Thursday, May 30, 2024

Mortal Kombat 11

28 years later and the iconic fighting series is still going strong. Boasted by celebrity voice-overs, returning characters and publicity over banned fatalities, Mortal Kombat 11 is the second best selling video game of 2019 so far.

I’m not much of a first person shooter or fighting game fan. I’m actually downright terrible at them; instead sticking to my own lane with action and adventure, role playing and fantasy stories. However, my husband was very excited about the April debut of Mortal Kombat 11 and dragged me to GameStop for its “midnight” release. Other people were excited about getting their hands on it too, with an older couple almost getting mowed down in the parking lot because they darted across the street, but that’s a story for another day.

My husband is a serious gamer and asked me to play with him when we got home. Of course he crushed me in every single round, and yeah, Mortal Kombat 11 wasn’t very fun at that point. Luckily, he went to work the following day and I snuck in some game-time solo and that’s when I really discovered the magic of this game. It’s as addicting and demented as ever, and even certain levels set to easy are quite difficult.

Developed by NetherRealm Studios and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Mortal Kombat 11 follows the events of Mortal Kombat X in the weeks after the previous game. Raiden has been corrupted by Shinnok’s amulet and goes on the offensive against those who threaten Earth, putting together a group of fighters to eliminate any threat to Earthrealm whether they’re currently attacking or not. These events capture the attention of Kronika, Shinnok’s mother, who is capable of pulling the strings of reality and time; thus rewriting history until she can get it just right. Kronika seeks to reset the time-line until somewhere around the events in Mortal Kombat 2, thus creating a world dubbed as The New Era. With so much power at her disposal, can she be stopped?

Play as Baraka, Cassie Cage, Cetrion, D’Vorah, Erron Black, Frost, Geras, Jacqui Briggs, Jade, Jax Briggs, Johnny Cage, Kabal, Kano, Kitana, Kollector, Kotal Kahn, Kung Lao, Lui Kang, Noob Sailbot, Raiden, Scorpion, Shao Kahn, Skarlet, Sonya Blade and Sub-Zero. As of this writing, Nightwolf, Sindel, Shang Tsung and Spawn are also available.

No matter if I’m doing a tower, player vs player or player vs computer, I always play as Johnny Cage, Kano, Kitana or Sonya Blade. My reasons for this are very simple. Kitana is a bad ass woman no matter how you slice it. Johnny Cage and Kano are the hottest men in the video game series (vapid, I know). Sonya Blade is voiced and somewhat modeled to resemble “The Baddest Woman on the Planet” Ronda Rousey. I’m a huge fan of the UFC legend and former WWE Women’s Champion, and play as Sonya Blade solely based on my own infatuation.

Mortal Kombat 11 is more glossy than I was expecting and no matter what environment you fight in – everything always looks so pretty. This is one of my small complaints. I feel like some of the sweat, grit and adrenaline from previous games are missing in this title. This is Mortal Kombat, not My Little Pony. My second minor complaint lies with the voice acting. History is being rewritten and your friends are dying, I’m going to need a little more effort put into the dialogue. Speak like you mean it and, hey, I can even admit Ms. Rousey wasn’t at her best here.

Perhaps my biggest complaint lies with Kronika herself, the game’s main villain. She’s just not difficult to beat in the slightest and a let down as far as final battles are concerned. I was able to beat her with ease every single time on easy mode and bested her with minimal resistance on medium. And, again, remember I’m not much of a fighter gamer. She was built to be the Thanos of Mortal Kombat and yet more experienced players can probably beat her with a blindfold on.

So, what did I enjoy? Let’s start with overall experience – you can grind out Mortal Kombat in a day or two thanks to the ability to skip the cut scenes after a few seconds. The story is more up my alley than previous entries in this series and it was actually quite fun. I wish I could say more, but I’m trying to avoid spoilers. Most of the basic controls and attacks are able to master, and many of the popular fatalities from previous games appear in one way or another; bringing that sense of nostalgia that lifelong fans are looking for.

Speaking of the fatalities, one of this series’ major draws, I can’t believe that Mortal Kombat 11 is banned in three or four countries because of this content. I love the sick and twisted deaths that the creators came up with, and the game’s glossy and colorful look that I mentioned before makes them somewhat suitable for tweens and above. My favorite fatality is the Johnny Cage hand-puppet for sheer comedic value alone.

Even though I’ve skipped a few games in the saga based on personal preference, I think Mortal Kombat 11 falls in my top three for this series and in my top ten for 2019 so far. Its replay value is beyond measure since you have the capacity to go back and beat it as more than a dozen players. Kill hundreds of hours and Earthrealm and Netherrealm champions in the most recent, exciting and enjoyable game in the Mortal Kombat line. Although, I’d recommend it most for PlayStation 4 and Xbox players.

Final Score: 8.5 out of 10

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