Mortal Kombat, as a series, has always been known for its over-the-top violence and 2019’s Mortal Kombat 11 was no different. Earlier this year, we saw an Aftermath expansion, which added some story content to the game. However, we have been graced with a new release in the form of Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate, a packaged product that includes the base game and all the DLC made available up until now. Not only that, but this also marks the debut of the series on the new generation of consoles while still being a cross-generational release. Given the power of these new consoles, it should shape up to be quite the experience, right? Well, yes, absolutely.
Mortal Kombat 11’s story and the addition of Aftermath is an excellent one that plays around with timelines and the consequences thereof. Not to mention that there’s some standard Mortal Kombat flair with alliances being forged to take down a big bad enemy with nefarious intent. Honestly, I don’t want to reveal too much because as much as this is a fighting game, it also features an excellent story that is experienced first-hand. Also, it’s worth noting that newcomers who haven’t played any of the games in the series can jump right in and still have a good time.
The gameplay is still as solid as it’s always been. There’s so much more that goes into defeating your opponent than just punching and kicking them until their health bar is empty. You’ll need to learn combos, know how to defend against certain attacks, and of course, master all of those deadly special moves in each character’s arsenal. Having not played a Mortal Kombat game for a very long time, I was incredibly rusty and honestly didn’t remember anything from when I last played. Thankfully, there’s quite an extensive training mode which teaches you everything, starting with the basics. It can take some time to master but is highly recommended if this is either your first time playing a game in the series or if you’ve been absent for a while.
Mortal Kombat has always been an over-the-top violent fighting game and this entry is no different. In fact, each game seems to push the envelope more and more with how you can punish your opponent. Aside from just beating your opponent to a pulp, there are moves that cause blood to gush from them and others that show an x-ray of a bone or bones breaking. It’s incredibly brutal and might be a little off-putting for players who might not be used to extreme violence. For fans, it’ll be quite a treat.
The game’s story is probably one of the best parts of the game and this is where players will spend a large chunk of their time. However, there are some other gameplay modes to enjoy such as the Towers of Time, which is an ever-changing rotation that is sure to offer a suitable challenge.
A really cool feature that’s been implemented on the PS5 is how the DualSense controller behaves during play. The haptic feedback specifically, has been calibrated in such a way that you’re actually able to feel vibrations on a specific side when you get hit, telling you exactly which direction the attack came from. I mean, sure, it’s not the most inventive way of using the feature, but I quite liked it!
Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate is quite a package and a brilliant first venture onto the new-gen consoles. Aside from getting the base game, you’ll gain Kombat Pack 1, the Aftermath expansion, and Kombat Pack 2. There’s such a wealth of content to play through and having such a host of new characters added to the roster extends the longevity of the game. Kombat Pack 2 is the most recent release, which coincided with the release of Ultimate. It unlocks two series regulars: Mileena and Rain. The third unlock continues the trend of ’80s and 90’s action stars to feature in the game by introducing John Rambo, who is unsurprisingly voiced by none other than Sylvester Stallone himself. The former two are as deadly as ever and Rambo’s moveset actually plays like a commando using guerilla tactics. He can set traps and also wield an M60 machine gun seemingly out of nowhere.
Since this is also launching on the new-gen consoles, it would make sense for it to have a new coat of pain (this was actually a typo, but it actually works well here!); Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate does not disappoint. It’s a little weird to call something as violent as this beautiful, but I would be selling it short by calling it anything else. Playing this on the PS5, it runs at a dynamic resolution of 4K and looks absolutely amazing. The definition and detail of almost everything is a sight to behold. It makes Fatalities look significantly more gruesome thanks to the photorealistic visuals. The frame rate is nothing to scoff at either, running buttery smooth even when fights become particularly out of hand. Another aspect of the performance is the loading times and wow, they are fast. It takes about 5 seconds to get into a fight, possibly even less! There’s no awkward waiting as you stare at a screen before the match starts, meaning less downtime and more playing.
Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate is fantastic. Despite being a cross-generational release, NetherRealm has done a really stellar job at adapting it for the new consoles, both visually and when it comes to features such as the directional vibration on the DualSense controller. There’s quite a bit of value in the package, both in terms of story content and characters to play with. It also looks absolutely gorgeous thanks to the new-gen power, delivering an experience that is a feast for the eyes. If you haven’t yet jumped into Mortal Kombat 11, then Ultimate might just be the perfect fit for you, however, if you already have the game from last-gen, it might make more sense to pick up the various pieces of DLC individually.
Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate was reviewed on PS4 which can be purchased Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate for £49.99
Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate is available on PlayStation 4/5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One/ Xbox Series X|S, Google Stadia and PC.
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