Mortal Kombat XL: Kombat Pack 2 (Video Game DLC)


mortal kombat xMortal Kombat XL: Kombat Pack 2 (Video Game DLC)

Developed by Netherrealm Studios

Available on PS4 and Xbox One

Rated M for Mature

When the first Kombat Pack dropped back in 2015, we here at Dread Central were pumped. Series black sheep and underused asset Tremor was returning, and who doesn’t love Tanya’s… I think fire powers? And she has a staff? Whatever, we all know I’m bullshitting. Horror fans the world round reveled in the idea of Predator and Jason Voorhees entering the MK pantheon. And lo, much as we foresaw, the brutal carnage they brought to the savage arena was good.

Being a business, Netherrealm Studios must have seen the gobs and gobs of money that made, held a meeting with the dev team, and said, “more of that, please!” So they conceived a new crew of fighters, acquired the necessary licensing rights, and six months later gave birth to our second round of Mortal Kombat DLC goodness. As far as this analogy goes, it might seem like a dangerously preterm birth. We already have every major title under the sun getting a “remaster” or “deathinitive edition,” so should we be worried that Kombat Pack 2 is just a cheap cash grab?

For $20, it’s already a better deal than the first pack. If my memory serves, the first pack was $30, and contained just four characters: Tremor, Jason, Tanya, and Predator. It makes sense that the price for a similar pack would go down, since demand for the game decreases over time (not that that’s common practice, Activision). This time, we get five(ish) characters, starting with the horror icons Leatherface and Alien along with series staples Bo’ Rai Cho and Gorro. Speaking of Gorro I honestly forgot was previously a DLC exclusive to pre-orders. Finally, we have the reason for the “(ish)” at the end of “five,” Triborg. There’s also the Apocalypse, Kold war, and Brazil skin packs, which I do not care about.

Kombat Pack 2

Even the promotional material forgot about Goro.

I know you’re all here to hear about Alien and Leatherface, but I want to start with my new favorite character of all time, Triborg. This has got to be the biggest terrible name to awesome character spread of all time. I won’t lie, this is the character that made me sceptical of Kombat Pack 2. On paper, it sounds like a total sham: since MKX already used a three style fighting system, why not just have one cyborg character that replaces the three main cyborgs! I imagined that it would be one cyborg changing colors with a few different moves, which while as a callback to the palate swap days of MK is kind of funny, would be lame.

Dead wrong. Triborg is actually four totally distinct characters. Each of them has a completely different set of moves, unique combos, and different playstyles. The fourth style is a secret “Sub-Zero” variant that you can select by using the hidden “no style” option and pressing triangle (or Y on Xbox). Even this extra variant is its own character with a distinct Cyber Sub-Zero look and moveset. They even appear together as three characters, not just one program changing cyborg. On top of this variety, Triborg also has the funniest Fatalities and Brutalities in the game. The trio probably won’t be its own unique character in later installments, but it will go down as the most fleshed out and interesting character in MKX.

Kombat Pack 2

There’s something special about fleshy meat cubes.

Since I already went over the first non-crossover character, I might as well go over the other two. I’ll talk about Goro first, since I just want to get it out of the way. I honestly didn’t realize I’d have to talk about Goro until I realized a few hours ago that he was part of the package description. Goro was the locked character in the base game, that day one DLC nugget of bullshit people hope will become just standard in later packages like this. I don’t hate the character, as he feels well implemented. There’s a certain weight to Goro that makes it hard to include him as a standard character. He’s a four armed hulking beast, so it’s easy to make him feel either sluggish and overpowered or too light for his frame. They hit a really good balance here, and it came at the slight expense of a leaner and less hulking figure. Still, he runs into a lot of the problems that the base set characters did, where his different styles don’t feel varied enough. Other than being a Shokan prince, he doesn’t bring a lot unique to the table. He’s a fine character, but feels like a part of the basic package, and not something different worth paying extra for.

Bo’ Rai Cho is gross. I know he’s become a big part of the canon since his debut in Deadly Alliance, but who the fuck likes this character? If you’re favorite character is Bo’ Rai Cho, then you’re either under the age of 13 or have some seriously unspeakable fetishes. Sure, everyone likes the goofy drunk character, but one of his main methods of combat is sharts and vomit. He’s got a comical kind of Kung Fu Panda bounciness to him, and I guess it’s funny to see the fat man fall down. It’s not like Mortal Kombat doesn’t cash in on the splatter factor, I just don’t need buckets of vomit with my blood and guts. One of his brutalities is literally triggered by beating your enemy with a powered stream of upchuck bile. It initiates a painfully long puking contest, which Kung Fu legend Bo’ Rai Cho expertly wins while your opponent pukes up all their intestines. Wonderful. His movesets are whatever, and voice acting cartoonishly racist. He’s enjoyable like a trainwreck.

Leatherface is like a love letter to horror fans. Something I haven’t mentioned yet is that the new character all have their own unique intro dialogue. Previously, characters like Predator were met with witty quips like, “who are you?” and, “you don’t belong here!” When Sub-Zero faces off against Leatherface and says, “The time of the Sawyer clan has come to an end!” it makes me smile. It’s the attention to detail that I love about Leatherface. His first two variants are costumes from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, while his “Butcher” variant is from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake. If you don’t know the difference, you aren’t going to appreciate his touching post-round chainsaw dance. The amount of fan service that hits a level of reverence beyond scrutiny.

Kombat Pack 2

Fallen Elder God Shinnok was vastly unprepared against chainsaw massacres.

Gameplay wise, Leatherface actually feels unique. I feared that Netherrealm would take the easy route, and he would come out similar to the hulking and brutal Jason. Luckily, Leatherface feels less like a towering menace and more batshit insane. Many of his attacks connect as savage grabs, and the way he howls and swings is more beast than man. Unfortunately, it makes his moves feel kind of weightless at first. The speed they give him feels uncharacteristic for a man of his size. It takes some getting used to, but isn’t bad. Also, like Jason, the Fatalities they gave him were kind of lame. He makes up for it though with arguably the best Brutality to date in his “Butcher” style.

Alien is the only character I don’t have a solid opinion on. The creature lacks a unique identity. I mean, sure, it’s the fucking Alien of Alien fame. It’s got some Facehuggers and shit. But other than in the animations of its X-Ray and killing moves, it doesn’t feel “alien.” The first style utilizes its new Tarkatan blades to slice through enemies, but just feels like a slippery version of Baraka. The second style uses his acid blood as a weapon, but only functionally turns some attacks into ranged with damage over time. The last style is distinctly Aliens, dropping eggs that spout facehuggers and summoning assisting drones to pounce your enemies. This is a tech style, focusing on proper range and zone control to slowly whittle your enemy down. The variety in the styles is enough to make Alien feel like a complete character, but not terribly unique.

Kombat Pack 2

Ha! Now all I have to do is avoid you for a day or so, and victory is assured!

On the plus side, a little Predalien pops out if it beats the Predator. So, kudos.

Patch 1.12 has also dropped alongside the new characters, adding The Pit level and stage Fatalities. It’s available to anyone that owns the game, and doesn’t require Kombat Pack 2. It’s a cool little bit of free content, with The Kove standing out as my favorite. It could easily have been part of the new paid content, so it’s nice to see them giving back to the fans.

So the new characters are mostly great, and therefore definitely worth $20? Logically it should follow that if I liked the first Kombat Pack at $30, then the second at $20 with even more stuff should be a total win. Well, I guess what trips me up a bit is that at some point asking for more money for a handful of characters starts not being worth it. At the time the first slew of additions came out, I was still actively playing Mortal Kombat X. When I got the code for Kombat Pack 2 last week, I hadn’t picked up the game in months. So is it $20 that’s gonna suck me back in for $20 worth of playtime?

I’m on the fence. If you’re buying Mortal Kombat XL fresh, there’s no question that the game is worth $60. There is an incredible about of content in X alone, and all of the improvements and new additions that the L brings to the table makes it one of the best per-dollar fighting game packages on modern systems. As a standalone package, it’s good for fans of horror and Mortal Kombat. It’s always fun to see Leatherface chop Jason Voorhees in half. If you’re still playing Mortal Kombat X, you’ll want to pick up the new characters. If you were looking for something to suck you back in, it’ll be little more than a few hour diversion.

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User Rating 3.63 (8 votes)


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