Mortal Kombat Review
I was an avid fan of the Mortal Kombat series throughout my youth on the Sega Mega Drive and PS1. My love for the series culminating with Mortal Kombat 9 on Xbox 360. Since MK9 though, I dropped off the series, until MK 11 that is, and what a time to come back. With a more beginner friendly fighting system, a huge cast and more gore than a 70’s horror, this long time Street Fighter fan couldn’t wait to jump back into Kombat.
Nether Realm have always been the best at delivering incredible single player content in fighting games, and MK 11 is no different. From a 10 hour long campaign that acts almost like an interactive TV series, to endless towers and loot up for grabs. If online isn’t your cup of tea, then Nether Realm have your back. While the story is good and concludes the arch that started with MK9, it was the towers of time I spent most of my time with. This isn’t a knock against the story, it has great writing and acting, apart from one member of the cast, a certain Sonya Dull. Apart from Sonya, the story is great and has some great fights too. It’s just not as fun as the towers.
Towers of Time consist of an ever rotating set of challenging battles. Each tower will consist of 3 or 4 individual towers with around 5 fights each. Each fight has a modifier that can really screw you over. From constant barrage of missiles coming for you, or characters jumping into interrupt your combos from the to time. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes these are really annoying, but the challenge makes it worth it. The feeling of performing a fatality on that Jax that kicked your arse for 3 hours straight is awesome. Add in the loot in the form of Koins and other things to spend in the Krypt, costumes and more you can earn, Towers of Time can keep you busy for a long time.
Mortal Kombat 11 appeals to a large audience and a lot of fighting game casual/beginners, thankfully MK11 has the best tutorial of any fighting game I’ve ever played. Teaching you absolutely everything from the ground up, including frame data, whiff punishing and more. This is the go to resource for anyone picking up MK11. I’ve played SFV since launch and had to go out of my way to find most of my knowledge from articles, Reddit and YouTube. MK11 scraps all that and just gives you everything you will need to get started and more.
The only thing I found missing is combo trials. SFV has some useless and some vital combo trials, but they give you a feeling for each character and what they can do. MK11’s closest thing to combo trials are character specific trials. These just give you target combos and special moves though. I wish it had just 2 or 3 combos at the end to practice.
This is such a slight knock against the game though that overall it’s inconsequential.
After you’ve had your fill of single player content you can test you might online. This section may seem scary to people who don’t play fighting games, bit stick with me. Simply put MK11 has the best net code I’ve ever played in a fighting game. After 50 matches I hardly noticed any roll back, lag spikes, frame drops or major input delay. Something that unfortunately plagues SFV. Before every match it gives you connection speeds, if they are on WiFi, how many he’s they have played and more. If the ping or WiFi is not for you, you can decline. Every match I’ve accepted with sub 100 ping has been fantastic, even the off WiFi match was pretty solid.
I’m casual matches you can rematch as many times as you’d like. I played one Sub Zero 23 times in a row because it was that close and fun. I absolutely love this feature and would love it in SFV. In ranked you can swap characters after a loss and it’s best of 5 same as tournament play. It’s another small touch, but it’s so great being able to swap characters and even pick your character before the match starts. One of my favourite modes from MK9 is back too, King of the Hill. I would play KOTH for days on end back on the Xbox 360 and MK11 nails KOTH too. You can spectate each match and then jump into the hot seat when it’s your turn. Win the match and stay on. Want to just watch? You can activate AFK mode and just spectate. KOTH is great in MK11 and mixed with private rooms, MK11 really has everything you’d want online.
One of MK11’s new features is custom classes. Each character has a set of special moves. Each special moves costs a single point or two and you have three points. You can have 3 single cost abilities or a two and a one. There’s such a huge variety here that you can easily max the 5 saved slots quite easily. The reason I’m leaving this until last is because I didn’t utilise them much. Online ranked is restricted to two preset builds, so I just used these.
Overall Mortal Kombat 11 is the most complete MK game ever. It has the best tutorial, incredible single player content and some of the best net code in the FGC. It all adds up to make the perfect fighting game. While the combat and gameplay is different to Street Fighter V, it’s a welcome switch of pace. I think I will go back to my comfort food of SFV, bit overall MK11 is the far superior game.