Taking A Look at Fighting Styles
E3 2014 gave us our first look at Mortal Kombat X (actually pronounced Mortal Kombat Ecks) the latest in the Mortal Kombat series. There we gave you a very quick rundown of the game and its systems, but we only had access to five characters. Since then, more and more characters have been revealed, giving us a look at what the final game is likely to look like. Let’s go over what we know so far.
First of all, the core mechanic of Mortal Kombat X is a brand new style system. When you pick a character, you also pick one of three styles. These styles determine how the character fights. While the character’s basic normals and strings stay the same, along with a core set of special moves, style can add new normal, strings, and special moves to a character’s repertoire. For example, Scorpion can choose to specialize in fire, demon summoning, and dual swords. When using his dual sword style, he gains access to different normal strings that increase his combo opportunities. Using fire gives him new projectiles while demon summoning gives him mobility and spacing tools. Aside from that, much of the game plays like Mortal Kombat 9, with a few small adjustments to system mechanics.
We now know all the fighting styles for all of the characters shown at E3. Sub-Zero can use Cryomancer, Unbreakable, and Grandmaster styles. Cryomancer gives him access to new ice techniques, like the classic ice from the ceiling blast from Mortal Kombat 3; Unbreakable gives him defensive techniques, like ice walls and clones; and Grandmaster allows him to make ice weapons, like ice swords and daggers.
Cassie Cage is the daughter of Johnny Cage, and is a fusion of Cage’s own Hollywood Bravado and, oddly enough, Stryker’s hardcore police and military vibe. Her three styles are Hollywood, Spec-Ops, and Brawler. Hollywood makes her play more like Johnny, showboating, nutpunching, and using mid-air attacks. Spec-Ops give her access to grenades and missile strikes in order to control space. Finally, Brawler opens up her hand to hand combat options.
As for the new characters from E3, D’Vorrah, the insect queen, can use the Brood Mother, Swarm Queen, or Venomous styles. Brood Mother allows her to set out crawling insects that operate independent from her, giving her interesting frame traps and new ways to continue pressure. Swarm Queen is all about controlling space with things like a swarm vortex or wasp grenade. Finally, Venomous is all about debuffing the opponent by using attacks that poison them, slow them, and so on.
Kotal Kahn, descendant of Shao Kahn, is a Aztec style god that can buff himself in many different ways. Appropriately, his styles are War God, Sun God, and Blood God. War God is the simplest style, as it gives him a huge weapon to extend his reach. It doesn’t really interact with his buffs much, but it does increase his footsie game. Sun God is based around being defensive and healing himself. As he buffs himself he gets more powerful, and can choose to trade in these buffs for healing. Blood God is the exact opposite. It allows him to trade his own life in order to deal more damage to the opponent. It also allows him to put totems on the ground that produce lasting effects.
Ferra and Tor were the final characters of the E3 build, a giant brute with a tiny child riding on his back. Their three styles focus on grappling, brawling, and using Ferra as a sort of trap character. In the trap style, Ferra can attack independently of Torr, allowing you greater freedom in your setups and mixups. In the grappling style, Torr plays a lot like a traditional grappler, trying to scare the opponent into blocking and taking advantage of the situation when they do. Finally, Torr can take Ferra completely off his back and instead act as a brawler type of character, with high damaging moves with frames of super armor on them.
Several characters have been announced since then, including Raiden, Quan Chi, Kano, and Goro. Unfortunately, details about these characters are a little bit more sparse.
Raiden’s styles have been decently detailed. They are Thunder God, Displacer, and Storm Lord. Thunder God Raiden is perhaps his most straightforward style, implementing new electric projectiles and attacks. Displacer raider, however, focuses on teleports. Some of his teleports are so fast that he can put them in between combos in order to open up new link opportunities. Finally, Storm Lord Raiden is all about controlling space. He can place balls of electricity on the screen that don’t do damage on their own, but if an opponent steps between two, they will fire a bolt of lightning that shocks the opponent and holds them in place.
Quan Chi’s three styles are Warlock, Summoner, and Sorcerer, which don’t tell you a lot about how they differ by name alone. Quan Chi’s sorcerer style buffs his projectile moves and gives him tools to control space, such as the ability to summon pillars of energy from the ground. The warlock style is perhaps my favorite style in the game, as it basically gives you a portal gun. Quan Chi can open up a portal near him, and attack through it to hit the opponent, or can throw an opponent through a portal behind him and have him come out plummeting to the ground. Finally Quan Chi’s summoner variation allows him to summon a bat that can attack independently from him, increasing his combo length and overall granting him better pressure in combat.
Kano is returning and even more of him is cybernetic this time around. His three styles are Cutthroat, Cybernetic, and Commando. His cutthroat style is all about melee. His attack power goes up across the board and he gains new techniques with his knives in order to keep the pressure on. Cybernetic Kano focuses more on ranged attacks, with eye lasers and grenades to supplement his melee capabilities. When Kano is played in commando style, he actually becomes more of a response character. He has a number of grappling moves as well as high and low counter moves, making the opponent scared to both block and attack.
Unfortunately Goro’s styles haven’t been revealed yet, but we do know that he will come as a pre-order bonus.
That’s all the info we have for you right now. We will bring you more information on Mortal Kombat X as it becomes available.