With the recent success of the latest mainline entry in the franchise, Mortal Kombat 1, the timing was right for a side project like Mortal Kombat Onslaught to keep the hype rolling. While the gameplay varies greatly from the classic brutal fighting the core series is known for, much of what fans love about the franchise is here, along with some new elements that may appeal to players who are not long-time fans.
Developed by NetherRealm Studios, Mortal Kombat Onslaught is a mobile cRPG tactics game with plenty to offer. Here are three reasons why you may want to check it out.
Mortal Kombat Onslaught Provides A Great Entry Point Into Its Universe
For gamers who have never explored the sprawling universe of the Mortal Kombat franchise, or even lapsed fans who haven’t played for a long time, the sprawling lore of the series can be a bit intimidating. Feuds, alliances, and countless plot beats have built up the world and its characters in a myriad of ways over the years.
When Mortal Kombat Onslaught starts its narrative, the world feels like it has been mostly reset to a generic starting point for the cast. Conflicts have been going on, the Earthrealm special forces exist and know about the threats from Outworld and such, but individual characters feel like they have been stripped of the bulk of their narrative baggage. Johnny Cage is just a cocky movie star, Kitana serves as Princess of Outworld, bearing begrudging obedience to Shao Khan’s commands, and Socrpion still serves Quan Chi, with no knowledge of the truth behind the death of his clan.
This reset makes Mortal Kombat Onslaught a great entry point for newcomers. It has everyone to the point where battles are happening, characters are jumping between worlds, and everyone knows who everyone is, but allows each character to be an uncomplicated version of themselves new players can get to know, or old players can revisit.
Fun, Original Kombat
Rather than attempt to adapt the fast-paced fighting game mechanics of the core line, Mortal Kombat Onslaught opts to have players make up squads of characters to fight in light, tactics-based battles. Every character auto-attacks on their own while a bar fills to unleash their special move. The special is up to the player to activate, as well as who to target. This lets the player dictate the most critical moments of battle without having to endlessly press an attack button while they power up their special. While the special abilities are simple to grasp, they do provide meaningful choices between characters, that also bring with them the flavor of the franchise.
The best example of this is Scorpion. His special is his iconic spear throw that will drag a chosen enemy to his position. While the choice from a fan perspective is obvious, it works great from a gameplay one as well. Since the player doesn’t control characters in the moment-to-moment of battle, characters attack whoever is closest to them. Scorpion allows a player to pull powerful ranged attackers or support characters with healing abilities into the fray where they can be dispatched quickly.
Depth Of Customization
While the gameplay provides a light tactical challenge, under the gameplay hood is a deep system of choices players make as they modify and assemble their party. Equipment needs to be assigned and leveled, abilities can be upgraded for greater effects, and the party itself needs to be balanced between attacking, defending, and support-type characters. All of these elements require resources that, unless you are willing to pay into the microtransactions system, are always in short supply. Not so short that it hampers the ability to tackle the game’s story mode, but short enough that you’re paying attention to what you’re doing and upgrading the effects that feel most important to continued success.
If you don’t mind some of the trappings of mobile gaming that Mortal Kombat Onslaught brings with it, numerous currencies to keep track of and character unlocking via a gacha/loot box system, the game offers some great fun at no cost. Even if you are just passingly curious, I’d say the game is worth checking out.
Mortal Kombat Onslaught is available now on iOS and Android devices.