The MK franchise has always been a hit-or-miss for me especially the games the came before Mortal Kombat 9 and Mortal Kombat X. They really did the fans good with the last two games that were really solid titles. Now with the recent announcement of Mortal Kombat 11 during The Game Awards, another wave of hype is building up for NetherRealm’s awesome fighter.

Recently I got my hands on the online closed beta (which you can get if you pre-ordered the game) and here’s what I got to experience during play. Long story short, I liked it but let’s dive a bit into some details, in case you are still on the fence.

 

First off, aside from the usual practice mode, the beta only offers two main types of play – the offline Klassic Towers mode and online Kombat. The game offers five fighters during the trial period — Baraka, Jade, Kabal, Scorpion and Skarlet. Even though the roster might seem a bit lacking, it at least gives you enough room to have fun with the game’s customization mode which I will tackle later.

 

Gameplay-wise, if you’ve played Mortal Kombat X or is even its recent brother – Injustice 2, the fighting style will instatnly feel familiar as the same intuitive system that lets you dish out combos and special moves are back and better than ever. I still feel that certain “weight” while controlling the characters but for the most part the controls feel very responsive just as I remembered it.

 

Aside from the improvements in controls there are also new bells and whistles I noticed to spice up the game like the addition of using the PlayStation 4’s controller speaker to give out a splatter sound when the first hit is done. I also noticed that blood that gets gushed around gets to stay at the stage during the duration of the match. Additionally, my personal favorite X-Ray moves that have been a series staple since Mortal Kombat 9 make a comeback, showing off in detail the brutal and bloody moves, entrails and all. They appear to be random during the fight but can be more commonly seen in what is called a “Fatal Blow” These grand spectacles can be initiated only once every match and when your character’s health bar reaches its last quarter.

 

It’s not a Mortal Kombat game without the over-the-top fatalities and thankfully the mechanic is pretty much left unchanged. You still have a good 10 seconds to input your command, or in most of my fights, screw up and accidentally poke your opponent to the ground much to the laugh of the other player.

Fatalities, as with the previous entries are always clearly not for the weak stomach but for the vets out there, they are still a blast to watch as ever as they seems to push the graphicalboundaries even further with every new title release. I can’t wait till someone makes a video montague of all the finishers and X-Rays in the game when all the character’s finally roll out.

 

Speaking of charcters, I also got to play around the Kustomize section, which reminds me of the the Gear System from Injustice 2. You can change just about anything for your favorite character from intros, endings, skins, taunts, fatalities, brutalities, and even special abilities. The “Augments” is greyed out at the moment but it is safe to speculate that this is where the microtransactions part will be featured. I really hope I’m wrong in this part.

 

Mortal Kombat 11 is a good step in improvement and overall evolution in terms of gameplay and graphics, which looks to be a notch-up from an already impressive line of NetherRealm’s previous game. I’ll definitely be watching the game’s development until its full release on April 23, so watch out for our full review!