Mortal Kombat 11 Review
The sands of time have come loose with the release of WB Games and NetherRealm Studios’ Mortal Kombat 11. Featuring characters both old and new and paired with a heaping helping of the ol’ ultraviolence, should you come over here?
Mortal Kombat 11 Review
Those who have played a fighter, much less a Mortal Kombat game, will be right at home with the engine powering this title. Players are given two punches and two kicks, and mechanics like blocking, cancels, hops, and throws are all present and accounted for. Charge attacks and more complex movements are the norm, along with multi-hit “kombos” and EX-style amplified attacks that dish out additional damage. Every attack has weight to it, and though less experienced players will feel like the game is rigid, those who have studied under Kotal Kahn will be able to perform some impressive feats of brutality.
There are a few wrinkles to the game to spice things up though. Returning from Mortal Kombat X and the Injustice series is the ability to interact with the environment. With a press of a button at the right spot, players can utilize objects and bits of scenery for additional damage. This is largely inoffensive, though the potential to ban stages due to this in the professional circuit is most certainly there.
New to the game is the comeback “Fatal Blow” mechanic. With it, players can dish out a “Super” like combo when their health is down to a certain amount. They’re certainly flashy and deal out a fair amount of damage, but they are a bit too easy to pull off and can serve as a crutch in lieu of more adept play. It’s not a deal breaker, but its inclusion isn’t exactly flawless.
Those that jump into Mortal Kombat 11 may very well be intimidated at the amount of minutiae the game throws at the player. Those looking to brush up on fundamentals can check out the robust Tutorial Mode, Practice, and Fatality Training Modes available at the offset. The ability to jump in to a one-on-one fight or hold a Tournament is there, as is the ability to have the AI battle itself. Online functionality is present and accounted for, with both Versus and King of the Hill, along with a “Kompetitive Mode” and Ranked Sets for those looking for it. Matches are also relatively lag free for the most part.
True to series form, those traveling solo will have a lot to keep themselves occupied. Story Mode makes its return, though the execution here is a bit of a mixed bag. Focusing on the Keeper of Time Kronika and her quest for a New Era, players will come across a number of characters from the series’ rich history as they fight their way through a number of different predicaments. It’s certainly big budget, with graphics that utilize HDR and cutscenes that go on for minutes at a time. However, dialog is laughably bad, with gems like “you lose as fast as you run” and “an old man just kicked your ass” peppering the script. Battles tend to get repetitive as well, with a number of mirror matches dragging things out that tie into the story. It certainly has the fanservice down to a science, but those looking for something of substance amongst its shlock may be disappointed throughout its surprisingly robust runtime.
The series trademark Klassic Towers make their return in Mortal Kombat 11. In it, players choose from a number of different difficulty levels, which also corresponds to how many fights they will come across. There’s a decent amount to choose from, with battles ranging from five bouts to an endless amount. The use of “Konsumables” means that those who grind will ultimately come out ahead. Nevertheless, this is a welcome addition, and the Towers of Time variation features modifiers to keep things fresh.
Those that jump into the “Krypt” will be able to explore an island littered with artifacts. In it, players will be able to open chests-a-plenty by spending Koins (which can be earned for most activities), Soul Fragments (which can be earned by winning matches), and Hearts (which can be earned by doing Fatalities and Brutalities). Consider this akin to a free-roaming system with loot boxes, where players can unlock random Fatalities, augments, icons, taunts, skins, character art, and other goodies. Players can also transmute items with the Forge if they so choose, leading to even more possibilities. If you’ve got a gambling spirit it’s worth a go, but most will tire of hoarding currency before having enough to unlock everything.
Those who’d rather open up their wallets can stock up on Time Krystals. The game offers a pittance of them if you’re looking to earn them through play, but they can also conveniently be yours in packs starting at $4.99. Outside of Konsumables like Easy Fatalities and two DLC characters (one of which can be unlocked via the Story Mode), most of the items in the storefront can be safely ignored. It takes time to get this stuff through play, but most of the game is accessible without paying a cent.
Those that can turn a blind eye to Mortal Kombat 11’s grind will have a good time turning their opponent into meaty bits. The core fighting engine powering this title isn’t drastically different compared to previous entries, but there’s no point in fixing what isn’t broken.