The 90’s were host to an arcade scene dominated by fighters. Street Fighter, King of Fighters, Samurai Showdown and the ilk were all Japanese designed games that ate quarters like candy. That’s when three Americans – Ed Boon, John Tobias, and the Toasty Man himself (Dan Forden) decided to throw their hat into the ring. Enter Mortal Kombat. Mortal Kombat is a franchise known for it’s panache, it’s flash, and it’s grotesque over the top shock rock violence. As a series it is responsible for the introduction of the “Fatality”, live action character models, secret commands galore, and most importantly- the creation of the ESRB. It’s safe to say Mortal Kombat has left a footprint on the fighting game genre that cannot be overstated.
In the modern era, the now famous Netherealm Studios has been knocking it out the park with major hits like Mortal Kombat X and Injustice 2. So imagine my hype when London hosted the reveal for their latest game: Mortal Kombat 11. So ‘Get Over Here’ and sit down – this is Remote Play’s review of Mortal Kombat 11.
Let’s start with the bread and butter of any fighting game, The gameplay. Mortal Kombat 11 feels better than ever. Running at a steady 60 FPS across all platforms (including the Nintendo Switch)- the gameplay is responsive, fluid, and tactile. The game has a deliberate nature with animation culling taking precedence. This means an overall slower game, but a better fighting experience in play. Character’s no longer feel like puppets that are ice glading across the floor.
The first thing players will notice are multiple new mechanics. The meter system is now split into a defensive and offensive bar which allows players to counter attack and avoid being exploited with wake up attacks. Next, Krushing blows are devastating moves that do a ton of damage and trigger these gorgeous sequences of destruction. Lastly, Fatal Blows are effectively Injustice inspired super moves that have become the new X-Ray Attack that can be used once the player is under 30% of health.
Oh let me remind you, Fatalities, Brutalities, Mercies, and Environmental deaths are ALL in. Oh and boy are they a thing of beauty. Sub Zero removes the entire skeletal framework from his opponent and proceeds to beat them senselessly, Raiden dismembers his opponent and unleashes a Thunder Fireball, Scorpion decapitates his opponent and kicks his head off like a soccer ball. The gore is in folks.
On a technical front – Mortal Kombat 11 is running on a modified version of the Unreal Engine 3. The PS4 Pro and Xbox One X both use dynamic resolution scaling to try and hit 1800p and 4K respectively, while the Switch has geometric reductions, lower poly models, and lower res textures. All that said though, no matter which version of the game you buy, you are in for a fantastic experience.
Stages are also some of the most memorable in the franchise history. Ranging from ruined temples and jungles to a ship sailing on a bloodied sea and space- all of these feel unique and different from each other. Thankfully Netherealm listened to us and doubled the amount of stages and didn’t just recycle the same ones in a different colour. Character models also look top notch, even looking better than some other larger games. Every character has their own style and each feel different with their own personalities. Netherealm really went to town with the motion capture. Animations are world class, and in game cut scenes have a cinematic quality unseen in any other fighting game.
Mortal Kombat 11 features a wide range of game modes featuring Klassic towers, Towers Of Time, Local and Online play, The Krypt which returns more bigger than ever and the thing Netherealm’s fighting games that separates them from the rest, a fully fledged story mode. There’s plenty of things for players to do here and that’s not counting the tons of hours they’ll spend in the customisation menu.
With all the great things that come with Mortal Kombat 11, there are a few issues. One of them is the overlooming presence of microtransactions. Yes you can ignore them but it still leaves a sour taste in your mouth. The second thing is that a lot players might find MK11 too grindy for it’s own good. You’d have to spend at least 4000 hours to unlock everything. Some people who will play MK11 constantly might not find it a problem. But with the Krypt being random with it’s rewards and the tons of unlockables that are locked behind lists of objectives, it might be just too much. But overall it doesn’t completely take away from the experience.
The roster has a strong 24 characters to pick from, 25 if you include Pre-Order bonus Shao Khan. Mortal Kombat features returning classic characters such as Baracka, Jade, Frost and Noob Saibot. Even MK9 DLC character Scarlet got turned into a fully fledged character this time around. Yes there are notable omissions such as Reptile, Mileena, Ermac and Kenshi (a personal favorite). What is here- is solid and I’m sure more will be added down the line.
So with all that said – I’ll have to cut it here. Are you a fan of fighters? Do you like over the top violence? Do you like incredible visuals? Than I highly suggest you look into Mortal Kombat XI. No one played it safe- this is a must play. This shouldn’t suprise anyone when I say this: this is the best Mortal Kombat game yet. Bravo Netherealm. Bravo.
A review code was provided by WB Games
Developer: Netherealm / Publisher: WB Games
Release date: 23/04/2019
Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch and PC
Version Reviewed: Xbox One X
“This is the best Mortal Kombat game yet”