Title: Mortal Kombat 11
Format: PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Developer: NetherRealm Studios
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)
The Grade: A -
Mortal Kombat 11 Haiku Review
Get ready to “Fight!”
An amazing story mode
Huh? Ronda Rousey?
What is it? The newest installment in one of gaming’s most popular franchises. The first “Mortal Kombat” was released in 1992 and was a major hit. The game’s extreme violence and heavy use of gore made it a controversial title, yet naturally one that attracted a young audience. “Mortal Kombat 11” is the 24th MK game in the franchise and continues the series long-standing tradition of featuring bloody battles from iconic characters.
Highs: For many gamers, you’re either good at fighting games or you’re not. This can make the genre an intimidating one as no one likes to buy a game just to be horrible at it. “Mortal Kombat 11” alleviates that stress with a robust classroom where you can hone your skills. There’s even demos so you can see the timing of button presses. This area isn’t just for MK newbies. With so many combos for each character, it’s a great place for even experienced players to fine-tune their fingers.
While getting lost in training is a fun distraction, the most enjoyable aspect of “Mortal Kombat 11” is its story mode. The plot is epic, with huge set pieces and stunning cutscenes interspersed between memorable fighting matchups. All the major players fans of the series have come to love are involved. But the game also introduces new characters that pack a punch and keep things fresh. WWE superstar Ronda Rousey even gets in on the action, playing Sonya Blade.
When you’re not enjoying the story mode, there’s still plenty of fighting to keep you busy. There are online tournaments, you can battle AI opponents to test your mettle or battle with a friend locally or online. There’s even a Kombat League so you can find like-minded and equally skilled opponents. I particularly enjoyed the Towers of Time, which features a constantly changing series of challenges.
All of this Kombat fun takes place in gorgeous environments with beautifully rendered characters. “Mortal Kombat 11” has a first-rate game presentation.
Lows: You’ll have to do some grinding to unlock some of the character items. Gear, cosmetics (Or Kosmetics as the game spells it.), brutalities and fatalities can be purchased through currency earned in-game but the rate of accrual is slow. You can speed the process up for some of these items with real world purchases through the Premium Shop.
There’s been some online debate about micotransactions for “Mortal Kombat 11” but for me this was a non-issue. Throughout my play through I didn’t feel the need to purchase anything. While at times I found grinding annoying, there was never a point where I had to have something from the Premium Shop to get everything I wanted out of the experience.
The Grade: I’m not a fan of racing games but I love the “Forza Horizon” series. I’m not big fan of sports games but I always get a kick out of the “Madden” franchise. I’m not into fighting games but I always enjoy “Mortal Kombat.” Some long running franchises just know how to scratch an itch you didn’t even know you had and this series is one of them. With so much going for it, “Mortal Kombat 11” just might be the best MK game yet.
Gazette Media Columnist Terry Terrones is a veteran video game journalist. He has written for numerous publications including GamePro, GamesBeat, PC World, GameZone, and Official Xbox Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/terryterrones.