Mortal Kombat: Onslaught
Hot on the heels of Mortal Kombat 1's launch, NetherRealm is already exploring new corners of the Mortal Kombat universe through a new mobile title, Mortal Kombat: Onslaught. This hero-collection, squad-based RPG lets you build teams of iconic fighters from the history of Mortal Kombat to take on various challenges. Ahead of its launch today, we had a chance to see the game in action to know what to expect from this new take on the long-running series.
Onslaught expands the Mortal Kombat universe into real-time squad-based combat. Players can unleash different, character-specific abilities (including targeted special attacks and, yes, somewhat tamed-down Fatalities) upon the hordes of enemies they'll face across four modes. Story mode brings an all-new narrative from key Mortal Kombat figureheads Ed Boon and Dominic Cianciolo. Boon has obviously been with the franchise from the start, while Cianciolo has worked on the story of the franchise since before the series' 2011 reboot.
The story follows Scorpion, Johnny Cage, Sonya Blade, and other characters on a quest to stop Shinnok. Story mode features full-motion cinematics and tells a tale contained in its own universe completely separate from the events in the mainline games. The main Onslaught story is set to wrap up through post-launch plans at some point in 2024, and by the end of the content release plan, the game will feature more than 300 Story battles.
Outside of Story, players can take part in Arena's PvP battles, Boss Tower fights against powerful characters, and Chasm, a mode that presents you with unique battle scenarios you won't find elsewhere in the game, such as a fight against six versions of Johnny Cage. A mode called Khronicles will also bring post-launch story beats introducing and allowing players to temporarily try out new characters.
Players can build their team from an ever-expanding roster of characters from the Mortal Kombat universe, with more than 50 characters available at launch and an ambitious post-launch release plan. Each character features a class/role that can vary based on the version and level of the character. These fighters all have distinct abilities, like Raiden's area-of-effect lightning strike or Goro's powerful stomping of an enemy. A three-star Kitana might be ranged, while a five-star version could be melee-based. Finding the right balance for your team composition will be vital as more characters with different specialties join your roster.
In one example, we see a Scorpion that's a Warrior class, meaning he'll be one of the primary damage dealers on the field, while a Defender-class Shao Kahn is meant to draw attention and protect his allies. Meanwhile, an Assassin-class Jade can stealthily bypass enemy Warriors and Defenders to take out Support or Snipers in the back but is vulnerable due to low health and defense stats. You must consider all of these as you weigh the options of building an all-out offensive team, a more tactics-driven squad, or a defensive-minded group.
As with many hero collectors like Marvel Strike Force and Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, the core loop outside of gameplay focuses on a constantly-growing lineup of characters that has you perpetually chasing the newest additions and powering them up. You can boost your characters by improving their 14 different stat categories through a Gear system. You can also equip relics, which can hold synergies with the fighter. Some of the rarest relics even unlock Fatalities for the characters. NetherRealm tells me that despite the genre's tendency toward power-creep, the studio will attempt to keep the game balanced by updating older characters as new characters arrive.
NetherRealm claims this will be the most ambitious post-launch, live-content plan in the studio's mobile history. The developer promises new game modes, as well as a steady stream of additional characters. Players could even expect console and licensed guest characters to join the roster through this live-content plan.
If this sounds up your alley, you luckily don't have to wait, as Mortal Kombat: Onslaught is available today on iOS and Android. If you're looking for a more core Mortal Kombat experience, be sure to check out our review of Mortal Kombat 1 right here.