Warning: This story contains massive spoilers for the Mortal Kombat 11 story.
Let me lay myself bare on the table – I am an unashamed Mortal Kombat fan boy.
My obsession with the game started in the 90s when a friend invited me over to test out his Sega Saturn. The console was second-hand and the only game he had was Mortal Kombat 2 but we played that game to death.
Fast forward to my twenties and Mortal Kombat 9 reignited that furious desire I had for making opponents hurt in ways not even I could imagine.
The follow-up to that, Mortal Kombat X, which became Mortal Kombat XL, is a staple at parties where my friends would fight each other in the most gory title yet.
This year saw the release of Mortal Kombat 11 and I was initially hesitant about the game. For one, the grind that players faced put me off slightly as adding more intense grinding after nearly four months of Destiny 2 and The Division 2 sounded a lot like work.
But I caved and purchased the game on Steam and set to work completing the story mode and what a story mode it is.
Things start off with the best excuse for old characters returning, dying or changing in appearance – time travel.
A character named Kronika is upset with Raiden because, well Raiden has become something of a horrible person since the events that unfolded in MKX.
The plan is to reset time and start a new era where Raiden and Liu Kang are no longer united and as such weaker. For Kronika this means ultimate power and she’s hell bent on making sure she retains that power.
As the player you fight through the story taking control of well-known characters as you progress.
These stretches last for four fights, but the story that goes along with it flows so damn well you could get through it in one sitting without skipping a single cutscene.
And that leads me into my point – this story is the best Mortal Kombat movie we will likely ever get.
The action is you taking part in fights for the most part but there are scenes where the team at NetherRealm take control of the fighters and give you some sweet CGI battle goodness.
One particular mirror match had us torn between whether we wanted the good counterpart to really win.
The voice acting is superb with the exception of Ronda Rousey who really does stand out as being particularly bad. There is one particular scene where her character urges Cassie Cage to evacuate and the line is delivered with as much enthusiasm as a boiled frog.
Perhaps it’s because this is a videogame but nothing really jumps out at you as being odd, and there are points where I was stunned at the direction the writers took to move the story along.
Characters you thought were safe are dispatched within seconds, characters you never thought you’d care about become heroes you cheer for and even Johnny Cage had us feeling sad for a minute.
What I love the most about the story in this game is that NetherRealm held nothing back when scrubbing the timeline that Mortal Kombat has weaved over the years. Does this suck for the old guard such as myself? Yes it does but that’s not bad.
Trying to understand the convoluted lore that Mortal Kombat created is tough, hell even I gave up a few games ago but my love of the game kept me coming back.
This game allows newcomers to see what they might’ve missed in the past while also setting up the ability to try something completely new.
What I love about MK 11 is not the gore filled fighting or the grind to unlock everything in the Krypt. It’s that story, and honestly I could delete the game now and feel satisfied with what NetherRealm did.