Last Tuesday, Mortal Kombat X received a brand new bundle of DLC. The Kombat Pack 2, as it's called, comes with four new kombatants (Alien, Bo' Rai Cho, Leatherface, and Triborg) and a few skin packs. We've spent the better part of the last week getting to know these fresh additions to the MKX roster, and we've compiled some observations, opinions, and impressions below.
Description: NetherRealm Studios took some minor creative liberties when designing Alien. His smoke-black exoskeleton features all the intricate detail you'd expect, but his body type and posture more closely resemble that of a human. This is because, according to the character bio tucked away in the extras menu, he's been birthed from the belly of a Tarkatan warrior, thus adopting some of his host's physical features. Even so, Alien mostly looks and moves in an authentic manner, with just about every attack (other than the ones inspired by Baraka) based on his unique attributes – his acid saliva/blood, far-reaching tail, claw-like fingers, retractable inner mouth, etc.
Our Preferred Variation: Maybe it's our love of Baraka that plays into this choice, but Tarkatan is easily our preferred variation. It just doesn't get better than slicing and dicing the competition with those iconic forearm blades.
Koolest Fatality: Remember the Xenomorph Queen from Aliens? Well, she makes an appearance in the Killer Queen fatality, making it our favorite of Alien's finishers. The kill isn't all that creative, but the looming presence of this menacing matriarch elevates the fatality to memorable status.
Standout Moment: Select Alien's Konjurer variation and fight against Jason. Perform the Alien Baby brutality and hold "down" during the final attack animation. Watch a baby alien burst from Jason's chest wearing his iconic hockey mask. We did this by accident the first time, and it was a perfectly silly surprise. (Apparently it also works against Predator.)
Recommendation: Alien's core special moves are fierce, aggressive, and satisfying enough to make him a compelling kombatant, and the way each variation offers close, mid, and long-range possibilities means he's capable of adapting to just about any scenario. So, yeah... he's highly recommended.
Description: Bo' Rai Cho is a drunken bastard. Seriously. He guzzles down booze, belches, and farts into the faces of his adversaries with a complete disregard for manners. Think of him as a chubby, clumsy ballerina, throwing punches and bodily fluids around the arena with an oaf-like sense of grace.
Our Preferred Variation: Drunken Master is easily the variation we've had the most fun with. By swigging from an alcohol-filled canteen, Bo' Rai Cho gains access to a few special moves that can do serious damage when strung together in a combo.
Koolest Fatality: Neither of Bo' Rai Cho's fatalities are all that innovative or complex, but the intestine-spewing nature of Bottoms Up is the more memorable of the two.
Standout Moment: For one of his brutalities, Bo Rai Cho uses the weight behind his belly of steel to flatten his opponent, just like Judge Doom (Christopher Lloyd's character) was flattened by that steamroller at the end of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?.
Recommendation: Bo' Rai Cho is worth a purchase for two reasons. Firstly, as you may have surmised, his juvenile antics make for an amusing spectacle that's sure to make your opponents feel a little more humiliated when they lose, especially when it's a fart that takes away their last sliver of health. Secondly, Bo' Rai Cho is a proficient fighter with a distinct style, and it's just fun to experiment with the many ways to string his moves together.
Description: When Leatherface opens his mouth, it's mostly grunts and shrill, feminine screams that come out. It's a good thing, then, that he's skilled at speaking through his chainsaw and mallet. This depiction of the beloved horror icon has been handled with care, even if the appearance of his outfit is waxier and more inanimate than it should be. He's a long way from Texas, but Leatherface's murderous intentions align swimmingly with the kill-or-be-killed spirit of Mortal Kombat.
Our Preferred Variation: Each of Leatherface's variations offers something interesting to work with, but it's the Pretty Lady variation that we've put to the best use. It adds a few saw-tossing special moves into the fray, providing just the kind of long-distance reach needed to balance out the up-close-and-personal nature of his other attacks.
Koolest Fatality: NetherRealm has presented Leatherface's kills without much flair or imagination, so neither of the two fatalities has much of an impact. If we had to pick between the two, we'd go with Hook and Sinker, purely because it's the most elaborate. It starts with a mallet to the head and ends with the top half of the victim hanging from a meat hook. It's kinda nasty.
Standout Moment: In the Pretty Lady variation, Leatherface dons business-ready attire and a mask plastered in carelessly-applied makeup. Combine those contrasting elements with his hitch-pitched, ladylike screams, and you have quite the entertaining display of crazy.
Recommendation: Leatherface is, without a doubt, our least-favored of the new characters, but that doesn't mean he isn't worth your time and money. On the contrary, he's a vicious kombatant who packs a brutal punch, and Texas Chainsaw fans shouldn't hesitate to add him to their roster.
Description: Triborg is an technologically-advanced cyborg that, depending on which variation you choose, transforms into Cyrax, Sektor, or Smoke, three characters that longtime Mortal Kombat fans should be more than familiar with. His design and animations are reminiscent of Iron Man, a comparison that's hard to ignore when his thrusters ignite and the core of his chest opens up. Because each variation has its own unique set of moves, Triborg is truly like having three characters in one – three badass robotic ninja assassins determined to eliminate everyone in their path.
Our Preferred Variation: Since Mortal Kombat 3, we've preferred Cyrax over Sektor. In MKX, however, it's Sektor that we've grown attached to. By relying heavily on Straight Missile, Lock-On Missiles, and Teleport Uppercut, we've been incredibly successful at staggering our opponents and making it exceptionally difficult for them to regain their footing.
Koolest Fatality: This is an easy one. Even though the body-crushing Death Machine makes for an unforgettable scene, it's the sight of all three cyborgs working together to dismantle the opponent that we lost our heads over. The fatality is appropriately named Team Work.
Standout Moment: Because Triborg is pure robot, he's able to remove his head and use it as a weapon. This is how his X-Ray attack begins, and it's also the crux of the Head Strong brutality, which evoked a genuine chuckle out of us the first time we triggered it. It's a bit demented to laugh at violence, sure, but don't judge us until you've witnessed the cranial-exchanging trick for yourself.
Recommendation: Heck yeah! Triborg's three variations don't merely feel like minor differences in fighting styles; they're separate characters, each of whom brings something entirely different to the table. How can you say "no" to a three-for-one deal? (The answer is: You can't.)
The latest batch of kombatants can be purchased one of many ways, so let's break it down.
A la carte – Each character can be purchased individually for $4.99.
Kombat Pack 2 – For $19.99, you can buy the Kombat Pack 2, which comes with Alien, Bo' Rai Cho, Leatherface, and Triborg, as well as these bonuses: Kold War Scorpion, Brazil Skin Pack, Kold War Skin Pack, and Apocalypse Pack. Because we think all the new fighters are worthy additions to the roster, we recommend this bundle if you already own previous MKX DLC.
XL Pack – If you haven't bought any DLC for MKX, the XL Pack is definitely the way to go. For $24.99, you get: all downloadable characters (Alien, Predator, Jason, Leatherface, Triborg, Bo' Rai Cho, Tremor, Goro, and Tanya), Predator/Prey Pack, Horror Pack, Samurai Pack, Kold War Scorpion, Brazil Pack, Klassic Park (1 and 2), and Kold War Skin Pack.
Mortal Kombat XL – Don't yet own MKX? Mortal Kombat XL contains the core game and all above-mentioned DLC for $59.99.
Will you be inserting your hard-earned coins into the Mortal Kombat X machine? If so, which menu option will you be selecting? If you've already invested your time and money in the latest DLC, we'd also like to hear from you. Drop into "The Pit" below and spill your thoughts, impressions, and/or intentions.