By Jovani Contreras
*In this review, there will be minor spoilers*
Starting in October 1992, “Mortal Kombat” has made an impact in the fighting game industry. The iconic franchise, known for its gore and brutality, has 18 games total in its series. Their most recent addition to the series, “Mortal Kombat 11,” launched on April 23, 2019.
“Mortal Kombat 11,” also known as MK11, mainly focuses on three parts: a story mode, an online PVP (player versus player) and classic towers where players fight a series of AI opponents. The game also offers features such as a practice mode where players can train and hone their skills. It also offers a customization screen to create individual variations of fighters to personalize it for players.
The plot of the MK11 story might not be perfectly consistent nor the most original concept; however, the immersive world that MK11 has created is easy to get lost in. With such a large cast (25 playable fighters), it would be hard to follow and be interested in each character individually without playing previous games.
But each fighter separates themselves, each being visually engaging and having complex character development built up. The reintroduced combatants from previous MK games were a mind-blowing surprise to players and made the eighteenth game in the series very nostalgic.
The story mode of MK11 picks up where the previous game “Mortal Kombat X” left off. The story opens strong as new players are introduced to Raiden, a god of thunder, who protects Earthrealm (Earth).
Raiden mercilessly decapitates his longtime enemy and former main antagonist Shinnok, an evil sorcerer who ruled the underworld of the Mortal Kombat universe known as the Netherealm. Raiden, alongside an Earthrealm fighter Lui Kang, goes on to protect Earth after the Mortal Kombat timeline is broken, bringing back a few of the combatants from former games that long-term players were happy to see.
The past villains are reintroduced in MK11 after being left out of the previous games. Players later meet Kronika, the main antagonist who brought the older characters to the current Mortal Kombat timeline to conquer Earth and destroy Raiden in order to stay in this new universe permanently.
Long time fans of the franchise like myself got to fight using beloved characters from older games in high definition graphics with advanced game mechanics. The quality and attention to detail make the visuals are superb, making players engaged in what is going on. The use of the familiar characters somewhat makes up for the repetitiveness of the story.
In the world of fighting games, each game has a different set of mechanics and rules that make the game unique. But the mechanics of MK11 are easy to learn and do not require a lot of practice to perform basic combos.
The simple game mechanics are inviting and one of my personal favorite fighting game styles since they don’t take much memorization or experience to play. Combos are inputs of buttons that a player enters from a controller or fight stick to perform damaging moves in the game. The combos are simple and easy to perform but the game still takes a high amount of strategy to compete online.
The fighting style of MK11 is responsive and appealing. It is easy for new players to learn while at the same time being complex enough to satisfy professional players when playing competitively.
One of the most iconic phrases from the franchise is the “finish them” that players hear when performing a fatality. A new Mortal Kombat game means new fatalities and in MK11 the fatalities are detailed, disgusting and ultra-violent meaning they are everything they are supposed to be and more. Fatalities are performed by an input of buttons on the classic “finish them” screen that appears after you beat your opponent or you are beaten.
Typical fatalities involve spines being ripped, limbs flying and other morbid details. Fatalities are a gruesome part of an already gruesome game. Fatalities make beating opponents exciting as you get to see your character rip your fallen for to shreds.
“Last Dance” is an unordinary, comedic fatality that enrages all players who have the finisher performed on their players but bring joy to those who perform it. After the player inputs the buttons, climactic music plays and the character Kano chugs a bottle of beer until it’s empty.
Kano follows up by breaking the bottle on his defeated opponent’s head and stabs the weary victim in their throat, bottleneck facing out. Kano then proceeds to dance with the bleeding corpse as the screen projects, “You win.”
Whether you’re a longtime fan or just looking for a story mode to grind, or even just interested in learning a little more about fighting games, there is something for everyone in MK11.
Featured Image (at the top of this post): This shows the fighter Sub-Zero. PHOTO CREDIT: Wallpaper Access
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