Mortal Kombat 11 compels twisted time-travelling tale
Mortal Kombat beautifully handles it time-travel storyline that provides soul to this depravedly gory game
Mortal Kombat 11
Developer: NetherRealm Studios
Publisher: Warner Bros
Platform: PC, PS4, XBO
Price: PC: R1,350; PS4, XBO: R3,499
From the very first game, Mortal Kombat has pushed the boundaries of acceptable levels of gore and violence. While the new game pushes these boundaries even further, the true beauty of the MK11 is the storyline and how it just ties in its 30-year history from all the previous games together in to one compelling twisted time-travelling tale.
We started playing the game with the story mode and found it hard to put down the controller until the very end. The story was compelling enough, with a fair bit of fights thrown in. The new villain, Kronika, is mad at Raiden for upsetting the time balance and has revived past Mortal Kombat champions to do her bidding. Making it possible for the franchise to bring back fan favourites from the past while having different versions of the same characters around.
The fighting is impressive with updated mechanics, we felt the characters were a lot slower but it gave us ample time to try out moves and setup satisfying combos. There are unlimited X-ray moves now, and if you ever find yourself at the losing end, lowered life triggers Fatal Blows.
An automated combination of moves that will drain your opponent of life force, while being a visual treat. You can also adjust your character's moves to suit your fighting style. Not to mention the numerous combinations of gear that can be unlocked. It is also harder now to actually spam anyone with non-stop moves, making it a game that actually requires skill especially if you are going to take on another person. However, to play the offline modes of the game no such mastery is required.
Graphically as well, MK has never looked better. The characters models and facial expressions throughout the series are top-notch. The cut-scenes blend in to the game and blend out just as seamlessly. The fighting animation is also beautiful, not to mention the amount of gore and guts that you can extract during every fight. While the game has truly outdone itself in most areas, there are parts that play spoilsport.
As mentioned, you can customise your character to be uniquely yours with crazy amount of gear available for every character. Actually obtaining them, however, will involve a fair bit of grinding. There is gear that you will obtain from just playing the game but a majority of it has to be obtained by playing Towers of Time and Krypt. The Krypt is a huge dungeon that you explore and discover treasure in, every time you find a treasure chest you need to unlock it and most of the time you will get crap that you don't need.
Occasionally, you will find something good, but it takes too much time. Not when your time is better spent playing the actual game. Towers of time is another mess, where you take on characters that have a difficulty usually higher than yours and there are also towers that require you to finish certain tasks before you can attempt them. Playing through this mode is more grinding then fun. You can pay for time crystals and make life easier, it just seems like they are forcing you to do just that.
Online gameplay is crazy smooth. We didn't experience much lag and the matching was also a very pleasant experience. We found even the hand off mode AI Matches to be a lot of fun. No lightning fast reflexes required.
Mortal Kombat 11 is one of the greatest in the MK series. It has the right balance of story and combat, however, the grinding for gear and microtransactions are annoying. Despite this, the game is for anyone who likes fighting. Though true fans will appreciate the effort of tying up storylines and attention to detail that the developers have put in to the package.
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