Developer: NetherRealm Studios
Formats: PC, XBO, PS4, Switch
Release: April 23
Since way back in 1992, Mortal Kombat has been ripping the spine out of the fighting genre and spitting fire on its corpse. The original badass of video gaming is still very much badass. It’s still delivering incredibly tight one-on-one 2D fighting combat. It’s still got the sharpest, fastest and goriest visuals going around. And it’s still happy to rip out your beating heart and show it to you with a catalogue of spectacular finishers.
It’s true that the series had somewhat lost its way during the 2000s, but in 2011 it was successfully rebooted, and then 2015’s Mortal Kombat X became the best release in the series to date. It made the most of a glorious new visual style, offered excellent controls and it featured a renewed focus to characters and story. It also brought back Brutalities, with five available to each character, bringing combos to life in incredibly rewarding ways.
Mortal Kombat 11 isn’t a remake or a reboot, but an evolution to the experience that developer NetherRealm has now mastered. It’s been made more accessible for people to just pick up and start combing, but has depth for good players, with move amplifiers and additional meters to utilise.
New to this entry are Fatal Blows, damaging special moves that can’t be unleashed until your health drops below 30-percent. It gives you a chance to get back into the fight if you’re getting spanked, but can only be used once in a game. Also working towards that cause is the new Flawless Block, which activates if you block an attack with perfect timing. If done correctly, you will be given an opportunity to counter.
The super enjoyable x-ray attacks of the more recent games do return under a slightly new system called Krushing Blow. This is still a cinematic, but can be triggered more often. Watching bones break is just so darn cathartic! Depending on your mode, there are now perks you can consume mid-game, too – like missile strike – adding even more to your available moves.
Mortal Kombat dives deeper with its customisation options for each fighter. Once you select who you want to fight as, you can go in and vary the available moves and even modify them, so they’re better suited to your style. You can now change and add gear, too, although they’re just cosmetic changes.
In many ways you know what you’re getting from Mortal Kombat, but if you haven’t played the series for a while, you’ll love how it has grown. It feels so good in your hands, an offers nostalgia and sense of being brand new in equal doses. Finish him!
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