Review : Mortal Kombat 11

Mortal Kombat 11 is the resolution of the ongoing story threads stemming out from 2011’s Mortal Kombat, aka Mortal Kombat 9, which rebooted the franchise. In that game, Raiden altered the doomed timeline, which had ripple effects throughout the MK universe. You’ve already watched videos of eyeballs being plopped out of heads and spines being crushed like biscuits. But there’s a moment, early in the game’s fantastic story mode, which encapsulates how the series has evolved. Reunited, Kitana and Liu Kang share a hug. Liu goes to embrace her—but he can’t.It will get better for a while when friends come along, and either enjoy the game the way you do, or question how it lacks realism.For any fighting game, this is highly unusual, a bit like the main attraction of an amusement park being the monorail. And Mortal Kombat’s story is a wild ride. The knotty, time-travelling plot brings a host of much loved and gleefully hated characters back from the dead, while the game’s heroes must ally with, and sometimes battle, past and future versions of themselves.

Zoning – the act of lobbing projectile after projectile from a safe distance – is prevalent, as it always is with NetherRealm’s games, but I’ve found success and a good deal of satisfaction getting up close and personal. Spacing is key, as is your ability to whiff punish your opponents for their mistakes.The rebooted events that started with Mortal Kombat 9 and continued with Mortal Kombat X see a finality of sorts in this game. The Story Mode makes that quite obvious with numerous callbacks to the main plot-points from the previous game, and also the fact that the Story in this game literally starts where Mortal Kombat X ended.Combat is woven in with a number of cutscenes, though you’ll probably spend more time watching well-choreographed action rather than participating. But the story is a great primer for some of the series’ more popular characters nonetheless, and the joys of Kronika’s time manipulation means that even if you’re a passing fan and aren’t up-to-date with all of the wacky stuff that’s happened in the universe lately, you can still get a kick out of seeing classic versions of familiar faces, who are just as baffled as you about what’s happened to their future selves since.

 

It got rid of the clumsy 3D fighting the series had become, replacing it with stylish, impactful battles along a 2D plane. It also rolled back the series’ storyline, retelling the events of the first three Mortal Kombat games with a more satisfying and cinematic narrative.Three brand new characters do their best to help the lineup branch out–Geras is an imposing heavy with the ability to rewind and manipulate time, Cetrion is an elder god with flashy elemental projectiles, the Kollector has a wonderfully unsettling and bamboozling six-armed demonic design–and they all add an inspired diversity to the familiar roster of magical ninjas and military hard-asses. Character variations also help to keep things diverse. A returning concept from Mortal Kombat X, each character can select between different sets of special moves that alter their playstyle.he cutscenes are longer here and have a bigger sense of scale in comparison to the previous games, which is definitely a step-up for the franchise. The writers also seem to have upped their humour game this time, as there are a few (intentionally) chuckle moments in the story.

You’ll learn about new defensive abilities, which help you out of tight, high-stress situations such as being battered in the corner. The only combo breaker in the game, dubbed Breakaway, sees you drop from a juggle onto the floor, and it’s great for saving yourself from suffering a lot of combo damage.Perhaps overly so. The game features a “Krypt” area where you can exchange in-game currency for random rewards, such as new moves and costumes for characters. If you’re after a specific death for a specific fighter, however, there’s no way to unlock it directly. Time spent opening chests is time not spent beating your foes into blancmange.The problem is, I realised this well after I had run through the 23 characters, and was already somewhat bored. And I swear I’ve been a MK11 fan.Once you’re done with the initial novelty, seen all the fatalities, tried the different modes, you’re done. However, you will have fun playing multiplayer battles whenever a friend comes over, or just booting the game to have some random single player fights.

Mortal Kombat 11 brings back some of that early MK pulp spirit. Yes, there are still enough blood and guts to more than justify that M rating, but the kills feel more thematic and sometimes even comical. Cassie Cage crotch-kicks the spine out of foes, D’Vorah does some real body-horror finishers, and Jax makes good use of his robotic biceps.At first, I wasn’t a huge fan of how slow Mortal Kombat 11 felt, but the more time I put in, the more I started to appreciate how these seemingly small changes added up to change the flow of a match in a great way.They can turn a losing round in your favour, but they can only be used once per match if they connect. Offensive and defensive meters have been separated, too. You now use the former to amplify certain attacks, making them more powerful or strategically advantageous. And the defensive meter can be spent on things like counterattacks and rolls that will get you out of the corner if pinned.

Verdict

some good news for PC players. Mortal Kombat X was a great fighter that got a horrible port, but MK 11 feels like it’s been designed with us in mind. The autoconfigure tool didn’t work brilliantly for me, but I was able to run the game on max settings using a 1070 and get a consistent 55fps during fights.if you’re buying MK11 for the sake of nostalgia, then definitely go ahead. If you’re buying it because you like fighting games, or like blood and gore, there are few that can do better.Yet this is comfortably the best Mortal Kombat in a long time. Played competitively against another person,I’m thoroughly enjoying playing ranked mode, shaving the rough edges off my rushdown Shao Khan and unearthing all the secrets of the Krypt along the way. The grind is an ever-present frustration, but it is also something I am willing to power through – like Shao Khan’s hammer to my opponent’s head.