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Hands-On with ‘Mortal Kombat X’ for Mobile

mkxlogo1During GDC last week, we were able to sit down with representatives from Warner Bros. and NetherRealm Studios to take a quick peek at Mortal Kombat X for mobile. It was a brief demo and there are still many questions left to be answered, but we did have a chance to play for ourselves and came away pretty impressed. As pretty much everyone speculated, Mortal Kombat X on mobile is essentially the same formula as Injustice (Free) on mobile, just with Mortal Kombat characters thrown in. That’s simplifying things a bit though, as once you spend a little time with Mortal Kombat X, you can tell that it feels like an in-house NetherRealm game and has a level of polish that WWE Immortals (Free), another Injustice re-skin with WWE characters, just doesn’t have.

First of all, the graphics are several steps above Injustice, which strangely still looked better than the newer WWE Immortals. Background and character details are top-notch, as are the sounds and music. The camera is also in a slightly different spot. In Injustice and Immortals, it’s somewhere in-between a side-view and a behind-the-back view. In Mortal Kombat X the camera is distinctly more side-view like a traditional fighting game. All of these types of differences are small details, but they definitely stand out to someone who has played Injustice everyday for the past two years. While basically the same overall game, this is definitely a step forward from Injustice and much more than a sidestep like Immortals. (I should probably clarify that I love Immortals to death, but it doesn’t have the same level of polish that Injustice has. That’s not a problem at all with Mortal Kombat X.)

So for whatever reason we weren’t allowed to take any video of our demo, which had the game running on an iPad, but the fine folks over at DroidGamers apparently were allowed to capture footage of the mobile Mortal Kombat X running on an Android tablet. It should give you a very good idea of what the combat in the game is like, including special moves and fatalities.

So what other new things are in Mortal Kombat X for mobile? Well there’s the Faction Wars, which is a feature that’s also in the console and PC versions of the game, and it’s pretty much what you’d expect. Join up with a Faction and then compete online to be the best Faction in the world. What’s cool is that the mobile version’s Faction Wars work with the console and PC versions of the game, so you can contribute to your Faction winning even while playing on the go. Another new feature is the Champion character, which is a character you choose that your friends can call on and utilize during their time playing and vice versa. It’s a pretty cool idea, but I’ll need to play much more to see how impactful this feature will be.

As for what we don’t know? Well, we don’t know the exact roster, but that’s something that can always be added on to and expanded in the months and years to come. I expect it’ll be a bit thin at first but that’s okay. We do know there are fatalities in the game, obviously, and at least some of them (or most likely all of them) are the same ones from the console and PC version of the game. However, the reps demoing the game would not confirm if characters have multiple fatalities or if the Brutalities, Babalities or Friendships will be in the mobile version. There was a strong hint that they will, but nothing was confirmed.

Anyway, if you like Injustice or Immortals, I’m certain you’ll love Mortal Kombat X for mobile. For hardcore Injustice fans it’ll feel like a step up for sure, but if you’ve already tired of Injustice then there’s likely not enough new here to pull you back in. Unless you’re a huge Mortal Kombat fan, that is. Personally? This is like the dream come true game for me, I’ve been dying for a Mortal Kombat-ized version of Injustice forever. Look for the mobile version of Mortal Kombat X to launch sometime next month, most likely around the time of its console and PC big brother on April 14th.