Mortal Kombat 11 Review

The legacy kontinues.

Since the explosion of popularity in the 90s with Street Fighter 2 fighting games have since had a steep learning curve with precise inputs and control motions necessary to perform combos. And this complexity has gotten Street Fighter  a lot of support for its Esports tournaments with the Capcom Pro Tour having a prize pool of $600,000. But for many, Mortal Kombat has not gotten the same level of respect by the FGC community. With many seeing its focus on flashy gore over complex mechanics as a determent. As for Mortal Kombat 11 I can say this isn’t the case and they have done a 180 from the combat found in Mortal Kombat X.

The combat in MK11 is way more Esport centric. They changed many mechanics from MKX, making the tutorial a necessity if you want to play online with any competence. The tutorial is so expansive they even go into the frame data of moves and the situations where certain moves are applicable. From what I’ve noticed there has been a real shift toward defense as the speed is dialed down from X to a more grounded footsie game most similar to a Street Fighter title.

In addition they have done away with the one meter system found in their previous games and in NetherRealm Studios Injustice series. Now there are two energy bars an offensive and defensive bar that can be utilized to give a move a little extra kick or to escape combos. Another change to the meter system is that there are no longer X-ray attacks which were a graphic special attack one could execute once they had full meter. Now the X-rays have been changed to Fatal Blows which are an attack you can perform once a game when your health bar is low to deal a flashy and gorily exaggerated attack.

In regards to the story which involves time travel I was not the biggest fan of. Though it leads to fun interactions from the characters present self and past self from the older games. This leads to a lack of gravitas as in the back of your head you might just find yourself thinking they should just go back in time all the time. Also, when you look at NetherRealm Studios other fighting franchise “Injustice”, a DC superhero fighting game series. Which follows a what if where after the Joker kills Lois Lane and blows up Metropolis Superman kills the Joker. And installs an authoritarian world government with himself as leader to stop crime forever. With Batman forming a resistance movement to stop Superman and bring freedom back to the world. So when you go from Injustice 2’s story which came out in 2017 to this I found myself a little underwhelmed. All in all the story wasn’t bad and is way better than other fighting game series stories like “Street Fighter V” or “Dragon Ball FighterZ” but just not as good as their last game Injustice 2’s.

I’d have to say the fighting and the fun that it brings makes up for most of the stories faults. Since, once I got used to the difference in mechanics from the previous game. I found myself thoroughly enjoying learning new tips tricks and combos to try out in matches. Another part of the game that must be mentioned is the gear system which is good but not great as again I find myself saying that Injustice 2 did it better. With their being more variety in the gear you could equip your fighter to really personalize them making it so my Batman when I played online felt like my own creation as he didn’t look like anyone else’s truly making it feel personal. With the MK11 there just aren’t as many choices more shaders changing the colors which just doesn’t look quite right on these icons as Scorpions color scheme is iconic, he’s black and yellow and it’s not the same when you make him green. One thing that was done better than Injustice 2 was the graphics as they look way smoother running at 60fps and way more detailed with the gore looking very graphic which in Mortal Kombat is kinda the point. The backgrounds and textures of the costumes were also premium as I could really get a sense for the material they were made from.

All in all though I found some parts of Mortal Kombat 11 a downgrade from Injustice 2 like the story or gear system I have to say that the game play mechanics and graphics really give it a huge edge in quality over Mortal Kombat X and Injustice 2 and in a fighting game that’s very important. I’d still say I like Injustice 2 more but it’d be foolish of me to downplay MK11’s overall polish and I’d give it an 3.5/5.