The fighting genre is home to some of the greatest franchises in all of gaming. Franchises like Tekken and Street Fighter have been around for years, and still continue to evolve to this day. Even with those great properties, perhaps the greatest fighting series of all-time is indeed Mortal Kombat.
It has been since 2009 that we saw our last glimpse into the Mortal Kombat world and a four year break is an awfully long time for a series these days. NetherRealm Studios is the developer behind Mortal Kombat X and they are working very hard to make sure this is the perfect game for fighting gamers.
One of the most important aspects of fighting games has got to be balance. Ensuring each character presents a viable threat to the rest is what helps keep players coming back for more each and every day. Recognizing the significance of this, NetherRealm Studios’ Shaun Himmerick spoke about the steps the studio is taking to ensure equal value is present in each of Mortal Kombat X’s characters.
“What we do is, we actually bring tournament level guys — the top players in the country — to our studio during the last phase of development to help us find that balance, to make sure we don’t have a super-overpowered character and try to bring everyone up to an even level. It’s important to us that that’s something we’re able to do. I think the variations of characters is going to really help that, because anyone going ‘oh that’s a bad match-up’ could find a better variation that helps balance it out even more,” Himmerick said.
This is a wise move on the part of NetherRealm Studios. What better way to get balancing feedback than by speaking with the best players themselves? It’s true that once players settle into a fighting game they have a tendency to glue themselves to a few characters. With that being the case, the importance of balancing characters’ abilities can’t be overstated because the last thing players and NetherRealm wants is everyone playing the same character.
Involving the player community is absolutely crucial for any game, period. With something like Mortal Kombat X, it’s even more important, especially when you consider the franchise’s legacy. Fans of the series have a stronger understanding of what works and what doesn’t. We’ll all find out just how effective that fan feedback has been when Mortal Kombat X launches on April 14 for PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC.