Haven Review: Mortal Kombat XL

Mortal-Kombat-XLFirst up is our disclaimer. We received this game for review purposes only, and as such all opinions in this review are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

Now I know a lot of people grew up with Mortal Kombat. I for one mainly played it at my local pizza joint growing up…that and Street Fighter. I never really did get into the former; not because of how gruesome the games are and not that I have a issue with blood, it’s just not my thing in general. I prefer more vibrant games, like the latter.

However going into this version of Mortal Kombat, I knew it wouldn’t be the game I played as a child. I loaded it up and started playing.mkxl_launchscreenshot_alien Right from the start my ears were almost blown out by how loud the game was, even on low settings! But I was impressed at what came next with the clans, and how players can increase how far their clans can progress on a global basis. I haven’t noticed anything like this so far in this game’s primary competitor, Street Fighter V, and so I really enjoyed it. I even picked the White Lotus, not because of Raiden, but because the same group exists in Avatar: The Last Airbender. So I figured why not, right?

Afterwards, I wanted to try out the mechanics and how the game handled. I saw the selection of characters, including Alien, Predator, Jason Voorhees and Johnny Cage. Now keep in mind, I know almost nothing about the plot and the characters, outside of the fact that I know Johnny Cage is hilarity incarnate. I was also really happy to see characters I know, not only from other game series but also from movies; Predator and Alien at the forefront. That gave me something to take the game a bit more seriously.neon_0001_540h

So I picked Alien, loaded up the game and gave it a try. I was amazed at just how smooth and fine-tuned the mechanics are. They’re infinitely better than the issues I faced in Street Fighter V, and after talking with a friend who happens to own both, he agreed. I found the visuals of the game stunning as well, even more so with the fatalities and the amount of detail that went to traditional Mortal Kombat animations. All that work just stood out to me and I loved playing it.

But this is a review, so I can’t just focus on only combat. Stepping away from that I decided to take a look into the “Krypt”, as it’s called. It seems like turning “Cs” into “Ks” hasn’t lost its charm. Once I loaded up the Krypt I was given some Koins…yep, charm.mkx_kombat_pack_2.0.0

However while I was there, I noticed the game changes things up. Instead of being a fighting game, I was given this dungeon explorer feel where I could venture around and break statues. You can unlock extra content by spending Koins (like making fatalities easier to pull off). I found it an interesting concept but remained unimpressed by its implications. Nothing about it made it really stand out to me and I found it kind of boring. Their current setup has me walking around, not knowing how much each statue will cost to break open. It wound up being more confusing than it should have been. However I must say, that in the “extras” they not only give tribute to the concept art drawn for the game, but they also included fan-art. This includes a cosplay picture or two, and a few other tidbits. I honestly think this is really cool.7600eb53-741b-42ba-bcb3-b04e39d84819._CB327985138_

The fact that a game company would go out of their way to show some level of appreciation to fans of their franchise is something you don’t really see that often. In the end though, I actually had a great time playing Mortal Combat XL; more so than I had with Street Fighter V. It runs smoother, controls great and the announcer is as loud as ever…just as he was back on the classic arcade machines!

If you can stomach the levels of gore, I recommend picking it up and playing it. White Lotus for the win all the way!

-Daniel Clatworthy-
MortalCombat