There’s a lot to like about Mortal Kombat X. The core mechanics are less sluggish, the variable fighting styles means that tournaments don’t consist purely of Sektor specialists flexing their thumbs and the fatalities look like deleted scenes from Hostel. What stinks worse than Shao Kahn’s groin tunic however, is the online side of Mortal Kombat X.
Now setting up a local game with friends, is easy and responsive enough. Trying to jump into an online lobby so that a random Russian can rip your face off, is an exercise in patience. Even with a decent upload speed, you’re going to be subjected to a round of Kombat that has more laggy stuttering than a showing of The King’s Speech. And that’s if you’re lucky enough to not be booted from the setup screen.
For a fighting game, that’s not exactly acceptable. For a fighting game that is looking to establish itself as the best for the next couple of years, it’s rubbish. Which is why Mortal Kombat X is looking to improve that dodgy netcode.
“We are attempting to move away from the dynamic input latency model towards a model that preserves the feel of an offline game more accurately while playing online and maintains a consistent input response,” NetherRealm community specialist Tyler Lansdown said in a YouTube video that used words and terminology which are completely beyond my limited understanding.
The model we are moving to is similar in function to the GGPO model and could be described as a roll-back, simulate-forward model. This means our engine will not have to wait for both players to agree on input before drawing its results to the screen. This creates a smoother gameplay experience and diminishes the feeling of lag in online play.
To test out the new netcode, NetherRealm will start a closed public beta for anyone who has spent at least an hour with Mortal Kombat X online, and who sign up from January 19 to do so. Four characters will be available for the test (Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Jacqui Briggs and Johnny Cage), with more added over time.
I’d rip Matty’s spine out for a better netcode on Mortal Kombat X. After all, your champ is yearning for some proper competition to hone his skills against.
Last Updated: January 18, 2016