Honestly, I don’t know if this is a comeback.
That’s probably better attributed to the likes of Mortal Kombat 9 (2011), which definitely relaunched the franchise back into the social lexicon.
This was carried on by the success of Mortal Kombat X (2015), which also managed to re-release itself as Mortal Kombat XL (2016) that included a BONKERS amount of content made for it after release.
So now, 3 years after X, we get the brilliantly named Mortal Kombat 11. Cause while it may be the eleventh in the series, it kind of feels like the sequel to a reboot the series just went through.
Continue the epic saga of Mortal Kombat, through a new cinematic story that is more than 25 years in the making!
Players will take on the role of past and present characters, in a time-bending new narrative that pits Raiden against Kronika, the Keeper of Time who created existence at the dawn of history.
I was expecting a great new story from 11. I enjoyed 9’s to no end and I suspect when I go back to it, I’ll enjoy X’s. But it’s not just these games that set this expectation, but also NetherRealm’s other title, Injustice 2.
And from what 11 feels like, is that not only did it learn a lot from it’s previous titles, but also A LOT from Injustice 2.
Not only is it the way the game utilises Unreal Engine 3 BEAUTIFULLY to produce some of the best versions of the characters I’ve ever seen, it’s that cinematic feel which I feel they really nailed down with Injustice.
The bombastic, somehow-reset storyline that is fully in continuity continues to refresh and revitalise the franchise in ways I didn’t expect, and it’s made me love Mortal Kombat all the more. The way it’s changed relationships, and given purpose to characters that may not have had any is absolutely my favourite thing, and just generally having a story unfold in front of you instead of through text has been a treasure.
Fighting feels very similar to 9 and X, but requires even more frame-accurate reaction that makes it feel wholly different to other games in the circuit (bar Injustice…). Fatalities, Brutalities and MK3’s Mercy all return, along with the new Fatal and Krushing Blows. Similar to the previously name X-Ray Attacks, Fatal Blows are a saving-grace-cinematic of brutal, bloodied revenge that can only be used once when you drop below 30% health, while Krushing Blows are powered-up hits that activate similarly to that of the Brutality. This adds even more mix-ups to the fight, and enhances the on-screen action heavily.
Because I hadn’t played X, I don’t know if the Towers had been as heavily changed as they are in 11. But as soon as they loaded, I saw them for what they are…and that’s Injustice‘s excellent Multiverse mode. Towers provide an ever-rotating array of challenges that players can complete for loot that can improve your favourite character’s look, play-style and more!
YES! Custom Variation is now a thing in Mortal Kombat and it’s just FANTASTIC. Sure it brings in grind with the likes of rewards from the Towers and Krypt, and yes, it’s why microtransactions are now in the game (which to be fair I still haven’t found), but as a 1-Main player, I have NO QUALMS with grinding it out for my boy Sub-Zero! Variations allow you to change your character’s skin and 3 different accessories, that also have their own power slots to adjust them further.
See how I snuck the Krypt in there? I did because that’s what it felt like to me! A SURPRISE! Honestly, I was used to the Krypt being a kind-of access point for in-game media but it was something else entirely and when I discovered the character who guides you through it…HOO BOY I WAS NOT READY!
Overall MK11 is a brilliant new addition to the franchise. If they manage their upcoming downloadable content correctly, then this game simply has and will continue to have hours of game built in. From the Krypt to the Towers, and the Story itself that has multiple endings, there is a lot to do. Whether or not you want to is up to you, but I’ll see you soon.
I’ve got more gear to get for Sub-Zero.
As gruesome as ever, with a continued effort around producing a fantastically fun narrative and tonnes of gameplay, Mortal Kombat 11 is an absolute riotous game in a franchise that has managed to adapt itself once again and will have you screaming out once again "MOOORRTTTAALLL KKKOOMMMBBBAATTTT!".
XENOJAY.COM was supplied with a media copy of the game for review by the distributor, and it was played on the Playstation 4 Pro console.