‘Ooo, ahh.’ It always starts that way, and then comes all the running and screaming.

The best looking Mortal Kombat is back! Nearly a year since MKX‘s initial release, here we are with a couple of different releases. There is the new standalone version of the game, or you can purchase the character pack featuring Triborg, Bo Rai Cho, Leatherface, and Alien for $19.99. If you don’t own a copy of Mortal Kombat X, you will want to go right to the complete XL version. This way you won’t be paying double the price to get the 9 additional characters (yes we counted Goro). This review is an extension of last year’s review of Mortal Kombat X. The old portions of the game remain unchanged. The XL version simply adds new characters and costumes through a series of downloads.

Right before XL‘s release, there was a really large patch introduced to the base game. The pre-existing character roster was balanced out. An improved netcode was incorporated for smoother online play across all versions of the game. And of course, the new content was introduced. In NetherRealm Studios’ classic fashion, they incorporated a new weekly ladder into the game titled “Who’s Next?” which allows players to try out all four of the MKXL exclusive characters, and their variations. Even if you don’t get the new game, you will be running into the new characters. So knowing that Ed Boon is all about the Easter eggs, we can safely assume there will be some other bonuses introduced into the single player content.

The four latest characters are welcome additions to the roster. Triborg is actually the culmination of four different robot ninja characters from previous entries into the MK series. For his variations, you get to choose between Sektor, Cyrax, Smoke, and Cyber Sub-Zero (press Up, Up, triangle/Y when choosing a variation to get Cyber Sub-zero). They play well together when it comes to fatalities. MKXL has configurable “friendships” where you summon another cyber ninja to help you nuke an enemy together. The bromance is real.

Triborg Sektor Brutality

Another character from MK‘s past, Bo Rai Cho enters the game with an extensively deep style that will keep you busy. He is a formidable opponent when he doesn’t stop to vomit or drink booze. Let’s face it, Bo Rai Cho loves to party. His drunken kung fu variation benefits from reaching different levels of drunkenness by enabling numerous special moves until he sobers up. He has a fart that stuns the opponent that can be used mid-combo that is distasteful but effective.

Lastly, we have our horror movie staples: Leatherface and Alien. Mortal Kombat X has done a great job treating Warner Brothers’ Horror IPs with respect and giving them the full cinematic thrill they deserve. Leatherface has some morbid different ‘skins’ he can wear that dictate his play style. And we all know that Alien will probably play based on what he had for lunch. Alien has a long tail and uses it for effective midrange combos and grabs. He also can be a more acidic version, one with drones and facehuggers, or one that probably burst out of the chest of Baraka.

Leatherface Mortal Kombat XL

Still a force to be reckoned with, Mortal Kombat XL represents a complete game experience for both multi and single-player. While Mortal Kombat may still have a way to go before it catches up to Street Fighter‘s gameplay, it’s definitely not lacking in the content department. If you are a late adopter to this game, and went right to MKXL without having to pay for a bunch of DLC, consider yourself lucky.

Mortal Kombat XL Review
Tons of characters with multiple variations.Deep, balanced and exciting gameplay.Tons of extras and well thought out content.
Still not on the gameplay wavelength of a Street Fighter game.Getting into online play this late during the lifecycle of the game might be hard. Combos have to be dialed in precisely to work.
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