I've been a huge MK fan since I was a kid, and really sunk my teeth into MK9 and MKX. Bought MK11 as a birthday present to myself the other day, and I feel a little underwhelmed. Would love to get others' thoughts on their experience with the game so far.
Not to pick nits, but:
1) The story seems like bad MK fan fiction. Other players have remarked that they didn't buy MK11 for the story, but considering how engaging the story modes in MK9 and MKX were, and considering how interesting MK lore can be, I came away disappointed. It came off as convoluted and didn't treat the characters well. MK9 and MKX did a great job of paying tribute to the past while still driving the series forward. MK11, on the other hand, like Kronika, seems to want to deconstruct the past and rebuild something new out of its parts, but the results are mixed, imo.
2) Speaking of characters, with the exception of Kollector, whom I would love to see become a regular, the rest of the new characters are forgettable at best, and irritating at worst. Their treatment of certain older characters rankled me a bit as well; Erron Black went from badass bounty hunter to yee-haw cowboy, Skarlet has aviator goggles for some reason, and D'Vorah now looks like a creature out of a Tim Burton film.
3) Kronika is an awful, awful character. I put this in its own category because she's the game's final boss and the driving force behind MK11's story arc. Time as a concept can be gimmicky if not done well, and it doesn't help when your antagonist is a boring, generic cross between Lady Galadriel and Tilda Swinton's Ancient One. The idea would have been much more palatable if they just made her character/design more interesting. As it stands, I hope she (along with Geras and Cetrion) ends up on the scrap heap with Kai, Jarek, Mavado, and the rest of the uninspired post-MK3 one-and-dones.
4) Microtransactions. So, so disappointed that NR Studios added microtransactions. They recently made a remark to the effect of, "Oh, we're not focused on microtransactions at all. Everything can actually be acquired in game." While true (after the patch, anyway), why even include MT in the first place if you're so outwardly dismissive of the idea?
5) The krypt is full of krap, and I pin that on the new customization mechanic. You'll walk around opening chest after chest and get countless minor variations on a character's pants or headband. Cool. Likewise, most character "skins" are boring, and you can't even select them from the character select; you have to "customize" the character first. No thank you.
And if the above seems like I'm being a bit petty:
6) While I haven't spent as much time with MK11 yet, I don't like the changes to the engine. At first I thought I was just being grumpy ("Change bad!"), but the more I've played, the less I've liked more of the new engine tweaks. I get that, as a game developer, you don't want to ride one engine for several games in a row, but at the same time, that doesn't mean you throw the baby out with the bathwater.
In some respects, I think this is a tale of two games, because I realize that pro gamers would probably love some of these new additions. That said, the precision required for getup attacks, flawless blocks, amplified specials, and krushing blows (as well as the quick-twitch response time and requisite knowledge of exactly when to use them) really sucks the fun out of it for a casual gamer. I wasn't a pro at MKX, but I was about .500 online. I'm pretty bad at MK11 so far, and honestly, I don't know if I want to invest the time required to take my skill to the next level. That the game wants you to - several of the tutorials are actually about frame counts - is a little obnoxious. On the one hand, it is helpful, but on the other... this isn't a game that I feel like I can just play and enjoy.
The graphics are beautiful and, at the end of the day, it's not a bad game. I just feel like it's a step back in many respects, and of the three games to come out since the reboot, I feel MK11 is the worst. I'll keep at it, but I have a feeling I'm going to go back to MKX before too long.
Tell us about games you are currently playing. "Quick hit" reviews.
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