Mortal Kombat 11 Slices Its Way Into Our Hearts, Grinds to a Halt

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The team behind the Mortal Kombat series is one of the most reliable fighting game developers in the world. They’ve been cranking out well-liked fighters on the regular for nearly 30 years now, and Mortal Kombat 11 might be their best game to-date with the exception of its ugly lootbox implementation.

Mitchell Saltzman gave MK11 an amazing score of 9/10 at our sister site IGN – the highest score any MK has ever received from that outlet. The story mode, intricate mechanics, incredible visuals, and even the online performance receive incredibly high praise from Saltzman, but the shocking amount of grinding needed to unlock customization items from the krypt prevents the game from reaching its highest highs.

With 53 reviews counted, the PS4 version currently has an 83/100 metascore. It’s not the highest in the series, but it’s in the ballpark of the other recent releases from NetherRealm Studios. You’ll find fairly glowing reviews at Gaming Age and CGM, and much of that comes down to how enjoyable the gameplay feels one-on-one. And with a highly detailed tutorial system, Mortal Kombat is more accessible to new players than ever before.

However, outlets like USG and Shack News were a tad more muted in their enjoyment. USG’s Mike Williams finds that the unlocking process is tedious, and Ozzie Mejia at Shack News didn’t feel like the story mode follows through on enough of the most interesting plot points. Having spent a fair bit of time with MK11 ourselves, it’s hard to disagree with either of those critiques.

We’ve played through the story mode, fought our way up countless towers, and unlocked loads of goodies in the krypt on the PS4 Pro, and the visuals have been thoroughly impressive. As expected, there are some slight imperfections during transitions from cutscenes into the fights, but there’s nothing really worth worrying about performance-wise. Even when special moves trigger a spray of particles, we’ve yet to see any meaningful gameplay impact.

The PS4, Xbox One, and PC versions largely perform in line with expectations (at least locally), but what about the Switch version of the game? In the video above, you’ll see the folks at Giant Bomb give Nintendo’s hardware a working over. The resolution is low, the krypt becomes foggy, and load times can be a bit of a hassle – it’s the worst version of the game by far. However, the entire experience is there with acceptable performance in portable form, so commuters who want to run through story mode on the train should be fine.

Sadly, there’s a significant amount of content and rewards that are only accessible when you’re online. So if you don’t have a reliable mobile connection for your Switch, you’re going to be in for a tough time.

[Image credit: IGN, NetherRealm Studios]

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