Mortal Kombat 11, developer NetherRealm Studios’ newest fighting game, is far more than the guts and gore titles on which the series built its fame. The narrative sequel to Mortal Kombat X, Mortal Kombat 11 uses time travel, much like another popular, recently released pop culture property, to pit characters against their rivals in the past in order to alter the present. Whatever. Mortal Kombat 11 continues the series tradition of chop-socky action and otherworldly mysticism to lay the foundation for military operatives, ninjas, gods, and monsters to punch each other squarely in the face. This outstanding pc game is easily the best Mortal Kombat game to date, and thus an easy recommendation.
There isn’t a fighting games series I’ve wanted to love more than Mortal Kombat. It’s one part Enter the Dragon, onepart Big Trouble In Little China, and a whole lot of schlock and melodrama. Yet, its incredibly stiff animations have always kept me from enjoying the game’s flow. With Mortal Kombat 11, however, NetherRealm Studios improved the animations so that the attacks connect in a smoother fashion.
Mostly, The game looks and plays better than any other Mortal Kombat before it. Despite the animation improvements, though, some characters still have odd fighting stances or attack motions that lack the cool factor of the martial arts movies that the series emulates.
Offensive and Defensive Features
Besides two punches, two kicks, special moves, and the returning Variation system, each Mortal Kombat 11 fighter has a new Fatal Blow and Krushing Blow. Fatal Blow replaces Mortal Kombat XL X-Ray Move. It’s a new attack that you execute by simultaneously pressing your controller’s trigger buttons when your character’s health is below 30 percent. Think of it as an in-game Fatality that does big damage. You can only land it once per match, but should you whiff the attack, you can wait a short while and try it again. This prevents people from simply spamming it until their characters connect. Krushing Blow is an enhanced combo or special move that occurs during unique gameplay conditions. It can only be used once per match.
In addition, you can boost your special moves by pressing block while executing the move. These Amplified Special Moves typically cost 50 percent of the new Offensive Gauge. You’ll see a cool visual flash that indicates that you performed it correctly.
For example, Johnny Cage has a single-somersault Flash Kick special attack, but if you Amplify it, the character flips twice in the air to land an additional hit. Cool environmental interactions, such as wall-running out of a corner or using a weapon in the background scenery, costs half the new Defensive Gauge.
Overall, Mortal Kombat 11 plays really, really well. The fighting has an excellent flow, and the new attacks add an even greater cinematic quality to the action. Online versus matches were silky smooth, too. I never had trouble finding opponents, and the connections were strong throughout my many online gameplay sessions.
Many Game Modes
Mortal Kombat 11 has four main, content-rich modes: Konquer, Fight, Kustomize, and Learn. Konquer is where you play Story Mode, participate in Tower Challenge battles, and Unlock rewards in The Krypt. Fight is local or online battles.
You can use those currencies to unlock new gear, weapons, and moves. Taking Koins, the easily earned in-game currency, to The Krypt lets you unlock treasure chests filled with bonus Fatalities, character skins, or even more Koins. Time Krystals, on the other hand, are slowly earned, but can also be purchased with real-world dollars (on the high end, $39.99 nets you 5,600 Time Krystals). You use them to purchase Kosmetic items for your character, as well as fight intros and Kombat Kard icons. Soul Fragments are earned by winning matches, and they let you unlock higher-end Krypt items. Hearts are the rarest currency, and they let you find high-end loot.
Sadly, some features that should be built into the game by default are only found in the Premium Shop. For instance, Easy Fatality, a Konsumable that dramatically simplifies Fatality inputs, requires Time Krystals. That’s absolutely ridiculous; since easy Fatalities are part of the game, they should be available from the start. Not everyone wants to devote hours of their lives to lab time.
As a Steam game, Mortal Kombat 11 supports the expected features, including Steam Cloud, Steam Achievements, and Steam Trading Cards. Unfortunately, the game also supports the controversial Denuvo Anti-tamper DRM, which is suspected to have caused some games to suffer performance issues.
- Hard-hitting combat.
- The smoothest animations in the series thus far.
- Good online play.
- Some Premium Shop items should be built-in features.
- A few odd character stances and animations.
- Some game elements run at just 30 frames per second
Featuring improved animations, more body-wrecking moves, and enhanced gameplay, Mortal Kombat 11 is the best entry in the long-running series. Unfortunately, some in-game shop elements, as well as the grind needed to obtain particular items, are annoying.
OS: 64-bit Windows 7 / Windows 10
Processor: Intel Core i5-750, 2.66 GHz / AMD Phenom II X4 965, 3.4 GHz or AMD Ryzen™ 3 1200, 3.1 GHz
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce™ GTX 670 or NVIDIA® GeForce™ GTX 1050 / AMD® Radeon™ HD 7950 or AMD® Radeon™ R9 270
DirectX: Version 11