With Mortal Kombat 11, it seems that NetherRealm Studios takes a balanced approach towards the series by carrying the story forward in a manner that would not disappoint fans of the campaign mode. However, they do overreach with the Krypt mode. Like, a LOT! From whatever we could play, it seems that the game is quite polished at launch which is a rare occurrence in this day and age. We’re talking about the graphics, sound effects and the combat system within the 1v1 combat mode. There really isn’t much to screw up in a 2.5D fighter which leaves a lot of time for developers to work on the other aspects of the game.
The campaign in Mortal Kombat 11 revolves around the latest and the baddest character, Kronika, who is the keeper of time. Having witnessed Shao Kahn and Shinnok getting their asses handed down to them in the most brutal manner possible, Kronika holds the opinion that Raiden has really messed up the balance in EarthRealm. She then starts off on a journey to set things right. Being a keeper of time, Kronika, no doubt has the ability to manipulate time, which has often been a difficult concept to handle in video games. In her attempts to rewrite the history books, Kronika ends up bringing multiple versions of the characters from different points in time into the EarthRealm. These include Scorpion, Raiden, Johnny Cage and other principal characters. You should be able to finish the main campaign in about nine hours which would be the current norm for AAA titles. However, with 2.5D fighter games the focus is really on the combat, and the campaign mode is just icing on the cake. It’s quite interesting to see that Mortal Kombat 11 has got both right given all the titles since the 2011 Mortal Kombat have all carried a gripping story line.
Mortal Kombat has always focused on having fewer moves than some of the other fighter games out there but each move appears quite distinct thanks to the over-the-top animations involved. The combat is relatively slower giving players much more time to reach to their opponents. This way, with the fewer moves and the slower combat system, Mortal Kombat 11 lowers the barrier of entry into the fighting game genre.
There’s the system of Fatal Blows in Mortal Kombat 11 which activates once your health pool falls to about 30 per cent or so, giving you a chance to even the odds just before you’re about to die. If executed successfully, a Fatal Blow can take out about 40 per cent of your opponent’s health pool and even take them out completely if they’re low enough. Each Fatal Blow has a long drawn gorey animation that could put some of the fatalities to shame.
Towers of Time
MK11 has two tower modes, one being the Klassic Tower and the other is Towers of Time. Klassic Tower is available offline whereas Towers of Time is an endless run through the same system but is only available online. There are increasing levels of difficulty in Klassic Towers that reward you with the ingame currency and gear for completing a few fights. You can familiarise yourself with the battle mode in Klassic because it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll ever complete the Towers of Time mode. The difficulty is the number one complaint in all negative reviews for the game on Steam. The developers have taken cognisance of the issue and will be issuing a patch to reduce this difficulty. You do get to carry three Konsumables in each fight which, if you get the right combination, makes the fight quite balanced. The game even recommends certain Konsumables for you. You don’t need them in all fights so it’s better that you save ‘em for later.
The Krappy Krypt
Each of the characters in Mortal Kombat 11 have a lot of customisable gear that can be unlocked. Most of these can only be found in the Krypt. True to its name, the Krypt is a ridiculous maze of secret tunnels and puzzles with treasure chests hidden all over the place. However, finding a chest is not enough. You need a certain amount of Koins to unlock each chest. Not all chests are equal, the ones that take 2000 Koins to open are practically worthless while the ones for 8000 Koins will hold decent items. Then again, as with any game featuring nasty unlocking mechanisms, there are always a few ultra-rare items which require you to jump through some ridiculously difficult hoops. In the case of MK11, you simply need a different currency. Heart Fragments and Soul Fragments are what you should focus on if you want the best from the Krypt. Once you’ve opened a lot of chests in the Krypt, you’ll require Koins to refresh them, so you need to grind an awful lot before you can get anything half-decent.
So you have three different currencies which you have to earn in order to unlock loot. Well, that’s a bit ridiculous but still not nasty since you can’t use real money, right? … Right? Insert Shao Kahn laughter Enter Time Crystals. That’s the ingame currency which can be purchased using real world money and it gives you easy access to all the gear from the Krypt. Thankfully, nothing can be exclusively purchased with Time Crystals but it’s still nasty to have four currencies just to unlock ingame gear.
Mortal Kombat preview 11 – Verdict
Developer – NetherRealm
Publisher – Warner Bros
Platforms – PC, PS4, XB1
Price – Rs. 1349/3199
At the end, Mortal Kombat 11 isn’t a bad game because of the ridiculous Krypt system. The core aspects of the fighting game are still good and came out quite polished at launch. You do have 25 characters to play at launch and the story line is quite gripping. We liked the fact that the game differs from the other fighting games in this generation with its slightly slower combat system and the gorey visuals have gone up a notch. The only downside is the nasty grinding aspect which shouldn’t be the driving factor. If you look at the replayability of the game, then it’s guaranteed to give you endless hours of fun and you will earn coins on the side. It’s just that if you fancy the good stuff, then you’re going to have a bad time.
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