What a wild week it has been for Mortal Kombat 11, huh?
I’ll have a more comprehensive impressions article soon, but at first glance, the latest entry in this iconic franchise has a lot to offer with its outrageously detailed graphics to its fun and brutal fight mechanics. Don’t forget about the super impressive cinematic story mode as well. Quite simply, I’m having a blast with the game so far.
However, it’s not a perfect game by any means. In fact, a lot of the shine came off at launch when the community found that the new Towers of Time mode was stupidly difficult and not very fun. In addition, the expansive Krypt mode required ultra-rare resources and in-game currency in order to unlock the decent stuff.
This kicked off a firestorm in the community, even causing big time supporters like Maximilian D00d to get really down on the product. You know things are bad if you start turning away even your biggest supporters.
To their credit, NetherRealm Studios moved very quickly to communicate that they were aware of the issues and that they were working on making it right as soon as possible. For everyone’s troubles, they’re even handing out a “thank you” gift in-game as well.
Still, I can’t help but feel like a lot of this could have been avoided if some of these things were explained a little better before release. To me, part of the trouble is how the game was announced as it went against NetherRealm’s typical Spring announcement schedule or E3 at the latest. For Mortal Kombat 11, it was announced in mid-December at The Game Awards, which also meant that the studio lost half a year of normal marketing time.
While community events were created, trade shows attended, and Kombat Kasts used to try and make up the time difference and cover as much as possible, I still feel like they ran out of time to talk about the game. Even the near-weekly Kombat Kasts struggled to show off all 25 characters in time as Shao Kahn and Frost were squeezed in mere hours before the game launched officially. Who knows, had the team had at least a few extra months, maybe some of these issues the game currently faces would have been less of a problem.
Not only that, one of the bigger disappointments for me is with the
character customization, excuse me, Kharacter Kustomization. For a game that deals with time travel, pitting current versions of characters against or with their former or past selves, I kind of expected a lot more options than what we got.
So Mortal Kombat 11 lets you customize characters through gear (3 items on a character that can be changed) and then their overall outfit/costume. While the gear pieces feature tons of unique and very cool options, I’m pretty disappointed with the skin options. From what I’ve seen, most characters have 2 or 3 options and then a crapton of color variations on it. Kitana, for example, basically has a revenant skin and then a human skin with the remaining two other options being very minor variations on those two. From there, you can pick from a variety of color options.
Still, I was kind of expecting to see way more clothing options, perhaps even pulling in or referencing her wardrobe from past entries like Mortal Kombat II since the story features a version of her from the past. Her Mortal Kombat X version had a ton of really cool looking and unique outfits, so it’s disappointing to not see the same level of options here. It’s not just her either, it’s pretty much the same for most characters. Wouldn’t it be cool to get a classic looking Frost or Noob Saibot skin? Obviously, I wouldn’t expect to see any of the female ninja outfits from MK9 considering how skimpy most of them were (looking at you Skarlet) and the direction the studio seems to be going in these days.
Still, there may be hope. With “years of content” planned for Mortal Kombat 11, it’s my hope that the team addresses some of these shortcomings. I understand that skins and costumes were added to Mortal Kombat X over time and that this game is likely to follow that pattern, so I’ll hold out hope to see more unique looking outfits sooner than later. Plus, seeing how quickly the team moves to correct issues, the future looks bright for this violent fighter.