On the first day of Gamescom 2014, I went over to Warner Bros. to trade punches with developers of Mortal Kombat X. They introduced two new veteran characters to the game’s roster: the thunder god Raiden and the mercenary Kano. What was interesting to see was just how NetherRealm Studios took two familiar characters and managed to make them feel fresh with new moves and fighting styles.

First I played with Raiden, which like all other characters in Mortal Kombat X, has three new fighting styles to choose from:

Thunder God: This style is very similar to that of the classic Mortal Kombat games, with lots of thunder bolts and fast combos.

Displacer: Lots of moves that involves teleportation. A pro gamer will know how to use these moves to end a battle without even being hit.

Storm Lord: This style lets Raiden deploy lighting traps all over the battle arena. I found it to be one of the toughest styles to master, but if you do you’ll be able to control the entire fight without even moving.

Once I had my fill of Raiden, I switched over to the other new character – Kano:

Cutthroat: This style lets Kano use his knives during the fight. Very fast, very Deadly.

Cybernetic: Kano will be using his signature laser eye to keep the enemy at a distance. If you like to use ranged attacks – this one’s for you.

Commando: If you like to play defensive, Commando lets you block and counter the opponents attacks in close range.

While trying out all these new fighting styles, I noticed each character has specific lines of dialog when meeting every other character. Before the fight starts the characters will exchange personal banter and taunts, shedding some light on their relationship, history and temperament. It’s really interesting to hear what the chaacters have to say, and it even creates a sort of connection between the fights.

I have only good things to say about Mortal Kombat X. The new and veteran characters are all interesting and fun to play. The new style mechanic that lets you choose how you’d like to play each of these characters is a great idea, and helps MKX feel like a new and exciting experience.

Mortal Kombat X will be released on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, PS3 and PC in 2015. Below you’ll find our interview with Ed Boon – creative director and Mortal Kombat creator.

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