Mortal Kombat 11 review – the complete package marred by a soul-stealing grind

May 1, 2019
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There’s so much to love about Mortal Kombat 11, a kind of Mortal Kombat greatest hits package and certainly NetherRealm’s best-playing fighting game ever. But then there’s a gnawing issue that drags down all the good the game does, like skeletal hands clawing at your feet.

The combat is considered. The action is hard hitting and high damage, but Mortal Kombat 11 is not a blisteringly fast fighter. Zoning – the act of lobbing projectile after projectile from a safe distance – is prevalent, as it always is with NetherRealm’s games, but I’ve found success and a good deal of satisfaction getting up close and personal. Spacing is key, as is your ability to whiff punish your opponents for their mistakes. You’ll also want a few low-high mix-up strings to hand and quickfire hit-confirming to turn those hopeful prods into juggles. For maximum carnage, special cancel into an eye-popping Fatal Blow.

If all this sounds like gibberish, fear not. Mortal Kombat 11 has perhaps the best tutorial yet seen in a fighting game. It eases you into an understanding of the way Mortal Kombat 11 – and indeed most 2D fighting games – work. I like to think I know my way around a frametrap, but Mortal Kombat 11’s tutorial taught me a thing or two and refreshed my memory of a few fundamentals I’d long-since forgotten.

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