NetherRealm Studio brought their playable Gamescom build of their newest entry in the legendary fighting franchise, Mortal Kombat X to the United States for the first time at the 'Prime' Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle last weekend.
But before we get to our hands-on preview, today the news hit of a release date and a special character reveal. Mortal Kombat X will ship on April 14, 2015. Goro is the latest character reveal, but there’s a small catch - you have to preorder the game to play him at launch.
Developed especially for the current gen consoles, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 (adaptions for the PS3, PC and Xbox 360 are in development via the third party firm High Voltage Software) looks fantastic, the power of the young consoles are being harnessed to the greatest extent to date as each character and environment is packed with outrageous detail.
In play its clear that NetherRealm has examined their previous two fighting titles: Mortal Kombat (2011) (aka MK9) and the DC Universe throw-down Injustice: Gods Among Us and selected features from both to enhance the new game's experience. Though multi-area areas like Injustice: Gods Among Us' three-part Metropolis stage are absent, the concept of interactive background objects made the leap and since this is a Mortal Kombat game: they take on a distinctly more marabe form. For example a fight taking place in the Outworld Market features an old woman in the background and if you think you can't grab her and (hilariously) throw her at you opponent like a sack of potatoes, you'd be wrong.
From Mortal Kombat (2011) the three-part power meter returns, allowing for an enhanced attack with one meter, a combo breaker with two and the now-signature bone breaking/eyeball exploding/organ crushing x-ray attack with all three. New to the series though is a two part sprint meter that you can use to dash twice before it has to regen and most significantly each character has three 'Variations' in how each character plays.
Unlike the weapon system seen in MK4, each of the fighter's Variations alter how the character plays, for example surefire breakout character Cassie Cage's (the gun-toting, sunglasses wearing, bubblegum chewing daughter of Sonya Blade and Johnny Cage) three styles are: Spec-Ops, which lets her call in airstrikes (since she followed her mother's path into the Armed Services); Hollywood, which lets her shoot two guns while jumping though the air and use her father's 'nut-punch' attack; and Brawler which kind of mixes the two and is more focused on martial technique.
While no new characters were announced at PAX, hints at the game's story were confirmed. The action takes place after events of the time-line altering Mortal Kombat (2011) in three different periods: 5, 10 and 25 years after the near-apocalyptic events of that game. There is also news of a persistent online experience where players from around the world “compete for supremacy.”
When pressed for more details, the developers and producers present let it be known that the whole history of the franchise was kept in mind when time comes for references and Easter eggs, but there is no news on a challenge mode like The Tower in the previous Mortal Kombat game. Fans of the Injustice comic that came out of that game and has gone on to great success might be disappointed. As that book was completely a production of DC and not NetherRealm, there are no plans for a comic to fill in the gaps in the new game.
Mortal Kombat X hits April 14, 2015.