The “Mortal Kombat” series remains one of the most divisive in gaming. The original introduced the idea of fatalities in a fighting game, doing so with spectacular sprays of blood. Hearts ripped from chests and spines ripped from backs made parents’ and pundits’ patience run out.
Over the years, “Mortal Kombat” hasn’t gotten less violent, bloody or controversial. But now we have ratings that let anyone who somehow hasn’t heard of the famed series know that this game isn’t suitable for the young ’uns.
Assuming you are mature enough to experience an X-ray view of a character’s bones snapping under the pressure of a particularly brutal punch and you enjoy a good fighting game, you’ll want to play “Mortal Kombat 11.”
The developers at Neatherrealm have mastered fighting game design. With an incomparable single-player mode, a multitude of multi-player options and enough little rewards to keep you playing for months, “Mortal Kombat 11” is the whole package.
This installment doesn’t feature any huge innovations. Instead it concentrates on being the biggest, best and bloodiest fight-fest ever released.
Key to any fighting game are the controls. I cannot overstate how well this game plays. Skilled players will pull off complicated moves with no trouble. Stringing together combos becomes second nature, as do blocks and counters, once players get the timing down.
This is only augmented by the exemplary graphics, with highly detailed, interactive stages and impressively fluid animations. “Mortal Kombat” has never looked better or more brutal. Those who revel in the more visceral parts of the game will love how good everything looks.
The voice acting is also top notch. Characters feel remarkably three-dimensional, and navigating the wonderfully convoluted story mode will please anyone looking for a new “Mortal Kombat” movie.
Much was made in advance about Ronda Rousey taking on the role of Sonya Blade, and while I can’t say she brought anything particularly special to the role, her work was solid and not distracting. Sometimes that’s the best you can hope for with celebrity “stunt” casting.
Finally, there’s the matter of rewards. Those who played the last few games know about the legendary Krypt. Overflowing with treasure chests, players use in-game currency to unlock them and acquire new moves, skins, costumes, artwork and more.
The contents of the chest appear randomly, so there is no way to know what you’re getting in advance, and as you might imagine, a lot of the treasure is filler. Unless you get tremendously lucky, you’ll have to grind a lot to get to all the good loot.
“Mortal Kombat 11” isn’t revolutionary, but it is the best game in the series. Whether honing your skills in solo fights or taking on random brawlers from around the country, it is one of the best fighting games ever released. Fans of the series or the genre won’t be disappointed.
‘Mortal Kombat 11’
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive EntertainmentRated: MWho it’s for: Fighting game fans who don’t mind a little bloodshedConsole: Xbox One, PS4Grade: A(NOTE: This review does not cover the Nintendo Switch version)
Snoozing through the apocalypse
This one doesn’t make sense. “Day’s Gone” presents itself as a fast-paced, post-apocalyptic thriller featuring hordes of zombie-like Freakers, hell-bent on making your day bad.
Furthermore, it’s a first-party Sony PlayStation exclusive, which should be a recipe for success.
“Days Gone” came out of the oven over-baked and crusty. It looks beautiful, and there are a few tasty bits here and there, but mostly it’s repetitive and boring.
Characters feel flat and uninspiring, most of the creatures behave the same and the protagonist isn’t particularly interesting. The action becomes repetitive in no time flat, making you wonder why you’re pressing on.
In days gone by, “Days Gone” wouldn’t have come off quite so poorly, but open-world action/adventure games have become so good in recent years, this one serves little purpose.
I’m sure some will appreciate the relentless nature of the Freakers, but most will just yawn and want to let them go about their rampage unhindered.
Publisher: Sony Computer EntertainmentRated: MWho it’s for: Someone looking to test their endurance on a boring gameConsole: PS4Grade: D+