Mortal Kombat 11 certainly has a lot of gamers excited, but the potential of the Nintendo Switch port is something else entirely. Mixing anticipation with a little bit of fear, fans are obviously wondering how such a big and graphically intense game can work on the combo handheld/home console system. While it’s still too early to say for sure, I checked it out at PAX East and was simply blown away with what was displayed. It so far looks like Switch games are in for another miraculous port.
Again, this is early impressions based solely on a few matches in handheld mode only. This isn’t a review, and things can change quickly as the game heads to launch on April 23rd. I also won’t discuss the finer points of the game, since Alex already did a pretty deep dive for the Beta on Xbox One. He liked it quite a bit saying “Mortal Kombat has always had that special ability to make you fall in love with the franchise all over again and that’s what happened to us in the Beta.”
It was the full Mortal Kombat 11 experience, and it played fantastically on the Switch
And really, that’s what happened to me while playing on Switch at PAX East. Playing the game in handheld mode had that surreal feeling like this shouldn’t work. Similar to how it felt playing Breath of the Wild for the first time. Like, the game shouldn’t be able to run like this? It shouldn’t be 60fps? It shouldn’t look this close to what we’re getting on PS4 and Xbox One!
OK, well to be fair it doesn’t look the same. It looks close. Much closer than I thought it would. But the differences are there. The best comparison I could come up with is like taking a PC game and changing from Ultra to Medium. It’s still the same game, and it still plays the same, but there’s a lack of polish to the visuals that is clear. Character models were the main thing I saw, with finer detail dropped and reflections and lighting downgraded. But the tradeoff is being able to play anywhere, anytime, and if that’s important to you then this is totally worth it.
After just a few matches, all the minor changes drifted into the background of the experience and all I was left with was a brand new Mortal Kombat game that was playable in my hands. It was the full Mortal Kombat 11 experience as far as I could tell and was told, and it played fantastically on the Switch. Whether it’s the right version for you or not really comes down to the usual Switch port questions.
Do you want the top of the line visuals or the ability to take the experience with you? Your answer will decide what platform suits you best. But at the end of the day, it’s great to see yet another Switch port come out even better than people expected. Let’s hope that holds once the full game releases on April 23rd.