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EB Expo 2014: Mortal Kombat X Quan Chi Hands-On Preview
To say I’m excited for Mortal Kombat X would be an understatement. A better word for my feelings towards Netherrealm’s latest might be ecstatic. I absolutely loved the shot-in-the-arm that the last installment gave the series and I’m very keen to see how Ed Boon and the team build on this to really push MKX to the forefront of the fighting game genre once more.
I got to spend some time hands on with the game – and the newly announced Quan Chi – at this year’s EB Expo and came away very impressed with what I played.
While the loading times in the demo build I played wasn’t as quick as I’d like it to be, it still very easy and fast to jump into the game’s multiplayer. The big addition here comes in the form of the new character variations which split each member of the game’s roster into different fighting styles and movesets. While there’s a clear and present danger of this either over-complicating or over-simplifying things, I came down on the side of liking this design choice.
Character variations have added a breath of fresh air to classic characters like Raiden and Scorpion and also made the experience of trying and learning new characters like D’Vorrah much more engaging and strategic. With the exception of professional-level players, most Mortal Kombat players won’t use every ability attached to each character in any given fight but by splitting the movesets for each character, Netherrealm have done a great job of shaking up MKX’s multiplayer – both in terms of variety and balance.
Another thing that struck me about MKX were the visuals and overall look. It’s got a darker grey-on-black color scheme going for it and while it does share some engine similarities with MK9, it definitely looks like a game that has an identity of its own. In particular, Mortal Kombat X looks like it’ll be taking that great balance between style and detail that Mortal Kombat 9 used to reimagine classics stages and applying to some fresh new ones.
A similar level of deliberation and care has been taken with the game’s new characters. Ferra/Torr is a character with a fun design to it and her potential to hit hard and fast challenges you to make the most of every move. On the other end of the scale, D’Vorah was very agile and very quick, easy to learn-hard to master combos made her really fun to play.
Lastly, I have never really spent that much time with Quan Chi in previous Mortal Kombat games but picked the reworked-version of the character in MKX almost immediately. His moveset was a fun mix of quick combos, teleports and dark magic and I can definitely see him becoming a favorite when I spent time with the game proper.