Mortal Kombat 11 Review

Mortal Kombat always had the reputation of being “That fighting game where you rip people’s heads off” since it was originally released 27 years ago. The game is more well-known for its gore and violence than for its gameplay.

Since then, with MK9 and MKX, the quality of gameplay has improved to match the quality of violence. Mortal Kombat 11 follows this rising trend, since it is not just the best Mortal Kombat yet, but also probably Netherrealm’s best game to date.

This is one of the most comprehensive fighting games available, featuring single-player and multiplayer options that will buy to both casual and hardcore gamers for a long time.

The fighting of Mortal Kombat is centered upon two punch buttons, two kick buttons, and a block button, which makes it unique among 2D fighters. This is far more unusual than it appears. Other 2D fighters usually contain a mix of light, medium, and/or heavy attacks, with weaker attacks tying into stronger attacks, but Mortal Kombat doesn’t.

Instead, MK uses a “dial-a-combo” method, which necessitates a thorough understanding of highly particular button combinations to construct a combo. Although the battle system is not particularly user-friendly for newbies, Mortal Kombat 11 does provide one of the best fighting game tutorials I’ve ever seen.

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It covers everything from the fundamentals to advanced techniques like frame traps, jailing, and block strings, all while emphasizing crucial concepts and providing explicit instructions on how to use them.

Mortal Kombat 11 includes all of the series’ signature mechanics, including the wonderfully excessive over-the-top and often comic violence of its infamous Fatality finishing moves.

Surrounding all of this are new fighting systems that feel unlike anything else in the series, and Mortal Kombat 11 is far better for taking these risky measures to keep things fresh.

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In some cases, less is more, and speed isn’t always a good thing.

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Less is more in some ways, and faster isn’t necessarily better. To that purpose, Netherrealm has slowed the action down significantly in comparison to other games, particularly Mortal Kombat X’s hyper-rushdown-focused gameplay.

The run button has been removed, walk speeds have been reduced across the board, and super-long and forward-moving combo strings are becoming increasingly rare.

I wasn’t a big fan of Mortal Kombat 11’s sluggishness at first, but the more time I spent with it, the more I realized how these seemingly minor tweaks combined up to drastically alter the flow of a match.

Fights feel more tactical and rewarding of smart play, with a higher emphasis on cautious positioning and whiff punishing and less on all-out blitzing to enforce your 50/50 mixup game.

Mortal Kombat 11 splits the meter management system in half, marking yet another dramatic and innovative shift from past games. Special wake-up options, environmental interactives, and a combo-breaking action termed a breakaway are all employed with the defense meter.

The offensive meter is utilized to increase the damage of your special attacks, make them safe on block, and open up combo opportunities, among other things.

The best part about the split is that it allows Fatal Blows – a devastating move that can deal 35 percent damage on its own – to exist without fact for the meter. Fatal Blows are typically exceedingly rapid and tough to react to, but the fact that you only get one per match helps to balance things out.

The last seconds of every close Mortal Kombat 11 fight seem incredibly tense – almost like an Old Western standoff – if even one player has salvaged it.

Krushing Blows, on the other hand, are the best new addition to Mortal Kombat 11’s actual fighting. These unique critical hits are activated automatically, but only if certain conditions are met: For example, every character’s uppercut features a Krushing Blow that activates if it hits as a counter or punishes a whiffed high attack.

While uppercuts aren’t usually utilized to open combos, a Krushing Blow uppercut will propel the opponent high into the air, allowing for a big follow-up juggling without wasting any meter.

There’s a lot to like about this system, even if it’s only the fact that seeing an otherwise-normal punch produce a total bone explosion inside your opponent’s body is exciting.

On a higher level, however, the addition of Krushing Blows gives each character a new degree of depth and rewards thorough mastery of their moveset. It’s also a limited resource because you can only use each move’s Krushing Blow once per match, so learning the conditions for each Krushing Blow will help you get the most out of them.

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The six hours that make up the plot are big, dramatic, and ridiculous in all the best ways.

Mortal Kombat 11 Review: The Hard-hitting Fighting Game of the Year | Den  of Geek

Mortal Kombat 11 is no exception to the rule that Netherrealm fighting games are the best at delivering story modes that are practically the video game equivalent of crazy popcorn flicks.

It doesn’t bring anything new to the table in terms of gameplay, but its six hours are big, loud, well-acted (save for Ronda Rousey’s portrayal of Sonya Blade, which comes across as hopelessly amateurish), and ridiculous in all the best ways. Most significantly, it expands on the entire cast and gives each character a time to shine.

The plot picks up right where MKX left off, with the introduction of a new game-changing character: Kronika, an all-powerful being with time control who sets the plot on a path of another impending timeline reset, owing to Raiden’s upsetting of the balance of good and evil with his decapitation of the Elder God Shinnok.

This all sets up the fun scenario of a past-present fusion, and it allows for some very fantastic scenes in which characters from the present are confronted by their past counterparts. There are also instances in which characters from the past are confronted with the terrible reality of what lies ahead.

The Johnny Cages dominate the show with their hilarious banter and overall contrast of their two drastically different selves, but there are also a few good character-building moments with fighters who haven’t gotten a ton of screen time in the past, especially Jade.

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Krypt Raider

Mortal Kombat 11 | Xbox

Character customization in Mortal Kombat 11 feels like a natural extension and cross-breeding of Mortal Kombat X’s variation system and Injustice 2’s gear system.

Each character has at least 60 skins, 90 pieces of customizable gear, and a character of 10 techniques to add to their core set of skills, giving them a staggering amount of customization choices.

To be fair, most of the skins are merely recolors of the original costumes, but there are plenty of ways to customize your fighter when playing online. The issue is how you obtain access to them, which is usually not at a convenient time.

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Each character has a stunning number of customizability possibilities.

Some of these things can be earned by playing through the story mode, but the majority can only be obtained by playing through the Towers of Time and the Krypt, two separate modes. The Krypt in Mortal Kombat 11 is a large dungeon loaded to the brim with treasure chests that require some sort of cash to open, similar to those in previous Mortal Kombat games.

This time around, the loot is randomized, which is a major fact due to the big amount of undesired stuff. You might open a costly chest in the hopes of finding a new Fatality, skin, character intro, or Brutality, only to find a bunch of gear augments for a character you don’t play, junk tower consumables, concept art, or additional gold instead.

The Krypt has some fascinating puzzle-solving features and some neat Easter eggs to find, but it’s mostly a dungeon of loot boxes and occasional jump scares, which is a letdown.

Then there’s the Towers of Time, which is a collection of challenge towers tied together by a common theme, and it’s here where Mortal Kombat 11’s major flaws may be found. Some of the towers have modifications that purposefully make combat unfun to play.

Consider trying to win a fight against an opponent who starts with double your health and is constantly bombarded by missiles and help characters. Or an opponent who will startle you if you stand too close for more than a second or two. Yes, it’s a challenge, but it’s more frustrating than enjoyable.

You can employ several consumables to give yourself a fighting chance, and they can make you overcome otherwise impossible conflicts. But having to resort to frustrating methods like a projectile or consumable spamming is, to put it mildly, aggravating.

Another issue concerns the character-specific towers, which are the best places to go for acquiring gear tailored to the character you prefer to play as. Certain challenge towers are shut off for whatever reason until you add some random and repetitious duty, such as 50 uppercuts, 50 Fatalities, or 75 Brutalities(! ), which adds nothing but a meaningless impediment.

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Completing the towers is a grind in and of itself, so having to grind something extra on top of that seems ridiculous. To make matters worse, the rewards are randomized, which means you might not obtain anything worth your time or effort.

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Mortal Kombat 11 offers a Kombat Pack with six DLC characters, similar to almost every other Netherrealm game. Only one, Shang Tsung, has been announced so far.

The Kombat Pack is included in Mortal Kombat 11’s Premium Edition for $100, or it can be purchased separately for $40. That’s a lot of money, but considering the depth of the beginning roster of 20 characters, it’s not excessive.

More concerning is the Premium Shop, which is currently empty, and as a result, I’m unsure what will be available to buy with real money.

The Towers of Time are full of unfair fights that seem designed to lure you to look for Skip Fight tokens to bypass them, while the Krypt is full of random loot boxes that all cost gold.

Fortunately, not all towers are as bad as they seem.

Fortunately, not all towers are as bad as they seem. A handful of the gimmicks are entertaining, such as fighting against the screen going black every few seconds, and they help to break up the monotony of typical AI encounters.

And, because new challenges are added regularly, you can always go to a different tower if the one you’re stuck on isn’t working.

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Taking it Online

With the game’s growth being so unsatisfactory, it’ll be the fantastic online mode that keeps me coming back for months. To begin with the basics, Mortal Kombat 11 features some of the best netcode I’ve ever seen in a fighting game.

Even battles on wifi with two bars have very little, if any, visible lag, which is astonishing given how other games have battled in these settings.

You may play ranked matches, casual matchups, or King of the Hill, but you can also play strange AI matches in which you set a team of your customized characters against another’s and watch them fight it out for rewards.

In this mode, you can add special augments to your fighters and even customize their AI behavior, but it’s mostly just a method to keep Mortal Kombat 11 running while still earning rewards.

It’s interesting to see how character customization is handled in ranked play. You can set your cosmetics whatever you want, but each character has two competitive options from which to pick. What’s interesting is that these variations don’t exist as prefabricated variations anywhere except in competitive play, so if you want to train with them, you’ll have to make them yourself.

It’s also a pity that you can’t alter your movesets in ranked play, especially since some of the best and most powerful moves, such as Scorpion’s Misery Blade, aren’t available in ranked at all.

Fortunately, you may use whatever you want in the casual playlist, and unlike Injustice 2, there are no stat increases attached to gear, so everyone is on an equal footing.

The Final Word

Mortal Kombat 11 is a rare fighting game that hits nearly every note with such force. Everything about it is great, from its methodical and complex fighting to its hilariously ludicrous story mode and rock-solid netcode to its really thorough tutorial.

The keys to accessing Mortal Kombat 11‘s deep vault of customization possibilities are hidden behind the annoyingly gimmicky and grindy gates of the Krypt and Towers of Time, and it’s only when you get into its drawn-out advancement that it trips up.

This series continues to show that there’s more to fighting than its usually grisly Fatalities, and this one, in particular, stands out as a spine-chilling good time.

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