Story - 95%
Graphics - 92%
Audio - 91%
Gameplay - 45%
Replayability - 80%
Grind, Grind and Grind. The MK series has long been apart of the gaming sub-culture and has seen a lot highs and some lows *cough* banned in some places *cough*. I had really high expectations for the new MK11 and I must say, I am beyond disappointed with the route they decided to take here, the corporate one.
The story picks up from the predecessor, MKX, where boy Raiden decided to throw the balance between good and evil off by cutting off evil Elder God Shinnok head. Neverrealm writer’s deserve praise here, the story is incredible and the timeline reset is genius. The introduction of Kronika helps push the timelines into whack, sending the past and presenting into a single timeline. The creation of double characters makes for some fun and exciting combos (i.e. imagine 2 Johnny Cages) This gives the base of the story without giving too much away because it is probably my favourite part of MK11, don’t want any spoilers. The story had me glued and I managed 2 sittings of 7 hours total to finish this magnificent timeline that sets up a great follow on for the developers.
The customisation of characters has changed beyond belief, each character has over 150 customisable options, with Skins, gear and special moves that you can use to create your perfect character to play with both online and in the Krypt. Now let’s talk about those corporate issues with the customisation. I completely understand the looter aspect they were going for but come on, the Krypt has been a part of the MK series before and shouldn’t be anything new, however, some things have changed. My adventure in the Krypt was a run around of opening loot boxes and getting jumped on. The loot boxes are now randomised and you aren’t guaranteed anything for your character as the last game did. Another way to get loot is through the towers of time, this is where you can unlock everything that you couldn’t within the Krypt, however, you still can not get character specific loot….UNLESS, you spend 25 000 MK Coins to summon a character specific tower that you can grind out something random for your chosen character, and even when this is done the reward is extremely random and this is hyper frustrating.
“Why frustrating” you may ask? Well let me tell you about the most horrific and unfair gameplay I have ever encounter in a fighting video game (Yes, even more so than Injustice 2). The living towers are basically the equivalent of fighting a real-life sub zero with your puny mutant hands, the combat is taken to the most one-sided nonsense I have ever seen. The fight is not only about the 2 characters but about what gear and consumable they have equipped, and let me tell you I saw some horrors, everything from missiles to slowing down your character with ice shards and much, much more. The balance of the fights are astronomically one-sided and I just could not figure out why, then it hit me like a tonne of bricks: CURRENCY. The following my opinion. It seems like MK11 have made the grind so astronomically impossible because of the launch of time crystals, an in-game currency that can be used to buy cosmetics and “Match Skip Tokens” that will allow you to skip these incredibly one-sided fights! Think about it, why would they want cosmetics to be obtained when players can fork out real cash to buy these items or better yet, fork out money to buy a skip token that will get you a randomly generated item and when its not what you want, you spend to get what you want. It is a win-win for the CORPORATE behind the game. The truth is that games make more money of in-game currency nowadays and everyone will try get onto this wagon when they can. There has ben a talk of a hot-fix patch to help with these towers, but let’s wait and see.
Oh, but what, there’s more, you can now equip an AI character of your choosing to fight the ladders for you and sit back and watch the best chance you have get flattened by the ladder as well. Now, why would I spend money on a game that I sit back and watch AI do my bidding for me? I don’t know but I mean, each to their own right. The AI spread into other modes to, with the coolest choice being a 3v3 AI chosen battle with someone online, with the winner walking away with the rewards. Fun, once in a while.
Characters and Design
With the introduction of 3 new characters Kollector, Cetrion, Geras and non-playable character Kronika, we see a lot of work being done into character development and redesign. Some characters have been redesigned and redone, with Cassie Cage, Jacqui Briggs and Sonya Blade being two of the more major updates to characters, with Sonya now being voiced by MMA legend Rhonda Rousey. NetherRealm Studios’ has definitely put in work and has seen the roster grow to a strong and diverse one with these character additions, my favourite being Geras, who can literally shave time from the match clock. The art style and finishing of the design is on par with what we would expect and still remains on of the best in Fighting Game design.
MK11 has taken the series to a new level and allows for a major branch out into different genres of fighting games, however, the corporate influence in the title has put me off the game for now. With the talk of hot fixes and patches coming, I would personally wait to see if this is true before spending my well-earned money on a good story. The overall feel of the game is well adjusted and taken for the market, but for the price that we pay for games in this day and age, value for money needs to be key and without the patches and updates I just don’t see it.
- This review is based on a review code sent to us by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment