Mortal Kombat is one of the rare franchises that survived the 16-bit era and five console generations later it is still going strong. The violence and levels of blood always distinguished MK over the likes of Tekken and Street Fighter, but has the recipe finally gone stale?
Well, it hasn’t. Somehow the developers were able to keep the game fresh with all the additional content, and there is a lot of it. Not only are there loads of characters to choose, but each one also has tonnes of customisation unlockables from skins to finishing moves. You could play this game for a year and not unlock everything.
I once lauded Mortal Kombat for having the best story mode in a fighting game, and to this day, no other fighting game comes close. So, for MK11 the bar was high and the developers only had themselves to compete against. Roughly a 5 hour campaign that is split in 2 parts which takes you through many story angles with at least half of the player roster and you see almost everyone from the series in the expertly crafted cutscenes.
Fights blend near seamlessly from cutscene to gameplay and it all works so well. The combat choreography in the rendered scenes are superb, more so when you consider how many fights feature and each one is unique and tailored to the character and their fighting style. You can skip the video if you just want to fight, but you will be missing out on a great story.
Kronica, a time lord wants to reset the timeline to prevent Raiden from his warpath and she recruits all of Raiden’s enemies as well as his previous lost allies, convincing them this is the best way to right the wrongs of the past. I really appreciate a story that has a “bad guy” that has a logical goal and how some people follow their reasoning and other abhor it.
Naturally, the game looks great, blood and guts have never looked more gross, in a good way. I thought I was jaded to violence in games, but maybe it is just me ageing, but some of the gore is a bit too much for some people.
The main goal of a fighting game is the gameplay and if it can be easily picked up and played but has a second and tertiary layer of depth to keep you coming back for more. MK11 does, and it also teaches you all the nuances in a set of very detailed tutorials that not only teach you the moves, but even how many frames each one takes. I found it was a little too complicated and the button combinations and especially the timing needs to be inhumanely accurate to get good at. I typically do not like fighting games that have a specific block button. Pressing R2 and timing it just right will cause advanced moves to allow you to break a combo, but I was never able to do this successfully in battle and it seems like the developers missed a trick with the adaptive triggers to increase the tension on the trigger the longer you block, maybe next time.
The tower modes are also back in MK11 and there are loads of them with continuous variations that throw in modifiers that will either give power ups to the enemy or the environment throws things at you that you must dodge. It really mixes up the gameplay.
Playing Mortal Kombat 11 continually rewards you with unlocks but also Koins. These can be used specifically in the Krypt mode. In previous titles the Krypt was simply a set of numbered treasure chests that you can buy to unlock in game content. This time however the mode is a fully rendered 3D environment that you can run around and interact with objects as well as unlock chests with your Koins. There is a puzzle here too, whereby you need to figure out how to traverse to hidden or locked areas, some are simple damaged walls that you can hit with your hammer, others require specific keys.
I mentioned this before, but it is worth saying again. The amount of content here is frankly overwhelming. Not only the 37 characters and seeing their fatalities, brutalities and friendships. Skins, consumables for the tower mode and customisations for your character as well as levelling each on up. It is easy to say, if you are a fan of the series, you will always have something to work towards.
Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate still holds the crown of the best story in a fighting game and would be worth you giving a go if you haven’t played one in a while.
- Replay Value