Review: Mortal Kombat XL (PC)
Mortal Kombat X has had an odd run on PC. It has been over a year since we reviewed Mortal Kombat X and since then the game has had many fixes, tweaks and improvements to netcode and added characters. Then Warner Bros. said that the PC version wasn’t getting the same love, and for a while it seemed like the PC version was being abandoned. It was confusing and if you had the game on PC, it was a mixture of anger and sadness. Now we finally have Mortal Kombat XL on the PC.
Mortal Kombat XL adds all those bits and pieces that invariably get added to the game after launch. Balanced moves after competitive play and some number crunching, some technical improvements and better netcode for taking on people elsewhere in the world all improve on a game that was already solid at release. It also adds all those extra DLC characters and outfits that you wanted to use to take your enemies on. How about a Xenomorph or Predator taking each other to pieces? Or perhaps you have always wanted to feel as powerful as Jason Voorhees as he makes his inexorable approach to his opponent. Or perhaps you really miss Bo’ Rai Cho and his belly-based attacks. Each character adds a lot of variety to the line-up, filling a little niche or role which just makes the game last longer for me as I learn each character and do my best to work out who counters who.
When I first heard of the inclusion of characters from sci-fi and horror movies, I wasn’t sure how well they would fit. These characters are some of the toughest, meanest things around, how would they fit in the world of Mortal Kombat and the 2D arena? NetherRealm has pulled it off though, and each character feels true to their respective roots. For example Jason is large, slow and powerful, with his three fighting styles revolving around him being unstoppable and near unkillable resurrecting once with extra health, or being able to disappear into mist and turn up elsewhere, while his third style unleashes his brutal machete. He is so tall that one character quips about Torr finally getting rid of Ferra.
MKX runs well on a PC and even without installing on an SSD, the load times are much better than on PS4, with load bars zipping along the screen. This means a lot less time is spent staring at transition screens and more time is spent beating your opponents to pulp.
This is a solid PC port, offering full keyboard remapping for those who enjoy getting the most out of their mechanical keyboards. The UI and training screens update to show the new keybindings too, so you won’t be confused by the game saying down, forward R2 or the like. You require a GTX 680 to keep things happily at 60 fps, which isn’t really that steep of a requirement.
My biggest gripe is that while the game gloriously hugs 60fps, the X-ray moves, introductions and Fatalaties are all capped at 30 fps. While it makes sense that this limitation existed for the console versions to keep a smooth frame rate for those specific moments, it seems really odd on a PC. The jump from 60 to 30 then back again can result in stuttering and it is a really visible effect as it transitions between the two.
MKX, without the extra bits attached is already over 20 hours of fighting game without including multiplayer. Adding in extra characters to master (or beat up) and a few different outfits adds quite a bit to the game and if you missed the MKX mania, MKXL is a great place to hop on with all the extra characters included. If you already have MKX, there is a bundle of all the DLC on sale