Community Review: Mortal Kombat 11

Community Review: Mortal Kombat 11

Now that a few patches have dropped – depending on what platform you’re playing – let’s have a chat about where Mortal Kombat has gone these days.

It’s easy to forget that Mortal Kombat is more successful now than it’s ever been. Just before the launch of Mortal Kombat X four years ago, Ed Boon (via the Major Nelson podcast) revealed that MK9 was the best selling game in the franchise. And it’s an important game for Australians, too, with the game’s ban helping the cause to eventually have an R18 rating established in Australia.

MK11 is meant to serve as the end of a trilogy, which is fascinating in its own right. What would you do with the Mortal Kombat lore and franchise when most of what you know is gone, or has been rewritten out of existence, Thanos-style?

Mortal Kombat 11: The Kotaku Review

2015’s Mortal Kombat 10 signalled the beginning of an evolutionary turn for Netherrealm Studios’ storied fighting game series, featuring fresh new characters, a compelling story and the ability to select different fighting styles for every combatant. Mortal Kombat 11 continues this evolution, but not every aspect of the game is moving in the right direction.

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Mortal Kombat 11 Has A Great Story Mode

Thanks to the temporal manipulations of a powerful new foe, past and present versions of iconic heroes and villains collide in Mortal Kombat 11’s story mode. It’s easily the most entertaining tale the series has ever told, and it leaves the future of the franchise open to exciting possibilities.

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Older Johnny Cage beating the shit out of his younger self was pretty great.

But for all their skill with crafting narratives around fights that would undoubtedly see most humans bleed out mid-fight, it’s Mortal Kombat‘s microtransactions that have gotten the most attention. Ed Boon refuted claims that it would cost thousands of dollars to buy every skin in MK11, which makes sense considering not everything is up for sale.

That might actually be worse, considering every character has 30 bits of gear and at least 60 skins to unlock. The slots themselves have to be unlocked, too. And that’s the kicker. It’s the progression that’s the problem, and partly the online-only nature, more so than the microtransactions.

The game’s also suffered from some curious issues on PC. There’s been reported crashes on certain configurations, dynamic resolution adjusting the screen window (instead of the rendering resolution) mid-fight, desync issues in multiplayer, ghosting issues with temporal anti-aliasing, and delays in getting patches compared to the console versions. A PC patch that went out on Saturday, for instance, was supposed to update characters’ frame data. But that data still hasn’t been patched in.

If you’re on a console, however, that’s less of a problem.

I’m still working my way through the story mode, but I’m enjoying it more than MKX so far. For those who have been bashing it out for a week, how have you found Mortal Kombat 11?


  • Normally interested in community reviews, but since it’s almost impossible to get to comments with the taboola feed in the way I won’t be bothering any more.

  • I’ll wait for the ultimate edition before taking the plunge. So sick of jumping in early with these games then missing out on dlc fighters because I refuse to pay more. Then only to find them for free in an ultimate edition 6 months later.

  • Yeah, no thanks.

    3 (arguably 4) types of in-game currency?

    The best thing for the industry as a whole is that games with mechanics like these fail.

  • Mortal Kombat 11 sure would be fun if the tower difficulty spike wasn’t near impossible. Whilst I know I suck at fighting games, I don’t “lose every second match” suck.

    • Ugh, sounds like the same difficulty scaling as their previous games.

      Win a couple of matches, even on standard/normal difficulty, and suddenly the AI becomes a sentient god, button reads like a motherfucker, and utterly destroys you.

      Flat out ruined my enjoyment of Injustice 2, so it seems like I should avoid this too.

      • I started story mode on hard, thinking it would provide a good but fair challenge, but I got immediately frustrated at how blatantly the AI was button reading me. I’m talking stuff like it was hitting me the split second I released block, or had the perfect move that countered mine almost 100% of the time. After struggling through chapter 1 on hard, I caved and flicked the difficulty down to normal in chapter 2, which made the game almost too easy for the most part, but at least I was able to enjoy the story.

      • Glad I’m not the only one who thinks its a tad broken. I genuinely have more luck just letting the AI play for me, which kind of defeats the purpose.

  • Story Mode is great, definitely the end of an era, and will be interesting to see how they move forward.
    Kustomisation of characters is good, except for the grind to get more gear, then if you decide to change gear, you have to restart unlocking the augment slots. I hope a future update fixes this. I would rather have to get more experience to unlock a total of 9 slots per character that are then open across all gear varieties.
    The time towers are just brutal and unforgiving.
    -The Gauntlet which is always available to play. Once past the tutorial side, I have given up in frustration many times. The first kombatant is typically an easy smash, then the second one is a brutal slog, your attacks do minimal damage while their attacks lay waste to your health in a matter of seconds.
    -Don’t even get me started on the 1v2 battles where once you have one opponent down to half, they tag out, their partner tags in, and in the meantime the one taking a break has their health replenish.
    -The assist fights are just as frustrating, the entire tower series is themed to a single kombatant, eg Kotal Kahn, who happily assists your opponent at anytime, just pops in, attacks you, then pops out. Through the course of 3-4 towers, and the oh so fun Dragon Challenges, until you reach the boss tower, ie The one who has been assisting the whole time.

    The Krypt is a great little exploration adventure game but the need to play through the Time Towers to earn the good coin and various kurrency does make it frustrating, considering this is also how you unlock gear and skins.

    It all comes together to make a perfect storm of frustration, but is ultimately a fun experience.

  • A distinct lack of thought, decent content, quality assurance and just overall effort in this game makes it feel like a bad port of Mortal Kombat X… like mobile version bad.

    (Hey mods, any chance that after 2 months I could be taken off the shadowban list please?)

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