NetherRealms flagship fighting game series is back, offering one of the most polished and customisable entries in the genre to date.
Just when you think Ed Boon and his talented conclave of fighting game wizards may have finally run out of ideas, they punch back even harder than before. Where most genres have room to expand and morph, the traditional 2D-style fighter has an entrenched list of commandments it must adhere to. Over time, a cage has slowly formed around heavy hitters such as Street Fighter and Tekken and aside from refreshing their character rosters every several years, changes are granular and rarely meaningful.
Since being rebooted in 2011, however, Mortal Kombat has continued to push the envelope in new and experimental ways. Fans will remember that, long before then, the studio at Midway frequently took gambles with a number of spin-offs, adding weapon systems, and even bolting on modes such as kart racing and chess.
Recent games in the series have been much more focused, obsessively fine-tuning their core fighting mechanics and surrounding them with an increasingly complex web of systems. NetherRealms work on Injustice has played a considerable role in this continued evolution, becoming an experimental stepping stone for Mortal Kombat 11.
The biggest change this time around is a Kustomize menu, decked out with plenty of options for moulding each character to suit your own particular playstyle. Here you can dress up fighters in a variety of unlockable skins and gear pieces, such as masks, helmets, and weapons – some mimicking retro-style Mortal Kombat costumes.
Beneath this cosmetic layer, however, theres a loadout system. Although each character has access to a number of special attacks, youre only allowed to slot a set number of them, sacrificing the rest. On the surface this seems limiting and somewhat counterintuitive but it helps add a layer of pre-game strategy that wasnt there before. With stat-adjusting Augments boosting the power and effects of certain moves, 11s loadouts add a degree of personalisation fighting game fans may not be expecting.
Its an evolution of what NetherRealms done in the past, fusing together the swappable movesets of Mortal Kombat X with Injustice 2s divisive loot system. There are other customisable elements in there too, such as character intros, fatalities, brutalities and such that will no doubt help pad out 11s steady stream of unlocks, that youll earn as you level up and delve into the revamped Mortal Kombat Krypt.
The fighting itself remains largely unchanged. If youve been playing through Mortal Kombat X in the run-up to this latest instalment, then the transition between the two will be fairly seamless. You can quite easily shove two newcomers in front of Mortal Kombat 11 and theyll have a great time whaling on one another without needing to memorise special moves or having a fatality input scrawled on the back of their hand.
As with any fighter youll need to study the movesets to get the most out of the game, although the way this information is presented makes this a painless learning process. Mortal Kombat also has a distinct groove thats easier to gel with than other fighting games, especially Japanese titles that still insist on half and quarter circle inputs.
With 25 slots in its launch roster, Mortal Kombat 11 sees the return of fan favourites such as Scorpion and Sub-Zero, as well as some of those characters previously killed off – Baraka being one of them. Each fighter has their own nuance and style but switching between them wont require a complete change in mindset. That said, with time manipulation being a theme throughout this sequel, newcomer Geras has the power to add or subtract from the countdown clock and although she hasnt been confirmed as playable, its likely that big bad Kronika will have similarly inventive powers at her disposal.
One mechanic thats been reworked for the sequel is the super meter. In Mortal Kombat 11 this has been split into two bars, one being used to strengthen special attacks while the other allows for defensive manoeuvres, both recharging independently. Having two meters sounds needlesslyRead More – Source