With Mortal Kombat 11 on the horizon, I take a look at my experiences with NetherRealm games and wonder if this is a release day purchase for me…

For a very long time I’ve been a low-key fan of the Mortal Kombat games; I had Mortal Kombat 2 on the Gameboy and Sega Mega Drive as a kid and put lots of hours into playing it, learning the special moves and finding the most gory ways to disembody my enemies. More often than not, this would be my go-to game when I had friends over, one for the gore and two, for the gameplay. The years eventually rolled forward and Tekken became my game of choice for beat-em-ups, I found the combat system much easier to use and Tekken 3 kinda changed the scope of gaming for me. I’d still pick up Mortal Kombat games every now and again just because they’re so much fun, but they’ve never been a release day purchase for me, usually picking them up a few months after release. I remember really enjoying playing these games at my mates’ houses and playing through various journey modes, collecting enough Koins to unlock new characters and more – There was always the gore, but the combat system always worked for me, much more than Street Fighter for example, perhaps because I’d never really played those games… But in Mortal Kombat, I can string together a combo and understand how it works – The only issue was they were always games I’d pick up in the bargain bins and have a bit of fun withl the stories never really grabbed me and I never felt this was the beat-em-up franchise that was at the top of my list.

Fast forward to 2008 and you get MK vs DC, a kind of shock move that no one saw coming which definitely reignited my interest in the Mortal Kombat series as a whole. Although the game wasn’t perfect, and sacrificed some of it’s classic gore, it proved that Mortal Kombat had a lot more up it’s sleeve than recycling the same handful of characters. Obviously adding anything comic book-related is going add a heap more interest from a HUGE audience of nerds (If they weren’t already Mortal Kombat fans), and facing Batman off against Scorpion never got old; it also proved that the Mortal Kombat system worked with a whole new set of very different characters. This then went on to create Injustice and Injustice 2, two of my favourite games ever made. These games I cannot recommend enough, especially if you’re a Mortal Kombat fan that’s not played them; they have an amazing story, and Injustice 2 has a great loot system (A bit odd to have in a fighter, but it works). Plus you get to fight in all of these newly crafted DC arenas that have area transitions – Punching anyone through a wall into crime alley will always be amazing; so much so infact that I gave Injustice 2 a 9.5 at the time.

In between all of this excitement, I’ve played Mortal Kombat X in anticipation, and again I’ve also really enjoyed this. I’ve mostly played through for the story (Although I barely remember it now), and I played a little of other modes and online, but was never good enough to Kompete. This was a fun game that for sure filled a hole in my gaming heart, and was very welcome; the added gore and silliness is always entertaining. Interestingly the story of Mortal Kombat 11 actually follows Mortal Kombat 9 as X was set in the future… So following all of this, am I excited for Mortal Kombat 11?

Well, first up the trailers they’ve been putting out have been some of my favourites of the last year, putting some badass brutal fighting to some bad ass mother fuggin’ rap is always going to appeal to me. The Kombat will have the same variations that it did in X, so you can switch between 3 ‘stances’ for lack of a better term, each with it’s own set of moves to master that you can switch between freely; this, coupled with Injustice 2’s loot & gear system means there will be plenty to do and learn. Some reports have said you can customise your move list as well as up to 3 items of gear, which, if true, means that you can create a completely different character suited to your style of play. The special meters will also be returning, but the difference now is you’ll have 2 bars; one for beefed up attacks and one for combo escapes. They’ve also brought back X-Ray moves, but have called them Fatal Blows; these are very similar, but can only be used when your health is low. Another thing to note is that stage attacks are back, meaning there will be plenty of environmental damage and lots of spiky pointy things to skewer your opponent with.

So yes, I am definitely excited for this game; I can see myself sinking a lot of hours into as I did with Injustice 2, and being able to have some sort of game to bring to my little online crowd of friends will be awesome. I’ve also no doubt we’ll be seeing some of our favourite comic heroes appear as DLC in this game… MK vs DC 2 anyone?! Watch this space for an official review later this month.