Mortal Kombat X is a fighting video game developed by NetherRealm Studios. It is the tenth main installment in the Mortal Kombat video game series and was released on April 14, 2015 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows, scheduled to be ported to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 by High Voltage Software. Nether Realm’s mobile team developed a version for iOS and Android devices.
Like previous Mortal Kombat games, Mortal Kombat X ’s gameplay consists of two players, or one player and the CPU, fighting against each other with their selected character, using a large, varied array of attacks. The game contains several modes such as a story mode, which takes place two years after the previous Mortal Kombat game, numerous online modes, and the ‘Krypt’, a mode played in a first-person perspective where players explore the areas unlocking useful items.
Officially announced in June 2014, Mortal Kombat X received positive reviews from critics upon release with some reviewers calling it the best game in the Mortal Kombat series, while particularly disliking the online playability.
Mortal Kombat X is a fighting game in which two players fight against each other using a variety of attacks, special moves, and gruesome Fatalities. The energy meter, first introduced in the previous Mortal Kombat game, allows players to perform techniques such as “X-Ray” special moves. Similarly to NetherRealm Studios’ previous title, Injustice: Gods Among Us, fighters are able to interact with the environment, bouncing off areas to reposition themselves or using parts of the environment as weapons. In addition, each fighter has three different variations, each featuring a different set of moves they can use during the fight: for example, the character Scorpion features a Ninjutsu variation in which he wields dual swords, a Hellfire variation which relies more on fiery special moves, and an Inferno variation which allows him to summon hellspawn minions to aid him in the fight. The sprint gauge, which was last seen in Mortal Kombat 4/Gold, returns in this game. MKX features two new types of finishing moves: Quitality, which will instantly kill a player’s character if they quit during a multiplayer match; and Faction Kills, finishing moves tied to each of the game’s five factions. Brutality finishing moves make a comeback, although different from the ones featured in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. Brutalities now take the form of enhanced versions of certain moves that are triggered when said move is used as the final attack when winning the final round in a fight, provided certain conditions are met. In addition, the game features stage Brutalies (largely equivalent to the Stage Fatalities featured in previous games), which are triggered when certain environment interactions are used to finish the opponent.
The game’s play modes include Story, 1 vs. 1 Ranked, King of the Hill, Survivor, and Test Your Luck. A new addition called Living Towers is an evolved form of Mortal Kombat’s Challenge Tower where the play conditions will be changing every hour. Another new mode is Faction Wars, where the players will have to choose one from the five factions (Black Dragon, the Brotherhood of Shadow, the Lin Kuei, Special Forces, and White Lotus) to align with and join a persistent online cross-platform competition with the others, winning points for their faction to contribute in the conflict between them, ranking up personally, and earning special rewards such as faction-specific finishing moves (one of which is unlocked to the player if their faction win at the end of any given week).
Development: NetherRealm Studios began publicly hiring for the eighth generation development in April 2012. In July 2013, it was confirmed that a new Mortal Kombat game was in development and was said to be released alongside the film series’ reboot in September 2015. At the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con, Lance Sloan, producer of the web series Mortal Kombat: Legacy, confirmed the next Mortal Kombat game to be in production, and that there were intentions of a simultaneous release between the game and a new Mortal Kombat film.
In February 2014, actor Kiefer Sutherland claimed he was participating in this “huge game” in an unidentified role. The following June, Sutherland’s involvement was denied by series creator Ed Boon. According to the resume of Karen Strassman, who voiced Kitana and Mileena in 2011’s Mortal Kombat, the game’s working title was Mortal Kombat 2. The game’s poster was leaked and an updated version of the series’ iconic dragon logo was revealed on May 28, 2014. Boon posted daily riddles on his Twitter account that constituted a countdown suggesting a June 2 announcement date, hinting at the game’s title being Mortal Kombat X. One of the Twitter clues left by Boon teasing this title was the image of a Lincoln MKX emblem posted with the comment, “I wonder what the X stands for?
On June 2, 2014, the title was indeed officially revealed as Mortal Kombat X, alongside an official reveal trailer featuring a fight between the iconic characters Scorpion and Sub-Zero. The game made its first public appearance at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2014, starting on June 10, where four new characters were revealed, apart from the two already revealed by the trailer. With over eleven million views, it was the third-highest viewed trailer on YouTube in the second quarter of 2014.
NetherRealm Studios said they are only working on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of the game. The game, which runs at 1080p screen resolution and 60 FPS, has been said to feature the most brutal finishing moves in the series. Boon said: “We have these meetings and everyone comes up with ideas for Fatalities. The ones that people say ‘there’s no way we can do that’ – they’re the first ones we work on.”
Due to heavy criticism for the porting issues in the PC version of the game, in June 2015, the development of the PC port was taken off High Voltage Software’s hands, and handed over to Polish studio QLOC, responsible for the PC port of Ultra Street Fighter IV.
Release: Mortal Kombat X was released for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on April 14, 2015; on March 13, 2015, it was announced that the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 ports had been delayed. Four characters, including two classic Mortal Kombat characters and two guest characters, as well as character skins, will be released as downloadable content, both individually and through the game’s season pass (“Kombat Pack”), which offers early access to the content. The game’s Kollector’s Edition includes a figurine of Scorpion and character skin based on it, as well as the season pass.
Mortal Kombat X Mobile: On March 2, 2015, NetherRealm Studios announced that their mobile division would release an iOS/Android version of Mortal Kombat X in April 2015. The mobile version is described as a “free-to-play fighting/card-battler hybrid” and players will be able to unlock content in the console version of the game by playing the mobile version (and vice versa). The iOS version was released worldwide on April 7, 2015, while the Android version was soft launched on April 21, 2015 in select Asian countries and was officially launched worldwide on May 4, 2015.