti-hero: he’s been killed before and now he’s back with a vengeance, spewing both hellfire and killer catchphrases. Sub-Zero, his eternal rival, has always been more of a good guy. His ice powers can be used in many ways to hinder or freeze your opponent solid.

    Two more characters returning from MK1 are Kano and Raiden. Kano enters the arena with both his iconic Australian accent (which we can thank the movies for) as well as his cybernetic enhancements. Older and meaner in  MK X , his Variant Styles include using fast-hitting dagger combos, ranged laser attacks, or a grappling system that is sure to appeal to higher-level fighters.

    Raiden on the other hand is still the God of Thunder, and still the main champion for good. After saving the universe by retconning the series in MK9, he is now squaring off against newcomer and emperor of Outworld, Kotal Kahn. His Variant Styles change up how he uses his powers, either for fast and intense combos, or to place traps and control the battlefield.

    The last two confirmed veterans are the demon Quan Chi and the fan-favourite four-fisted Goro. Quan Chi’s gameplay style is focused around sneaky-play and controlling the fight through unpredictable tactics. One variation of his style sees him summoning a giant demonic bat to fight alongside him, while another lets him freely use portals in a way that would make GLaDOS proud.

    As for Goro, our favourite Shokan warrior is only available through pre-order. And besides his announcement, nothing else has been shown yet of his fighting style. We can only speculate that he will be a handful…  [Oh you! Ed]

    With twelve other characters still to be announced, it’s a fair bet that we will see many more old faces. Given that MK X takes place 25 years after MK9, it will be interesting to see how the mortal characters, like Liu Kang or Kung Lao, have aged.
    “...25 years into the future, introducing a new generation of fighters, among them the daughter of Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade named Cassie Cage.”
    Details on the plot are sketchy at this point in time, but we can confirm that it takes place shortly after the previous game’s conclusion. It also looks set to traverse itself 25 years into the future, introducing a new generation of fighters, among them the daughter of Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade named Cassie Cage. Perhaps the most interesting new twist is that the game’s iconic Outworld now has
    a new ruler named Kotal Kahn. Unlike the 2011 game,  Mortal Kombat X  will be a new, original story instead of a retelling of the franchise’s history.

    Mortal Kombat X  promises to introduce more new fighters than any of the previous games in the series. We already mentioned the lovechild of a Sonya Blade/Johnny Cage union, and this will be accented by the addition of D'Vorah; a female clad in monk-like robes and modelled on the theme of bees and venom. Her attacks consist of the use of stings and assorted insect appendages.

    We’ll also be treated to a dual-character in the form of Ferra and Torr: a small woman riding on the back of a large, masked brute. Ferra, the female, looks set to attack her opponents with claws whilst Torr appears to be the unrestrained muscle of the alliance.

    The aforementioned Kotal Kahn is clearly modelled on Aztec sensibilities, and bears more than a passing resemblance to the historical Montezuma. He’s a god and his particular alignment will be at the player’s choosing, be it a deity of the sun, war or blood. He also supports an impressive array of tattoos on his upper body, and the colour of these will reflect his particular position.

    With the exception of Cassie Cage, all these new characters appear to be somewhat dark and foreboding, and we can assume they’ll likely be on the side of evil.

    Much like the story, the actual number of stages remains a mystery, but a handful of the playable arenas have been demonstrated in the game’s various showings. They include The Kove, a shipping port in the ancient Japanese style which is seemingly besieged by a persistent storm and sentient rocks.

    Then we have the Jungle, which appears to be Kotal Kahn’s domain and a fitting match for his Aztec theming. It’s a lush, tropical arena that seems to be situated in a shallow river bed on a jungle crossing.

    There’s also the Outworld Marketplace, clearly taking its influence from a mixture of medieval and middle-eastern settings to show us the more mundane aspects of everyday life in that otherwise mystical realm. Strange beasts and non-human creatures lurk in the background and watch as the fighters duke it out.

    Finally, we have the Snow Forest which featured prominently in the game’s announcement trailer. It looks as if it’s similar to the infamous Living Forest that made its debut in  Mortal Kombat II , complete with a dark and sinister theme and the likelihood of being haunted. It’s entirely possible that tree limbs may be used as a defence or an attack.

    This next Mortal Kombat certainly looks like it’s got a lot going for it, and NetherRealm have proved that they’re not afraid to make the changes that they deem necessary. Between the variant fighting styles, interactive environments, and even the introduction of a character as narratively-significant as Cassie Cage, there’s plenty to be excited about.

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