One thing is for sure, I won’t have to do Scorpion’s signature move (get over here) because you’re already reading our Mortal Kombat 11 review! Talking about signature moves, feel free to disagree but I think Mortal Kombat has a few of the most iconic characters and moves in fighting games history! Behind this juggernaut stands developer NetheЯRealm Studios and I think most well aware gamers know Ed Boon too, the creative director.
- Kampaign story mode with EPIC cinematics : The cinematics in this game are absolutely mind-blowing, visually and action wise. One minor note is that previous knowledge about Mortal Kombat is required for really understanding and enjoying the rich story. That said, this insane story full with fan service could perfectly fit the big screen in the cinema. It won’t be a sold-out event like Avengers: Endgame but viewers will be happy with the six hours full of action, humor and romance, oh… and around a hundred decapitations. NetherRealm delivered enough proof that they are masters in storytelling with Mortal Kombat X and Injustice 2 but Mortal Kombat 11 is a big step-up and can easily be considered one of the best single player story games of 2019. Honestly, I’m pretty sure nothing is going to top this. (Well, maybe Gears 5…)
- Kontent: So what do we have? 1) Six hour story mode 2) an incredibly deep tutorial system 3) Tower play that features a unique ending for all characters 4) Towers of Time (does require an online connection!) that changes every time you play and has special match differences, for example: screen going dark, reverse controls, upside down screen, combat modifications and so on. 5) and this is a big one, deep character customization, but more about this soon. In other words, Mortal Kombat 11 has hours and hours of gameplay without even thinking about online battles!
- Kore changes in combat: MK11 plays a lot slower but that is definitely a positive thing, when and how to take risks is much more important now, something the tutorial learns you perfectly! X-ray attacks (also called Krushing blows) return but tweaked and changed to one per match and each character executes it differently in multiple ways, for example my favorite character Scorpion has to hit his signature move “get over here” from maximum distance, if you press R1 on time you’ll land an X-ray attack, breaking the chin from the opponent, it doesn’t only look cool but provides some extra tactics too. The X-Ray attack from Mortal Kombat X returns too but is now called “fatal blow” that launched a cinematic brutal attack that isn’t for the weak souls. This can only be used if your low on health but deals a heck of a lot of damage, so being in the losing position isn’t always a disadvantage!
- Krypt “the dungeon full with easter eggs for MK-fans”: The Krypt has turned into a third person mode that allows you to discover the island from Shang Tsung, here Mortal Kombat fans are in for some very sweet surprises and easter eggs. I won’t spoil them but fans from the very first Mortal Kombat (and movies) will surely know what I’m talking about! In the Krypt you will come across some puzzles and dangers to keep things a little exciting. The most excitement will come from opening chests that can be found everywhere, with earned Koins you’ll unlock artwork, outfits or new fatalities.
- Kapable tutorials: If Mortal Kombat 11 doesn’t learn you how to properly play a fighting game nothing else will NetherRealm put a lot of effort and time into all the different learning tools. You have the basics and advanced tutorials that you find in other games but they go incredibly deep with extra tutorials that explain frame fighting and frame defending, stage positioning and each character has a separate tutorial on what tactics are best to use. Impressive stuff! It is pretty easy to find your favorite playstyle or character with the character tutorials, it also shows how varied the character roster is with fighting styles.
- Kool and stunning visuals: Despite running on the older Unreal Engine 3, Mortal Kombat 11 is by far the most beautiful fighting game on the market. It is pure eye candy! Everything looks very realistic, character faces and models are highly detailed and the environments are nicely animated. This also means that the action and gore are even more crueler than ever before. Word of caution, this is not the kind of game that you let your kid play.
- Konstant rewards but very grindy: I’m sure you noticed the commotion on the internet with the rewards but in all honesty, I don’t really mind that it takes very long. All it does to me is keep me motivated for playing it for a very, very long time. Getting enough hearts is the main “issue” as you only get some with fatalities or brutalities (and in the Krypt for doing Scorpions move with hanging bodies) I’m kinda baffled that gamers these days always want constant rewards, gaming has changed, I know that but I kinda miss the old days where unlocking stuff actually took a lot of gaming hours.
- Kharacters MIA but still an impressive 25 strong roster: Let me immediately disappoint you, Kenshi (my favorite) – Reptile – Goro – Rain or Quan Chi and others aren’t playable. Sektor and Cyrax are even featured in the story but aren’t playable either (more at the bad) While I understand that not every character can be in the roster it is still a bitter pill to swallow. I’m pretty sure we’ll see some iconic characters as DLC (and some wicked guest-characters) but that’s only a small comfort for missing your favorite fighter. NetherRealm makes up with that with three brand new playable characters, the time-manipulating fighter Geras, Kollektor who at first sight looks like Goro with anorexia and the Goddess of nature Cetrion. The fact that all 25 fighters play differently and have multiple versions is remarkable, it takes a while to learn each one but I’m pretty sure everyone will have multiple favorites.
- Kharacters that are not playable: I don’t know about you but I think it is really disappointing to battle against Sektor and Cyrax in the story mode and not being able to play as them. It is literally rubbing it in your face… so you do all the time and effort with animations, move sets and visuals to have them battle you but make them playable? Nope … it isn’t only with our robotic friends but also the main villain Kronika isn’t playable.
What a fighting ride! Mortal Kombat 11 does a pretty easy fatality against all others in the genre and takes the fighting crown. Visually stunning, a great story mode and interesting characters make this a must-have game for Xbox One!
Developer: NetheЯRealm Publisher: Warner Bros
Played on: Xbox One X, also available on: PS4, Switch and PC
Achievement difficulty: Will take some time to collect 2 fatalities for each character.
Perfect for: Gore fans, gamers who like a good story