For weeks, NetherRealm Studios' head Ed Boon had been teasing gamers about a Mortal Kombat X reveal ahead of E3 2014. Armed with a series of cryptic number puzzles, the fan-favorite game designer counted down the days - ending with a Mortal Kombat X announcement trailer. Featuring a gorgeous (and brutal) battle between series icons Scorpion and Sub-Zero, some gamers were still skeptical of the teaser - which was more of a cinematic teaser than a full gameplay reveal. Nevertheless, fans didn't have to wait long - as NetherRealm Studios unleashed a full gameplay trailer days later during Sony's E3 2014 Media Briefing.
The trailer once again put the focus on Scorpion and Sub-Zero but also included newcomer fighters D'Vorah as well as partner combatants Torr and Ferra. With the gameplay reveal behind him, Boon has turned his attention to offering further insight into what the studio has planned for Mortal Kombat X - new playable characters, updated fighting mechanics, and a continuation of the Mortal Kombat (9) storyline.
Speaking during a Sony Live Event, Boon clarified a number of new details that fans noticed in the gameplay trailer while also offering a sneak peek at what NetherRealm will be revealing in the coming months.
You can watch a chunk of the live event below:
First off, on the subject of fighting mechanics, Boon revealed that each fighter will have access to three different combat variations. For example, Scorpion will utilize "Hellfire," "Inferno," and "Ninjutsu" styles. Of course, this isn't the first time that Mortal Kombat has toyed with the idea of multiple combat modes for each character. Back in 2002, Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance introduced a similar concept - with two fighting styles and one weapon mode for each character. The idea was later reduced to one fighting style with an alternate weapon mode in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon - until the mechanic was streamlined by reintegrating weapon use into combos and special moves for Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe (and Mortal Kombat 9).
Given that the studio had explored, and then abandoned, multiple fighting styles it's interesting to see the concept coming back again - especially since Mortal Kombat 9 was celebrated for recapturing classic Mortal Kombat gameplay. Yet, for Mortal Kombat X, the combat styles are selected ahead of time, during the player select screen, and act more like a perk system - as opposed to changing-up combat styles mid-match. For example, Scorpion's "Ninjutsu" variation adds dual sword-wielding special moves whereas his "Inferno" variation adds the ability to summon a demonic minion. Similarly, D'Vorah's "Blood Mother" variation adds Krawler and Bug Blast special moves.
While some gamers might initially be skeptical or overwhelmed by the mechanic, it's a cool way to diversify match-ups and allow players customization within the confines of a character they already like - without forcing them to memorize three separate fighting styles (a major criticism of previous alternate style/weapon systems).
Boon remained mostly tight-lipped on what gamers will see in the Mortal Kombat X plot - though he asserted the game will pick-up right after Mortal Kombat 9 and feature a storyline that reaches 25 years into the future - but the developer openly revealed two more characters that gamers will play in the final build. In addition to Scorpion, Sub-Zero, D'Vorah and Ferra/Torr, Boon showcased Cassie Cage and Kotal Kahn. While little is known about Kahn at this point, though we can presume he is in some way connected to series antagonist Shao Kahn, NetherRealm was much more forthcoming about Cassie Cage (the daughter of Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade) - who borrows moves and variations from both iconic characters.
Check out images of the new characters below (along with a glimpse at the combat style select system):
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Lastly, hands-on previews with the game suggest that Mortal Kombat X has one more finishing move slot than Mortal Kombat 9 - which allowed for two Fatalities, one Babality, and one Stage Fatality (as well as one Classic Fatality in select characters). With five finishing moves across the board, could NetherRealm be planning to bring back Friendships or Animalities - or possibly introduce an entirely new finisher?
Mortal Kombat X will be arriving at some point in 2015 on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, and PC.
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