Carnage, that’s the main theme of fighting games. Broken bodies, broken bones and blood flying everywhere, that’s the end result of a match of any fighting game you imagine. Mortal Kombat 11 however is a different breed of fighter. Mortal Kombat, synonymous for its gratuitous use of violence has been around longer than I’ve been alive at this point. The franchise got its start in 1992 and has been pushing the boundaries of violence and fighting game design ever since.
A Small Taste
Mortal Kombat 9 was both a return to form for the franchise and an evolution of the fighting game genre. Mortal Kombat X was an advancement on everything that MK9 did, and MK11 takes everything from MKX and turns it on its head. MK11 has new and returning characters, new combos, a deeper fighting system, a strong story, new maps and modes to play with and best of all, a genuine sense of respect for the player and their time.
Time investment in games is a tricky thing these days. A large number of games launch with a full 60 dollar price tag and give less than 8 hours worth of content. While others launch with hundreds of hours of content waiting to be experienced from day one with dozens of hours more coming down the pipeline in the form of expansions to be released in the future. Mortal Kombat 11 is a hybrid of the two, the story mode depending on your skill with fighting games can take you between six to ten hours, however the story mode is just the beginning.
Further Time Investment
Online multiplayer is a fantastic experience that’s lag free leading to potentially hundreds of hours of enjoyment. Challenge towers introduce modifiers such as low gravity that introduce twists on gameplay mechanics causing you to alter the way you play. Classic modes like the arcade are available as is an extremely robust tutorial system that will teach you everything you need to know about how to play, which is a rarity in modern fighting games. Last but not least, there is also the krypt, a mode of play that lets you explore locations from previous games in the MK franchise. Exploration of the krypt lets the player get acquanted with the history of the game and its lore, while also unlocking collectibles and new moves to be used in game. MK11 provides a fantastic amount of content for the money and is well worth the purchase price.
Fighting game stories have been historically terrible, often making about as much sense as trying to start a fire while underwater. However the Mortal Kombat franchise in recent years has bucked that trend and MK11 is no exception. MK11 boasts a strong story mode that’s well acted, well written and well chorographed in terms of cinematography. The camera angles are fantastic. The lighting is stunning and the dialogue is spot on in terms of reflecting the personalities of every character that plays a role in the game. While also providing sufficient motivation for both the heroes and villains to go out of their way in an attempt to achieve their goals.
The gameplay in MK11 is some of the tightest, most refined action you’ll find in a fighting game anywhere. Movement is responsive and winning rounds/matches is dependent on your skill with the character you choose to use, not on luck. Mastering combos, learning how to time blocks and knowing how and when to use your meter effectively are your keys to victory. Every combo landed is a satisfying rush of adrenaline that’s only heightened when you manage to pull off a come from behind victory because you were able to punch your opponent for overlooking you.
Combos and meter usage are typical fighting game/Mortal Kombat fare, however Netherrealm studios changed things dramatically when it comes to X-Ray/Finishing attacks. Fans of Mortal Kombat since MK9 will know them as gory but powerful attacks that rival finishers in terms of brutality that also deal ridiculous amounts of damage and are capable of turning the tide of a fight. Unlike previous MK games these finishers are now only available when your character is at 30 percent health or lower, and you can only use one per match. So instead of them being a possible crutch or get out of jail free card, using them is now a strategic decision that adds even more depth to an already fantastic game and fighting system.
Mortal Kombat 11 is a special kind of game. Brutal and bloody but deep and intricate with rewarding gameplay that only gets more enjoyable as you spend more time with it. If you’re a fighting game fan, especially one that enjoys blood and gore, this isn’t a game to be missed.