Not too many franchises can boast that they have lasted the test of time like Mortal Kombat can. A series that in it’s 27 year reign as one of the best fighting games in the business has spun off into feature films, tv series and even topping the charts with a techno song.
Along the way the series has created it’s own language for pop culture enthusiasts with phrases like “Finish Him” or “Fatality” which are embedded in our minds as a cue to the final moments of battle.
That familiarity is what has made Mortal Kombat 11 one of the most anticipated games of the year while other fighting games like the more recent versions of Soul Calibure or Tekken were met with mixed reviews and disappeared into the void.
Mortal Kombat is as much about taking risks as it is about the characters, each of them unique with deep back stories in a world that is equal parts ridiculous and awesome. You can’t help but immerse yourself in the story to unlock new characters, fatalities, cosmetics and concept art.
This time round the big bad is Kronika and as the name suggests she can control time and is messing with history. (I wonder if she was born with that name? Perhaps she was “Sue” and then became “Kronika” later). The issues with the timeline force the characters to battle and make new alliances with their past selves so it’s kind of letting the previous games be rebooted into a new lore.
There are three new characters added to the roster who don’t particuarly stand out but are fun enough to try out. Geras who has time powers, Cetrion who is a god with elemental powers and “The Kollector” who is a hooded 6 armed demon with the obvious classic Kombat spelling having a “K” where a “C” should be.
The special meter is probably the biggest change to the game. It’s been simplified and split into offensive and defensive so you don’t need to hold onto those attacks for that “just in case moment” at the end of a battle. It also means you’ll see a lot more of the special attacks being used in combat which will speed up the battles and make them more exciting.
The combat strings can be a bit daunting for new players but NetherRealm Studios have learn’t a fair bit from designing games like the DC Super Hero fighter Injustice (1 & 2) and have incorporated those tutorial systems so you can practise to get it right before heading into battle or onto an online arena.
Klassic Towers is back which is the single player mode where you work your way up the tower before fighting a boss. In this case it’s Kronika. You’ll also see “Towers of Time” which are limited time towers with modifiers. These are great but can be really hard so make sure you go in with characters you are really familiar with and use the Konsumables. (My spellcheck is getting a workout today)
If you’ve been watching the videos in the lead up to release you would have noticed that Mortal Kombat 11 is ramping up the violence and gore like never before and why not? It’s what the series is famous for, if you took that away it would be like playing GTA but not stealing a car.
Mortal Kombat 11 is a great game for fans of the series as well as for new comers. Like other NetherRealms Studios fighters you’ll have hours of gameplay but also a fair bit of purchasable DLC so if you like that stuff you may end up spending a bit of your hard earned.
Mortal Kombat 11 is available now for PC, Xbox One, PS4 and the Nintendo Switch.