When I first heard of Mortal Kombat, it was from my older brother and how he found this AMAZING game in the arcade where you can freeze a guy and rip his spine out. When I first got to try it out myself, I was amazed at the gameplay, the visuals, and the pure ferocious and gruesome fighting! Now, nearly 30 years later, and many games later, I’ve kind of lost my interest. However, Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate has rekindled my love of the series and here’s why!
With Mortal Kombat 11 Ulitmate you get quite a lot of content all in one bundle. You get the complete Story mode which lets you play the original storyline and the Aftermath expansion too. In Story mode it plays out like a movie and the fights you take part in are woven into it like a well-placed plot. You must battle Kronika who plans to rewrite the Mortal Kombat timeline as she sees fit. It offers up a unique twist on the game and I found myself looking forward to what happens next in the story more than the fighting aspect, which I guess is the overall goal of this mode. It’s a great mix of characters from the older titles mixing with newer characters in one big Mortal Kombat universe.
The other game modes on offer are the Tower modes, Versus and online mode. The Tower mode has the classic Tower which every one of the original games will know and love and the Towers of Time, which changes periodically based on different challenges and themes. Completing these Towers gives you rewards like coins, orbs hearts. The coins and orbs are rewarded when you win your battles while hearts can be earned from performing some of the fatalities or brutalities.
The Krypt, which has been in past Mortal Kombat games, sees you taking control of an unknown combatant in third person as you walk around a large mysterious temple/Krypt. From here you can open up the various chests that are scattered about the place. These can be opened by spending coins that you’ve earned. Then you will see that there are also special chests that you can acquire using the orbs and hearts you have obtained. Inside these chests you will be rewarded with new cosmetics, concept art, fatalities among other rewards too. There are quite a lot of chests to unlock and there will be those hardcore among you that will be wanted to open each and every one of them.
The versus and online modes are just the usual run of the mill modes, where you face off against AI and human opponents. When playing online you are going to come up against the best there is and while they have been mastering the game since day one, you are going to get your backside handed to you more times than you would like to admit. It’s probably the only negative aspect about it, however, it’s the same for all games when you consider how popular these titles are. That being said, in respect to how well it performs in an online match, there is literally zero latency that I encountered or dropped fights that I experienced in my short dip into the online realm.
The gameplay in MK 11 feels super responsive and is probably the best version of the game I’ve played, though it’s probably not saying much, as I’ve not played many since the originals. Every character that you can choose from has their own fighting styles and move sets and will take an age to get them all down by muscle memory to a tea. There are a whopping 37, combatants to choose from, like my favourites Scorpion and Sub Zero to Rambo and The Terminator! Each of these has their own moves that stand out from the rest, plus a Fatal Blow move that is most satisfying to pull off and bone crunching to watch all at the same time.
The Fatal Blow that you can do once your health bar is at a critical state. Pressing the LT and RT at the same time pulls off this brutal attack that gives you a fighting chance and winning. If you are successful in attacking your opponent, you might be able to win.
Fatalities and brutalities are just as gruesome and visceral as in past titles of MK. These range from slicing people in half, setting them on fire and impaling their head through your spear freezing them in a block of ice and chopping off their head, and then freezing their decapitated head while you crush it. It’s insane how NetherRealm can keep coming up with new ways to finish off your opponent with each iteration of these games.
Each of the fighters on offer can also be customised and you can change almost everything about them from their suits to their move sets and you can basically make your ultimate fighter that suits your playstyle, which I love. You can even change their fatalities if you feel like it and some of these are locked, but you can unlock them in the Krypt. If you don’t feel like grinding away to unlock your gear for your favourite fighter, you can also use real world cash (microtransactions) to unlock moves and other customisation options too if you choose.
When Mortal Kombat 11 first came out, I never got a chance to take a look on the Xbox One/PS4, but I was lucky enough to try it out on the Xbox Series X and this game looks amazing! From the character animations in cut scenes to the pre-fight banter between each fighter before a fight, everything looks and feels sublime. Fighting in stages like underground caves with sunlight shining through and highlighting an ancient throne and forgotten king to an impressive arena that shows of hordes of crowds in the background cheering on for more blood and death! You will also notice throughout a fight and of course at the end of the fight, that each fighter is taking real-time damage and show some real suffering to their bodies. This is a nice little touch which adds to the overall visuals and aesthetics of the game.
The sound in MK 11 really accompanies the visuals perfectly, with each fist connecting in a satisfying way, letting you feel each powerful blow as they connect. With arms, legs and necks being broken with a crack and crunching horrific sound, while steel swords and weapons against flesh gives off that stomach wincing noise like a butcher hacking away at a meaty carcass. It can be
What you also get with the next-gen (now current) hardware is faster load times, which means you can fly through the Story and Towers modes a lot quicker. As soon as one fight is over, you are right on to the next in a heartbeat. Everything is fast paced, clean and responsive. The gameplay is also a lot more fluid and responsive, which is a must for a fighting game.
Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate is an amazing fighting game and has it’s nod to the original games that I love, while dropping in a fun story, and a lot of new features to keep an old fan like me entertained. From the visceral visuals to the great soundtrack that accompanies it, Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate gives fans everything they need for a blistering smash up. While there is a bit of a grind to obtain certain rewards, some will love trashing out to grab them.
GoG Rating: 9/10