Mortal Kombat 11 is a dance of great gameplay and crap business practices.

Posted: June 27, 2019 in Video Games
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Last year during the anual Game Awards the latest Mortal Kombat was revealed. Legions of fans, you can count me among them, went nuts. The excitement chart was close to blowing. Now factor in the reveal date being December leading to the announcement of a world wide release in April of this year! That, game folks, is how you do a reveal. In next to no time Mortal Kombat 11 would be with us gamers. I was very happy and right away I was back playing Mortal Kombat X in preparation for the latest addition to the classic beat ’em up saga.

I was a kid when the first Mortal Kombat came out. Remember Mortal Kombat Monday? I do. I literally grew up with this series as a constant in my life. Right through middle school, high school, college, university and then the adult workplace. Mortal Kombat was always in my life and I felt comfortable each time a new game was out. I knew the team behind the series, NetherRealm Studios, would never let me down.

After what seemed like an age, but was actually four months, Mortal Kombat 11 was in my hands. I installed the game and blasted through the game’s story mode. I was up to one thirty in the A.M. As I expected the game had risen to meet my expectations. So I thought.

Here’s the twist and man do I hate what I’m about to write. The latest Mortal Kombat was made in less than ideal circumstances. Having your, the gamers, back appears to be the last thing W.B. games and NetherRealm wanna do. What should have been a great Arcade like fighter experience was now controlling how you played and progressed through the game. Held at gunpoint are the amaze unlockables – costumes/concept art/fatalities etc. Where once you’d be rewarded such gems through playing various game modes naturally this latest installment forces you to obtain them via it’s vile Krypt/Towers/currency system. Basically it means you have to GRIND (urgh) to get a shot at what you wanna get and even then there’s no guarantee you’ll get it. See a big portion of the Krypt is randomised. Shit init?

What hell is this? I don’t know. I’m lost as to what possessed the team over at NetherRealm to think this was a good idea. In Mortal Kombat X it was a pleasure completing a random objective in a Tower and being rewarded with a sweet new costume for your character. That game, like prior installments, is full of awesome surprises like that. Stuff you obtain naturally and fairly through good old gameplay.

The fatality/brutality system is a mess. Previous games, right, if you got the input online for a fatality and used it in the game it unlocked it for your move list ’cause you’d performed it. Here if you do that it’ll let you perform the move but it won’t retain the inputs. It makes you unlock it via that shit Krypt/currency system. WHO has the time to pour that amount of effort into video games? In game grinding/currency is never a good idea. Soon as I see that kind of shit I’m like “I could use this time to play some other game…for ya know something crazy like…fun?

Here’s another shining example of the shit show Mortal Kombat 11 can be. Right after loading the game up you’re given the option to buy a fighter who YOU UNLOCK IN CHAPTER 4 of the story mode. Do they need our money that badly? Which brings me to my next beef. The DLC plan. Right. So before the game came out the YouTuber guy, Dynasty, called out NetherRealm with a concern they’d be holding back legacy characters behind paid DLC. Mortal Kombat head boss Ed Boon slapped Dynasty down. No way they’d do that. Cut to the DLC reveal announcement. Four of the six characters are Mortal Kombat classic characters fans have wanted to see back for a long time and you’re gonna pay for them. Now, look, I’m not the entitlement generation. You want them? They take work. You gotta pay for ’em. I get that. It’s more the smoke and mirrors that pisses me off. Clearly that kind of DLC plan was always going to be the DLC plan so just own it and don’t try to play it down. Same with the alternate costumes, usually this sort of stuff is free to unlock, like seriously check out all the costumes you can unlock in Mortal Kombat X for FREE. There’s tons. Not anymore. You gotta pay for ’em. Before anyone brings up the ‘skins’ in Mortal Kombat 11 just hold off. They pale in comparison. Kitana has TWO costumes. That’s it. Oh she’ll have more, don’t worry, but you’ll probably have to pay for ’em. Most of the skins are simply different colours.

Man this is tough to write up. I love/hate this game. I love and appreciate the awesome gameplay and art direction that went into creating the world. The gameplay and the fighting is spot on. Everyone who worked hard on that stuff warrants applause and a great wage. Same for the Krypt. Even though I hate it it’s a good idea and I’m sure the actual folks who worked on bringing the mini third person adventure mode to life did not make the decision to lock everything behind a wall of bull shit. I hate how arrogant the game feels in what it asks of the players time. I gave up money. In return I just want fun and a fair shot of gaining cool stuff if you’re going to put it in your game. Ya know like in your last game Mortal Kombat X?

Another thing I hate is all the news that broke about the pretty rotten work environment employees at NetherRealm endured during the making of this game and prior games from the studio. Seems like a studio I felt was a beacon of video games is actually anything but. Kotaku and other sites did some really great articles on all of that and I’d urge anyone to seek them out ’cause you should be made aware of the kind of studio (and people) you are handing your hard earned cash over to. After I read the blowout articles I uninstalled the game. It sat on a shelf for two months. I nearly gave it away twice. Then I stopped and thought “Hundreds of people worked hard on this game. It wasn’t a solo effort from some arsehole but one which came from many peoples sacrifice and dedication, people who just wanted a shot at working on a classic video game series” I want to support and appreciate their work, and yea, I won’t lie I like game (classic towers/story mode) and I paid for it. I ain’t no streamer or influencer. I don’t get sent shit for free. Still I’m delighted it gave me pause because next time NetherRealm puts out a game I’ll be holding off until I see if it’s the NetherRealm who just wants to waste my time, for the most part, grinding for cosmetic shite and treating their employee’s like crap or if they’ve turned a corner. W.B. games have stated they’d look into how NetherRealm behaves moving forward and some who work there haven’t had a bad word to say but still the stink is out there now.

I doubt anyone of influence at NetherRealm will ever see this crap I write but on the tiny chance they do listen to this – treat your employee’s with respect. They’re all human. DELAY your game if it means a more stress free work environment. I don’t give a shit, I’d bet most gamers wouldn’t, just put the stupid game out when it’s ready. I’d rather some video game get held back than hear about peoples health being put at risk. Stop the microtransaction crap too. You say it’s not that but it so is. Come on. We know the score now. ‘Randomised treasure’ ? PUH-LEASE! Get out of here with that.

It’s a pity. There’s a boss Mortal Kombat game buried here under all of the twisted shit which has since come to light. I guess thanks for the good stuff and major thanks to the actual hard workers who poured their time and passion into what’s a belter of a game at its core.


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