Game review: Mortal Kombat 11 is bloody terrific

The customisation options from Mortal Kombat X have been expanded and it’s now possible to create multiple custom loadouts for each character, with different special moves that can radically change how they fight. Your options are restricted when playing someone else in multiplayer but in single-player you have an enormous amount of freedom to change the abilities and appearance of your fighter.

Beyond the story mode and multiplayer, Mortal Kombat also brings back Klassic Towers – a straightforward knockout match where you try to work your way through a series of opponents to get to the boss. This is accompanied by the more involved Towers of Time, which offer constantly changing challenges with varying conditions in terms of characters and modifiers that can decrease your health, limit your special moves, or add extra obstacles.

Although Mortal Kombat 11 can be unusually imaginative in how difficult it makes the fight for you, this general concept is not new. But many of the challenges are patently unfair and you’re strongly advised to use ‘Konsumables’ – essentially your own positive modifiers – to weight the scales in your favour. The problem is these are obtained either randomly or by spending earned in-game currency to open what are essentially loot boxes.

There is an in-game store but it’s not been live before launch, although the promise is that the only in-game currency you can buy with real money is for cosmetic-only items. These are clearly inspired by Injustice 2’s customisation system, except the differences in clothing, and the buffs offered by augments, are usually much more minor and it all seems a bit of a waste of time at the moment.

Mortal Kombat 11 may not do anything new, in fact it revels in bringing back the old, but sometimes there’s a good reason why some things never change. Other concerns aside, Mortal Kombat 11 is as good as the series has ever been and has a number of elements that are better than any other fighter.

Mortal Kombat 11

In Short: Mortal Kombat continues to excel in areas that other fighting games ignore, with a new sequel that impresses in terms of both visuals and gameplay.

Pros: Fantastic presentation and gloriously shlocky story mode. Streamlined gameplay works very well, with plenty of depth while still being very accessible – in part thanks to excellent tutorials.

Cons: Towers of Time are weirdly unbalanced and very frustrating to play through. No major new ideas. Loot box concerns need to be clarified.

Score: 8/10

Formats: PlayStation 4 (reviewed), Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC
Price: £54.99
Publisher: WB Games
Developer: NetherRealm Studios
Release Date: 23rd April 2019
Age Rating: 18

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