Mortal Kombat 11 is the newest entry in the long running series, recently released on April 23rd, 2019. It may be solid, but is it the best they have to offer?
Mortal Kombat 11 is very complex game with a very simple surface. The game can be a lot of fun, yet also some of the most frustrating gameplay I’ve ever experienced. The game’s main story follows the remaining survivors of the Mortal Kombat tournament that took place a very long time ago. Raiden, a demi-god has just defeated a god known as Shinnok, a god of evil. Raiden is then corrupted by Shinnok’s immense power and becomes tainted. Raiden has gotten many of his friends and champions killed over the years and they now serve their time as revenants in the Netherrealm. Seeking revenge, Shinnok’s mother Kronica, a goddess of time, creates a plan to remove Raiden from history, removing his influence forever. She plans to create a new era, and she gets help from Raiden’s many enemies. Then Kronica conjoined two different times in search of new allies. This brings long dead Kombatants back to life. Such as Shao Kahn, Scarlet, Kabal, and even brings earlier versions of existing fighters like Kano. Almost doubling her allies, but in doing so, she also doubles her enemies. Younger Raiden will form a coalition to help stop Kronica for good and save the universe from her evil intentions.
The story mode in this game is very well done, it is a solid entertaining story. As most stories do, it tends to fall apart at the end, and it also suffers because of the game’s one playable part, fighting. There are no collectibles, no exploring, or adventuring in the campaign. It is extremely linear, however there are a couple chapters where you get to pick between two kombatants, and the fights are slightly altered because of this. The story mode is simple, but it is short enough to not overstay its welcome. A good 85% of the story are cutscenes, so it resembles a movie more than a full video game. So in conclusion, the story is pretty good for one playthrough, but after that, I wouldn’t touch it again.
To fill the exploration gap this game has, the Krypt has returned. This is basically a treasure filled island where you can explore the story of the Mortal Kombat world, solve puzzles, and find lots of goodies. The Krypt is a nice change of pace and it is always nice to explore after you have had a long day of Kombat. The rewards are locked behind the ingame currency of Koins, soul, and hearts. Which you can obtain by fighting, or exploring the Krypt. You can get anything from Concept art, to new fatalities to finish off your opponent with, but with the chests being mostly random, you never know what you are going to find.
The main focus of this game is of course, kombat. There are many modes to fill your bloodlust and a roster of 25 different fighters to choose from. Choose carefully though, each character has different moves, strengths, and weaknesses. Then you can fight through couch co op, online, or even against AI opponents. Towers are a good way to spend a lot of time in this game and consist of multiple AI opponents trying their best to make sure you don’t make it into the next fight. There are klassic towers that consist of simple fights, anywhere from 5-12, or even endless towers to test your endurance. There are also towers of time, which tend to be a lot harder, but give better rewards. The catch is that these towers are limited time and you have to check back often to make sure you don’t miss out on any kool rewards. Towers also now have a Konsumable option which lets you modify the fight in your favor to make it a bit easier, and more manageable. Then there are basic fights which can be against a friend or computer controlled enemy. The final mode is online where you can try your best to best opponents from all across the world, or even your best friend. The friendship will probably be weakened after you get punched in the knee 50 times though. There are a couple modes to play and modifiers to make each fight harder, or not. The best modes like 1v1 and king of the hill are back, and they are just as good, but nothing really has been added to the established klassic modes.
The gameplay of this game is simple on the surface, but much more komplicated than it looks. This game becomes hard very fast, and if you can’t keep up, you will be left behind, and it will not be fun. The game is build on a basic fighting core, where you can kick, punch, jump, dodge your way to victory or preform much more elaborate kombos to make the fight faster and deadlier. Each character has special moves and all sorts of attacks and defences tailored for their style and attitude. The game is as much a strategy game as a fighting one, so keep in mind the many ways you have to hurt your opponent, and just think what they can do to you. This game includes brutal, bloody, gory fighting only fit for people not afraid of a little blood, or brains, or guts, or spine, or skull, etc… This probably isn't a game your mom wants to see you playing as you plunge your fists into someones exposed chest cavity and decimate their beating heart. The game can be extremely fun to watch and play, and it is so over the top violent that it almost is funny, provided you have a dark sense of humor. This game isn't realistic by any standard and it ridiculousness can make it more fun.
This game could definitely be considered repetitive however, the only action is side scrolling beatings. The kompetitiveness can be fun though, making you desperately fight for your life time and time again. The only real progression is though these modifiers called augments, which are obtained through the Krypt and through tower rewards. These modify a character and you equip it to their gear and then it immediately goes into effect next time you play them. This can spice up the game some, but not enough to make the game riveting to any extent. You can also create variations for your fighters and change the way they look through skins and gear looks. You can also unlock more character intros, more voice lines, better fatalities and other basic kosmetic changes like those. This kustomization is disappointing though, considering you really cannot change too much and the skins are basically presets of different colors for the fighters to look pretty. This is a step up from the other games in the series, but still does not feel like enough to make a real difference. One thing in particular, you can change the abilities for each character changing the way they can play, but all these changes are unlocked immediately and require no effort to obtain. This can make it feel like you never really make any progress on a character, not to mention there are no character levels or any prestige. The kombatants are just mostly presets to use.
The graphics are good and passable, but the world of Mortal Kombat really looks good, the maps are crisp, interactive and all pretty unique. The maps do a good job at being a set with a pleasing background and interesting things to look at and use.
To finish this review, the game could use some more progression and something to keep players interested, but it still can be a great time. Yet the kombat can become really hard and unfairly difficult really fast, sometimes ruining the experience. The story could almost be one of Mortal Kombat’s best so far, but that being said, it really is just at the pretty good level. It feels a sort of lack for that wow factor to make the story truly great. The game is a fun game to keep installed and play it every so often or keep playing and become competitive. The game is overall good, but it really is just fight after fight, after fight. Playing with friends is really a high point and it can be kool to show off your new skins to them. The game is solid, it’s a fun or frustrating time. There is nothing to really make it stand out amongst fighting games, but for now, it is a good choice for a brutal good time.