There are two distinct advantages to buying PC games at retail in India. The first is the substantially lower prices – Rs 999 on average. The other is that you won’t have to download the game from Steam/Origin since you have all the game files on disc.
That has now changed.
The retail version of Mortal Kombat X on PC ships on just one disc, which is unheard of in this day and age where most games are well over 10 GB in size. That’s because the MKX disc doesn’t include the whole game. In fact, it’s got only 300 MB worth of game data, while the whole game weighs in at 20 GB.
The rest you’ll have to download via Steam. What this essentially means is that when you pick up a PC copy of MKX at your local store, what you’re getting is a Steam code and little else. A lot of people won’t mind that because you get a Steam game at Indian prices, but it’s a problem for those with slow connections or strict FUPs, which is vast majority.
Steam’s DRM, Steamworks, earlier only required the user to be online while activating the game, with the game installable via discs. MKX appears to include a new, stricter form of Steamworks that requires you to download the whole game, with the disc only serving as some sort of authentication. They might as well just include the game’s Steam code in a box and be done with it.
It’s worth mentioning that Steam has implemented a new feature that allows you to play the game while it’s still downloading, much like the new consoles do, but many MKX users have reported gameplay stuttering while doing this. So this very much seems like a work in progress on Valve’s part.
It remains to be seen if this is just the case with Mortal Kombat X, or Warner Bros games, or if this will affect all future PC games that activate over Steam. If this is a trend that is set to continue, prepare for some massive downloads over the coming months, starting with Batman: Arkham Knight, an open-world game that will easily hit the 40 GB mark, regardless of whether you buy at retail or digitally.
Mortal Kombat X is available now for PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360 and PC at Amazon.in.