NetherRealm Studios has been a juggernaut the past few years, with their new and improved Mortal Kombat series violently uppercutting the past games to a new level of dominance! With the release of MK11, though, have the creators finally hit their own fatality?

Story

Following the story of MKX, Shinnok was defeated by Cassie Cage. A now corrupted Raiden plans to protect the Earth realm by destroying all its enemies in any way he can. Raiden decapitates Shinnok, causing Kronika, Shinnok’s mother and keeper of time, to appear. She then proceeds to rewrite history in order to stop Raiden’s interference. By doing so, Kronika creates an alternate timeline and brings younger versions of the MK fighters into the fold to rewrite history as we know it.

Gameplay

Along with the returning fatalities and brutalities, a few new gameplay features are introduced, such as fatal blows and krushing blows. Fatal blows are special moves similar to the X-ray trigger in MKX which deal a large amount of damage. But unlike the X-ray, they only become available when a player’s health drops 30% or lower, and can only be performed once per match. Krushing blows are a special cinematic of a special move that can only be triggered when certain requirements are met. Also new is the flawless block mechanic, which allows for a comeback window after blocking an attack. Last but not least is a returning finisher, Mercy, which was last seen in Mortal Kombat 3. This where the winning player can opt-in to revive their opponent, giving them a small amount of life before you choose to end them.

The Krypt

This is where you’ll be spending most of your time trying to unlock new items and fatalities for your characters. That is, if you can ever get enough coin to collect them or find them. This is one of the huge problems of MK11; it’s more about luck to get random items for your characters. Though most of the time you’ll be gaining items that go towards the tower to help you beat certain fighters. In my playthrough, I’ve only gained 7 skins in total. The rest and most have been items to help me in the towers.

The Towers

This is the best place to gain coin in MK11…if you can beat anyone in the tower. Its massive difficulty spike changes from a good challenge to rage quitting the entire game altogether. I know most games like Dark Souls or Bloodborne are built on a challenge, but with Mortal Kombat, it shouldn’t be this difficult to gain rewards. For example, one tower had a challenge that had a modifier when the screen turns red your health goes down, but it only effects you and not the opponent. This is an added gripe where we should be having fun, but it turns into being an unplayable part of the game. This is the only other place to gain rewards, which ultimately is unethical.

Microtransactions

Though fear not, if you don’t want to get better at playing the dishonorable towers or if you can’t seem to find certain items for your favorite character in the Krypt, then you can just buy them with microtransactions! Players can access the game’s premium shop which allows them to directly purchase cosmetics. This includes character skins, intros, and taunts. To get these cosmetics the shop requires Time Krystals. These can be obtained in-game but are in extremely small quantities. In which case you can just use real-world money at a rate of approximately $1 per 100 Time Krystals, which is absurd. I can understand DLC (which they are making as well for MK11), but it’s the fact that you are forced into buying these items because everything is too difficult is simply ridiculous.

Mk11 as a whole is a great fighting game with friends and online opponents. But with everything else, from unjust towers to a slew of microtransactions to better your playthrough, really hinders the game to where I cannot recommend it to anyone. Hopefully, this will be fixed in time and I would gladly update my review, but as of now, this is a new low for the near 30-year franchise that no beautiful gore-geous fatality can make me rate this game any higher.

Score
2 out of 5