Mortal Kombat 11 is the latest title in the classic arcade fighting franchise offered by Warner Bros. and NetherRealm Studios that was released on April 23, 2019. This version P2P and allows for 2-player online combat, as well as an offline story-mode.
Following the events of Mortal Kombat 10, Raiden has lost patience with his enemies and decided to cast aside mercy towards those wishing to destroy Earthrealm, rather opting to thwart them by any means necessary than allowing them to regroup and assault the Earthrealm first. This new Raiden’s actions attract the attention of a new foe, Kronika, who calls herself the ‘Keeper of Time’ and the ‘Architect of Destiny.’ She likes to have total control and to maintain balance between the forces of good and evil in the universe. However, Raiden has long been interfering with her goal by constantly attempting to swing the balance in good’s favor, across many timelines that she has restructured. And so, she seeks to restart time without Raiden in order to direct destiny according to her own vision of perfection.
But her current power isn’t enough. She therefore recruits allies to assist her in defeating the forces of good and to retrieve the item that can help her to achieve her goal. In order to distract her foes while she completes her plot, she merges the past and present so that both the living and dead, as well as past and future versions of single characters find themselves in the same realms of existence. And thus, the plot unfurls.
Mortal Kombat 11’s premise allows this game to take old-time fans on a nostalgia trip through all of the different events and stages right back to the original trilogy, as they all become parts of the timelines that were discarded by Kronika. Aside from being able to enjoy revamped retro-versions of their favorite characters, including Sonya Blade and Johnny Cage. There are also a couple of new characters being introduced, including Geras, Kronika’s artificial time-manipulating servant and Kollector, a tribute collector for Shao Khan in the Outworld Empire.
Most matches follow the old format of best-of-three, with each player trying to reduce their opponent’s health to zero twice, before they are KO’d. As players progress in the different modes, they will receive rewards in the form of currencies, chests and unlockable characters.
Although players have a range of abilities and special moves to choose from for each character, there are only three slots available for these moves. Some abilities take up to slots, so players need to think carefully before choosing them. Many abilities are also banned from ranked play at the moment, although NetherRealm does plan on releasing more dlc moves and combos for ranked in the future.
Aside from touching up the graphics and finding creative new ways to showcase Mortal Kombat’s trademark guts and gore, NetherRealm Studios has also given the gathers new moves, fatality cutscenes, as well as some criteria-specific fatalities. Each character comes with their unique set of four basic attacks, as well as combo attacks. Characters also come with their own new attack called a ‘Fatal Blow’, which can only be activated when their health drops below 30%. This attack is much more powerful than their other attacks and can help to change the flow of combat.
Furthermore, Mortal Kombat 11 also introduces defense and attack meters. Both of these slowly fill up as the match progresses and can be used to buff either defensive or offensive abilities respectively. Players can also make use of various items that spawn during the matches. These items are only available for one-time use, though.
At launch, Mortal Kombat 11 boasted 25 playable characters, excluding the main boss, Kronika. Shao Khan is an extra character that was only available as a pre-order bonus. A further six DLC characters will be released over time to those who bought the Premium and Kollector’s edition of the game, with the first DLC character being Shang Tsung. Other bonus content for the Premium and Kollector’s editions include seven skins and seven gear sets. Additionally, there are also skins and gear sets that are unlockable with gameplay, thereby allowing for customizations even if players didn’t unlock the other bonus content. Some of these characters, such as Frost, are not immediately available, but will be unlocked through in-game achievements.
Each character currently has 60 different unlockable skins as well as 90 pieces of gear, only three of which can be activated at any time. Most of these can only be earned through grinding, although it is possible for players to spend real-world currency to gain a few pieces in the store. All gear can be purchased with in-game currency, though. It will be quite a grind, but with there collectively being at least 1,500 unlockable skins and 2,250 pieces of gear to unlock upon release, that’s to be expected. Furthermore, items featured in the store cycle out every 24-hours, with an offering of five cosmetic items.
Some modes can be played online, while others can only be played offline. As players progress in the various modes, they will earn different chest and currency rewards. These modes feature 18 stages for players to play through or compete in, depending on which mode they are participating in. There are also mode-specific areas such as the Krypt.
Although these modes can technically be played offline, they can only be accessed of the player has downloaded the initial patch update. Even once they are downloaded, players will only be able to gain access to new unlocked content once they have gone online again.
- Story Mode
Certain character skins and gear can only be accessed through the story mode. It is also the only way for players to fight against Kronica.
- Klassic Towers
This best-of-match mode can be played offline, awarding players with currency and item rewards based on the Tower difficulty that the player has chosen. There are five difficulties, each of which comprise of a series of challenges, with awards being issued based on performance and success.
- Towers of Time
Towers of Time is similar to Klassic Towers, except that there is a time-limit to achieve the goals and it can only be played online. Aside from the four introductory towers, there are seven other towers that randomly switch out with each other when the timer runs out. The difficulties are also randomized, so players can face major differences between one Tower and the next.This mode has been described by most players as being exceptionally difficult and heavily dependent on consumable items, which has led to NetherRealm announcing that they will be launching an update to nerf the difficulty level and reward structure, as well as issuing players conciliatory gift-currency in the meantime. One Tower also allows for two-player coop. Up to three consumables can be allocated before each boss fight, in both Klassic and Time Towers. Players can also opt to set their character to AI settings and have their character fight of their behalf.
This is a puzzle mode, where characters run around and explore krypts to unlock currency, special-ability items and cosmetic items. In order to do so, players need explore locations, perform tasks, interact with objects and discover secret passageways and occasionally defeat enemies. However, some of the progression entails spending currency, meaning that if the character runs out of currency, it will be difficult for them to complete the krypt. Players can also find skeleton keys, which will ease progression. This is also where players can grind for consumable items to be used in the Towers, if they don’t feel like spending real-world currency for a short-cut.
This allows players to play against a friend offline.
There is also the option to set up a lobby where a group of friends can enter and play against whoever is available for the best-of match-ups for an ultimate victor. The players can adjust the rules themselves but cannot use customized characters.
This is for solo-Q match-ups. It is subdivided into sub-categories for ranked or casual modes, as well as for joining specific online friends.
- AI Battle
As it sounds, players can simply select a difficulty and play against AI opponents offline.
All of the tutorials are immediately available, even without downloading the initial patch.
Once a player has set up their character, they can practice with it until they have its combos down. This is also useful if players find that they keep losing with that character in ranked.
This is the beginners walk-through that is broken down into many subsections in order to teach players the fundamentals of the game, such as when to use punishing moves and how to maximize combo attacks and Fatal Blows.
- Fatality Training
As it sounds, this allows players to practice executing Fatality moves.
Mortal Kombat 11’s Currencies
- Koins – can be used to unlock chests that could contain new Fatalities, cosmetics or concept art, and to reroll gear chests. They can be won through completing daily challenges and fighting opponent, both real and AI.
- Hearts – They are earned by fighting creatures in the Krypt and by doing Fatality training. These are needed to unlock Shao Kahn and Scorpion’s chests in the Krypt.
- Time Crystals – These can be earned through grinding or bought with real world currency in the store and are used to buy items from the store.
- Soul Fragments – Soul Fragments can be found in the Krypt as well as earned through fights in the Towers. They are needed to unlock certain chests with rarer items than Koin chests.
Currently, all the Kombat Pass offered was access to the extra skins and items from the Premium and Kollector’s editions of the game. However, there are rumors of MK11 releasing seasonal passes with both limited and rotating gear, but this has yet to be confirmed. So too with whether players will need to unlock them with real-world currency or in-game currency.