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    Mortal Kombat 11: our final judgment

    Who I am
    Marie-Ange Demory
    @marie-angedemory

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    It was 1992 when that scream tore through the sky and silence for the first time with frenzy: the war cry "Mortal Kombat" was born not only from the ferocity of the kombattenti but also from the union of the voices of the players. His release represented the advent of a new generation, the coming maturity of an audience that craved something different. Because ultimately that's what it feels like to be a fan of Mortal Kombat, almost part of a gigantic collective, united, imaginative, always in competition, a lover of visual and demystified violence. Listening to those notes to the synthesizer in the Mortal Kombat 11 launch movie will surely have caused a few more tears to fall on the faces of nostalgics. The lack of the good old days, however, is not the only factor that makes the wait for a new chapter of the aforementioned saga so unsustainable, but there are many other elements that give it a statuary solidity. The experience of Boon, the calcified backbone of the whole series, holds up a biblical golem armed with all the conquests obtained over time. A new type of storytelling, rediscovered during the last generation of consoles, marries the technical advances, the innovations of Injustice and a combat system capable of satisfying both newbies and the most experienced players. Countless times the wastes of the Outer Realm and the macabre halls of the Netherrealm have been tinged with red, adorned with fallen corpses as if they were trophies: there is no good reason not to clench fists, sharpen blades and scream in unison "Mortal Kombat". After hours of meditation at the Lin Kuei Temple, we are ready to tell you what we think of the new work of the Chicago studio.



    Reading an extensive insight into a fighting game plot is certainly not what a reader would expect from a review. Fortunately, the writers of NetherRealm Studios have once again managed to demolish this taboo, wowing anyone with a fulfilling and interesting story. The events narrated in Mortal Kombat 11 begin with the conclusion of the previous chapter. The influence of the elderly god Shinnok has made Raiden - who has always been the protector of the Earth - even more furious, merciless towards the invaders whom he has long limited himself to rejecting, this time intending to wage war against them. Annoyed by the great and continuous upheavals caused by the god of thunder as time passes, the keeper of the continuum Kronica decides to rewrite history, to create a new era in which the pointy-hatted kombattente does not exist. To carry out her catastrophic plan, the new antagonist needs powerful allies, coming from different eras: therefore, not only Liu Kang, Kung Lao, Jade and Kitana - still in the guise of the undead - are added to her ranks. Shao Khan, Skarlet, Baraka, the cyborgs of Lin Kuei and all the fallen at the hands of Raiden in the past. The powerful temporal distortion led to the overlap of the two eras, allowing not only the coexistence of the youth and adult versions of the earthly favorites but also the disappearance of the god of lightning. The heroes from the first tournament between the realms then join their own versions of the future, to fight together against the machination of Kronica and prevent the cataclysm. In addition to comic curtains, embarrassing situations and pure fan service, there are epic battles, moments full of pathos and numerous twists.



    If you choose to play with the alteration of time and the events of a particular saga, committing embarrassing slips may be easier than you think. It would risk involving too many characters - amassing them in one big episode as in a revival of the Power Rangers - or confusing the player with excessively intricate events. Thanking the Elderly Gods, this is not the case: the screenwriters have created an excellent product, with the creation of a full-bodied, coherent, credible and without forcing intertwining. It could happen that the player turns up his nose in front of some dialogues or fights - sometimes not really useful to the flow of the plot - but these, fortunately, are quite rare and passable. Not only are the directorial choices excellent, always considering the genre in question, but also the direction of the local dubbing. Although a couple of characters were not covered with particular effectiveness, most of the protagonists hide the voices of exceptional names, such as Claudio Moneta and Lorenzo Scattorin. Following the same plot of the previous chapter, too Mortal Kombat 11 Story Mode is divided into chapters, each dedicated to one or more characters. In each of them, we will have to fight in four or five matches before continuing towards the conclusion. Speaking of the arch-villain on duty, Kronika is undoubtedly an antagonist of excellent caliber, with a thick personality and a final battle certainly more exciting than the one with Shinnok in Mortal Kombat X. With a duration that ranges from five to seven hours game - based on the selected difficulty - the single player of the new work of NetherRealm Studios amuses and convinces, remaining faithful to the new foundations laid in 2011 and at the same time celebrating the great universe over the top born in 1992.



    With its mix of Eastern folklore, Western fantasy and Hollywood action films, the world conceived by Ed Boon and John Tobias can draw on a fascinating imagery, always a harbinger of new inspiration and this eleventh episode is the ideal anthem.

    However, the fights to the death are not limited to the Story alone: ​​to season a mammoth offer there are numerous additional modes, which guarantee an impressive game value. We then start with the Towers, a cornerstone of the series since its inception, today renewed and even more fun than in the past. The Klassic ones, of variable length, propose a series of clashes as the most canonical of the arcade modes, reserving a final film - made with sketches and drawings - for the selected character. During our climbs we can also use consumables, which are objects that guarantee us a small advantage in combat. For example, a particular glove can trigger Cyrax and his laser network to intervene, while Skarlet's blood-based darts make us invulnerable to bleeding for a short amount of time. All of these ingenious gadgets can be obtained easily within the Krypt, which we'll talk about shortly. The Towers of Time instead have special rules based on their theme, presenting malus and bonuses to be exploited against our opponents. However, access to the aforementioned is limited: some will be available for a whole day, others only for a few hours. It is therefore advisable to hurry up because - like the Klassic Towers - even the timed challenges will reward the efforts made with numerous rewards. Based on the total score, it is possible not only to receive good amounts of gold but also resources for crafting, pieces for equipment, consumables and emblems to embellish the Kombat Kard.


    Torri Classic
    Towers Of Time

    Previously mentioned, thanks to the Kripta it is possible to unlock a lot of items and accessories. The one contained in the new edition of Mortal Kombat, however, is a totally new treasury. First of all we will find ourselves walking through the halls and meanders of the secret island of Shang Tsung, from which we are greeted - all too suspiciously - with great hospitality. The linear corridors in first person have been replaced with the control of an anonymous ninja, all with an action dress and with a camera behind. Inside the Kripta, in addition to the usual chests, we can find various artifacts - such as Shao Khan's hammer - with which to make our way and solve small environmental puzzles. The idea is at least apt to rejuvenate and make a fundamental component of the whole experience more palatable. The controls, however, certainly do not respond perfectly, with movements that are sometimes so rapid and imprecise as to make us feel like we are walking on soap. However, this defect is entirely forgivable, especially if the conditions in which the aforementioned modality was applied are kept in mind. By uncovering the chests using the appropriate currencies (gold, gems and hearts), you will not only get weapons, skins and gadgets for our kombattenti, but also improvements to equip and materials to build other consumables to use in the Towers. All this good things Elder reveals what is one of the greatest innovations of the eleventh chapter, inherited in part from the excellent Injustice 2. We are obviously talking about the personalization system, a component that is as satisfying as it is profound. Each character is introduced to us with two different variants, different for both the park moves and the aesthetic aspects. In addition, it is possible to create new builds for kombattenti starting from scratch: the large number of accessories - from masks to weapons - favor the birth of unique and original versions, to be shaped according to our preferences. In the Kollection you will be able to admire everything you have acquired so far, including the recipes for the creations, the sketches and the final movies of each fighter. To marvel at your creative genius, a special Photo Mode allows you to immortalize the models posing. The sets of our creation can also be used against online opponents, a modality that we will talk about in depth in a second totally dedicated editorial. Before engaging in challenges against other flesh and blood players, it would be good to undergo the preparatory workouts through the section of the same name. In addition to free sparring, ideal for testing new styles and kombattenti, Mortal Kombat 11 also offers a Tutorial, with which to learn the basics of the combat system, and Fatality Training. The latter is a space reserved for practice in the final moves, which are numerous (two per character) and with different activation methods. Obviously there is no lack of classic local clashes, perfect for ruining the most lasting friendships, embellished not only by the great fun deriving from the unique style of Mortal Kombat, but also by the excellent roster and a sufficiently high number of arenas. Finally, the last two secondary modes follow, namely the Tournament and the AI ​​Battle: while the first allows us to challenge a friend, taking into account the number of victories and without being able to consult the move list, the second represents the natural heir of the Faction War of the tenth episode, this time really interactive. In a nutshell, the player is called upon to form small groups of defenders and attackers managed by artificial intelligence and sent to fight against other online challengers. We will also provide you with further information on this method later.




    If you have felt - despite a multi-year militancy within the series - a certain difference with the gameplay of the previous chapters, do not be afraid, it is absolutely normal. The combat system of Mortal Kombat 11 inherits much of the elements of the previous episode, skilfully merging them with some traits of Injustice 2. The risk of feeling like a fish out of water is immediately dispelled by a renewed combat system, but also accessible to both newbies and veterans. Although it differs from the episode dedicated to the DC world in several respects, the action of the title in question is slower and more staid, with physically less exaggerated impacts. Even the disappearance of the race contributes to the conduct of reasoned fights, where it will be easier to punish or be punished for a move with incorrect timing. In order to avoid the emergence of cases like that of Deadshot, we went in search of characters with moves that are too "spammable" and fortunately we have not yet encountered such eventualities. The combos are also slightly simplified and are often common among many fighters, not excluding the need for due practice. Unlike Mortal Kombat X, where some members of the roster struggled to be particularly attractive, the current fleet of fighters provides the right tools to never get bored and always find inspiration. The developers have taken great care not only in creating varied moves but also in offering depth to each kombattente. Even faces like Kotal Khan, D'Vorah and Jacqui Briggs - newcomers from last episode - offer completely redesigned move lists, as well as a much more inviting overall look. Some well-known names such as Erron Black, on the other hand, find great confirmation, while the expected returns from the past (Noob Saibot, Kabal, Baraka, Shao Khan to name a few) and the new debuts (Cetrion, Geras, Kollector) infuse renewed lifeblood to the list. By returning to focus on the actual action, Fatal and Crushing Blow have replaced the ever-beloved X-Ray: the former are the exact equivalent of the aforementioned, but unlocking only when at the end of life and - if the shot is not successful - they will recharge after a few moments. The latter, on the other hand, are slightly enhanced versions of standard moves, which can be executed by repeating any attack several times and give greater spectacularity to the clashes. The real highlight of the entire combat system obviously remains the Fatalities, this time even more violent and crazy ... in every sense. Accompanied by a large number of Brutalities, some already unlocked and others to be obtained in the Kripta, we find two final moves dedicated to each character. While some remain canonical, not detaching much from what we would expect from a particular kombattente, others are capable of surprising for imagination and comedy. Worthy of mention in fact is the ventriloquist-style one by Johnny Cage, who splitting the opponent in two uses the upper part as a puppet. The Easy Fatalities are also back, tokens with which you can start the aforementioned sequences by pressing a single button, with a consequent loss of esteem - know it - by the community of enthusiasts. The usual bar that managed counterattacks, upgrades and X-Ray has been eliminated to make room for two smaller segments: the first is dedicated to defensive moves, while the second to offensive ones and both will recharge over time and no longer receiving or inflicting damage. Finally, returning to the theme of personalization, it is good to underline how this hides much more than simple aesthetic purposes. In fact, our creations will be able to influence the fights, to a greater or lesser degree, thanks not only to customized movesets but also to intrinsic bonuses in the equipment itself, which will be enhanced with the experience acquired after each fight. To the delight of the most heartfelt, Mortal Kombat 11 finally allows you to distribute the accumulated skill points to rebalance our characters, perhaps favoring the kombo, the counterattacks or the holds. Although the feeling of the fight is slightly distanced from MK X and you remember - albeit minimally - Injustice 2, it will take very little to feel at home again. Mortal Kombat is changing, not only from a technical point of view but also on the battlefield and who are we to criticize the course of such a pleasant evolution?

    No turn of words: Mortal Kombat 11 is a real feast for the eyes. If the previous chapter impressed you with an amazing use of Unreal Engine 3, get ready to pick your jaw off the ground - this time without Fatality. The Unreal Engine 4 is capable of excellent results not only in terms of performance but also in overall visual quality. The character models have been built excellently, with strong facial expressions that we do not struggle to define "among the best of this current generation". Each piece of armor sparkles, each special attack unleashes particles of light and the blood gushes copiously. In a nutshell, we found ourselves in front of one of the best yields of hemoglobin ever recorded, with dense, shiny and credible flows accompanying dismemberments worthy of a splatter film. To perfect everything, there is a superfine lighting system, able not only to do justice to the highly inspired look of the characters but also to the largest, most detailed, interactive and best realized arenas of the entire series.. Therefore, the work of the illustrators, who have given life to images rich in details, where everything is reproduced with abundance and love, is therefore excellent. Those who can't help but chew numbers will finally be pleased to know that Mortal Kombat 11 can safely maintain sixty frames per second, with a fixed resolution of 1080p. Fast uploads, well-made textures and incredible fluidity of movement will delight performance lovers.

    USEFUL INFO

    Mortal Kombat 11 was tested on PlayStation 4. The review was born after completing the Story, trying the secondary modes and having explored the Kripta thoroughly. While this is the standard version of PS4, the NetherRealm title had no difficulty flexing its muscles. The purchase is practically mandatory for all lovers of the genre.

    Duration
    • Story Duration: from five to seven hours of gameplay, depending on the difficulty chosen.
    • Almost unlimited value thanks to the multiplayer sector, clashes with friends and the Towers of Time.
    Structure
    • Plot divided into 12 chapters, each dedicated to one or more characters and made up of three or four meetings.
    • Classic fighting game with movement along the two axes.
    • Ideal for competition.
    Collectibles and Extras
    • Weapons, armor and gadgets.
    • Consumable crafting materials.
    • The Kripta is boundless and contains Fatality, Brutality, costumes, sketches and much more.
    Game Card
    • Game Name: Mortal Kombat 11
    • Release date: April 23 2019
    • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
    • Dubbing language: Italian
    • Texts language: Italian

    Still with eyes bulging, we have therefore reached the end of our journey in Mortal Kombat 11. The product of NetherRealm Studios is undoubtedly one of the best fighting games on the square, as well as one of the most valid titles of this already crackling 2019. The team Chicago has managed to hit the mark and in the heart, proposing a well-told story, coherent and with an interesting enemy, a lot of accessory modalities and a lot, a lot of quality. Those who have recently started following the series or approached it already in 1992 cannot but love this eleventh chapter, a real example of how the West still has a lot to say in the field of fighitng games. The enormous experience of Ed Boon and his team, combined with their everlasting love for this decades-long saga, are perfectly tangible in Mortal Kombat 11, which is raised to a yardstick for the other exponents of the genre, representing a big thank you to the loyal fans: the fire of the dragon will never stop burning as long as someone is ready to scream "Mortal Kombat".

    Farow's review
    Graphics

    The Unreal Engine 4 manages to make each character or arena shine with its own light. The lighting system acts superbly and does justice to the creation of NetherRealm Studios. The title is free from drops in framerate - locked at sixty frames - and in resolution, steadily on 1080p. Those who give great weight to the technical sector in a video game will be impressed by the solidity of Mortal Kombat 11.

    94
    SOUNDTRACK AND DOUBLE ROOM

    The soundtrack features epic-like tunes, which immerse the player even deeper into the battle. The dubbing is also excellent, completely in Italian, also featuring exceptional names.

    90
    GAMEPLAY

    Distant but still faithful to the past, the gameplay of Mortal Kombat 11 is accessible to anyone, even to those who were so fond of the old shores. Thanks to the good ideas of Injustice 2, even the new episode of the Scorpion and Sub Zero series can enjoy a fantastic customization system. Fatalities are also among the best of the entire saga, shining both for malice and fantasy. Each fight in Mortal Kombat 11 will lead you to want another one.

    92
    Total Rating scale
    92
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