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Mortal Kombat X hands-on preview: Kombat refined

Hayden Dingman | Feb. 9, 2015
Mortal Kombat X refines Mortal Kombat's reboot of the storied, spine-ripping franchise.

And lest you think everyone will join the same faction day one and game the system, I did confirm with NetherRealm that there's some sort of point balancing going on in the back-end.

It reminds me of Halo, Battlefield 4, or Destiny, where we started to see some sort of convergence between the typical multiplayer unlock schema and those who mainly want to play singleplayer. It's not necessarily something you have to engage in, but for those who want that extra layer of metagame? It's there.

On the "Living Tower"
One of the modes revived for Mortal Kombat IX was the "Tower"--basically a play on the original arcade cabinet's singleplayer, which had you defeat progressively harder enemies through to the end.

Mortal Kombat IX 's Tower was super long though, with 300 stages to progress through. As it turns out that was maybe too many for a lot of people. I chatted with Goodman about this--I started the Tower but never bothered finishing it, and while he said more people finished the mode than NetherRealm expected many did the same as me and quit part-way through.

For Mortal Kombat X, NetherRealm is revamping the idea into what they call the "Living Tower." There are three separate tracks: Quick Tower, Daily Tower, and Premier Tower.

The Quick Tower is five fights long and NetherRealm expects to change up what those five fights are every two to three hours. The Daily Tower is a bit longer, and will be refreshed every 24 hours, as you might expect. Lastly, the Premier Tower is going to be a special challenge trotted out around specific events. In other words, there might be a Halloween Tower or something along those lines.

Themed how, you ask? The Tower fights will allow you to bring in any character you want, unlike Mortal Kombat IX's Tower (which required you to complete each of the 300 challenges with a specific character). Fights will still revolve around modifiers though--for instance, one fight might have bombs dropping out of the sky, while in the next fight the ground continually slopes back and forth and whoever's higher up gets hit with environmental attacks.

Whether the inclusion of these modifiers means that Mortal Kombat X will bring back my favorite mode from Mortal Kombat IX--"Test Your Luck," which was a 1v1 multiplayer mode with random effects applied to each fight--NetherRealm declined to comment.

Either way, the new approach to the Tower seems like a better decision than 300 static fights, despite the cred you attained if you ever completed that mode in Mortal Kombat IX. In fact, the whole game's looking pretty good. And pretty brutal.

Mortal Kombat X is slated for an April release.


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