Review: Mortal Kombat XI
In 1992, 27 years ago, the first ever Mortal Kombat game hit the arcades. Today, so many years later, fans of the franchise will rejoice to hear Mortal Kombat XI is everything they’ve wished for and more. The timeline has been in shambles ever since the previous entry, so now is the time to fix it and play with our nostalgia while they’re at it.
The story of Mortal Kombat might have started out small, but by now would take someone hours to fully explain. The franchise has more than evolved from a mindless fighting game, if it ever even was just that. The story sees players face off against Kronika, the mistress of time. The broken timeline from Mortal Kombat X needs fixing, but who ever said it can’t be shaped the way she wants it to be?
Avoiding spoilers, we can assure you the story mode is more than worth playing through. It feels like watching a movie, with the occasional spine-splintering clash of characters in between. Cutscenes are very well done and there are plenty to be seen. The final boss fight is really well done and makes you use everything you’ve got, especially at higher difficulty settings. Both new and returning players will be able to fully get the story NetherRealm Studios is trying to tell, but seen as though we’re working with fractured timelines, be prepared to see a lot of callbacks to previous entries. Small spoiler warning: The old vs young Johnny Cage fight is as fun as it is nostalgic.
If you’ve finished story mode, you will have collected a ton of items along the way. These cosmetics are a fun way to keep you playing and offer a rich plethora of skins and items to make your main stand out. Towers are also back, both classic and endless mode and they’re as fun as ever. Players will also be able to walk around in an RPG style realm, where chests full of collectables can be opened, items can be traded and secrets are there to be found. A fun addition that will have players returning often, but for small amounts of time.
The real time-stealer in any Mortal Kombat game is the 1vs1 fight mode. Play against your on-/offline friends or the A.I. on loads of different maps or in a tournament or competitive mode. Getting all the different modes out-of-the-way first, there are still many different training and tutorial options available and there are a few more ways to unlock and use your collectables. Seen as though we want to keep our review manageable to read, we won’t sidetrack too much about all of this.
Mortal Kombat’s fighting system in this entry feels as good as it has ever been. New players will see themselves performing awesome, blood splattering moves soon after starting the game, but mastering a character will take months of training. This way Mortal Kombat XI is accessible of the get-go for newer players and veterans of the franchise alike. New moves, combos and features have been added to the game, which will take some getting used to. After all, who doesn’t love to see a well-performed fatality? Just a shame the easy-fatality tokens are still a thing.
Mortal Kombat 11 is a gem. A blood-soaked, razor-sharp gem of a game. The story mode is everything we wanted for it to be and the fighting system is rewarding for both new and experienced players. The roster is huge and ever-expanding, filled with new and returning characters. We have already put over 20 hours in the game in the short time we have had access to the title and we just know there will be plenty of hours to come. Mortal Kombat XI is more than worth the wait and has enough content to keep you going for a long time.
Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
Developer: NetherRealm Studios
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment