It’s become a common trend to see video games re-released a year or so down the line, this time including all released DLC for the game and typically described as the ‘Game of the Year’ or ‘Definitive’ edition. It’s usually pretty good value, especially if you skipped the game’s original release.
The release of Mortal Kombat XL is really no surprise. Warner Bros have done it before with the previous Mortal Kombat title along with entries in the Batman: Arkham series. What is surprising though is that it’s here less than a year after Mortal Kombat X originally released, and also to coincide with the release of the second ‘Kombat Pack’ DLC too. This isn’t just a cash grab to make more money from the game, but instead offers an opportunity for the fans to pick up the game with all the additional content for a fantastic price.
Mortal Kombat X received universal praise when it was released last year, landing some pretty high review scores across nearly all publications. It featured a fantastic story mode, a great cast of characters, some of the most stunning visuals seen in a fighting game and of course, brutal kombat that sees limbs, blood and guts flying everywhere. What more could you want from a Mortal Kombat game?
Mortal Kombat XL amps up the kontent, bringing with it the base game along with all the previously released DLC. All new characters, extra costumes, an extra environment and even the return of some klassic fatalities – this new edition of Mortal Kombat X includes all the bells and whistles.
Perhaps the most important addition to game are the characters. There’s been two ‘Kombat Packs’ released for the game, each including four new additions – two returning characters and two guest characters. The guest characters trend started in the previous entry in the series with Freddy Krueger from The Nightmare on Elm Street making an appearance. The horror icon was a perfect fit, his horrific appearance and blade gloves working perfectly within the brutal vibe of the game. Horror fans have been in for a treat this time around with not just one but four famous faces showing up – Jason from Friday the 13th, Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Predator from the Predator series and the Alien from the Alien franchise. That’s right – you can re-live the classic Alien vs. Predator battle and see who really would be the victor…
The additional returning characters are just as appealing though. We’ve had Tanya who first appeared in Mortal Kombat 4, the earth shattering Tremor from Mortal Kombat: Special Forces, Liu Kang’s drunken tutor Bo Rai Cho from Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance and all-new entrant Triborg, although he’s based on the Cyber Lin Kuei who first appeared in Mortal Kombat 3.
We’ve seen plenty of Jason, Predator, Tanya and Tremor as they appeared early last year in the initial batch of DLC for Mortal Kombat X – the same can be said for Goro, even if he wasn’t included in the ‘Kombat Pack’. The other characters appearances are brand new and coincide with the launch of Mortal Kombat XL.
Triborg is the only character who is completely new, although he does adopt the move sets and some physical similarities with the Cyber Lin Kuei of whom he imitates – Sektor, Cyrax, Smoke and Cyber Sub-Zero. Anyone who has played as those characters in previous Mortal Kombat titles will know what to expect, with missile launching and teleporting aplenty. I actually missed the presence of the Cyber Lin Kuei in Mortal Kombat X, so having four of them take the role of one character is a great idea in my eyes.
Bo Rai Cho was first seen in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance and quickly established himself as a fan favourite with his drunken fighting style and constant releasing of bodily gases. I suppose he could be considered a bit of a joke character given his drunken demeanour and the fact he likes to fart, but he’s actually pretty pivotal to the overall plot of the game – he did train series favourite Liu Kang, after all. He’s an interesting character to play as and his ‘Drunken Master’ variation is a treat to witness. He’s the least interesting appearance-wise of the new characters, but he’s fun to play as and does come packing a punch.
Leatherface comes with three variations based off his appearances in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies – ‘Killer’ features his typical plaid shirt with an apron, ‘Pretty Lady’ sees him wear a blue suit and a mask with make-up on whilst the ‘Butcher’ variation sees him wearing a red shirt with a somewhat rotting mask. Each variation plays great and sees you swinging around his trademark chainsaw as you wipe out foes, as well as smashing them to pieces with a hammer. You’re even able to put him into a berserker stance, sending him on a chainsaw rampage as he mutilates his foe with minimal fuss. He’s certainly a very fitting addition to the Mortal Kombat XL roster and one I’ve found myself playing as a lot.
Last and certainly not least is the Alien. This isn’t just a standard Xenomorph though – this is a hybrid of a Xenomorph and one of Mortal Kombat’s blade-wielding Tarkatan. I’m sure those who were missing Bararaka’s presence in Mortal Kombat X are pleased! The Alien comes with the classic moves you’ve seen in the movie such as lunging its piercing tail, burning its foes with acidic blood as well as unleashing a horde of face huggers. With its new found Tarkatan abilities it’s also equipped with lethal blades, making it even more terrifying than it was before. They say in space nobody can hear you scream – they’ll be hearing you loud and clear in the NetherRealm! The Alien is actually the most difficult of the new characters to use, requiring a bit of practice before you’re able to take full advantage of its moves. When you do start to master it though it’s certainly one of the most enjoyable characters to use in the whole of the game – you’ll also notice a special cameo in one of its fatalities…
Besides the additional characters there’s also a ton of new character skins in the game. These are a bit of a mixed bag – whilst the ‘Armageddon’, ‘Klassic’ and ‘Feudal Japan’ skin packs are great, the ‘Brazil’ skin pack is a little boring. Still, there are plenty of alternative outfits for the characters offering plenty of ways to mix things up.
Whilst many games get re-releases, there’s something special about Mortal Kombat XL. The fact it’s arrived the same time as the newest DLC shows that Warner Bros aren’t just interested in making a little more cash from us, but instead want to offer us the ultimate Mortal Kombat X experience at a reasonable price. The game is less than a year old and now you can grab it and all of its DLC for the price of a regular release. It’s a fantastic deal.
The best part of all though is the actual new characters themselves. I’d seen first hand people crying out to Ed Boon on Twitter to include the likes of the Predator, Leatherface and a Xenomorph in Mortal Kombat X. He listened – we now get to face off our favourite Mortal Kombat characters against some our favourite movie villains. What a world we live in. Mortal Kombat X was already a fantastic game but Mortal Kombat XL somehow makes it even better – grab it now!
– Mortal Kombat X is still a great game with absolutely brutal kombat
– Includes all previously released DLC
– You can have the ultimate showdown with Alien vs. Predator
– Jax’s Carl Weathers skin
– Some of the extra skins are a little boring
Developer: NetherRealm Studios (www.netherrealm.com)
Publisher: Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment (www.wbie.com)
Release Date: 04/03/2016
Format(s): Playstation 4 (Reviewed), Xbox One