Universal praise for MK11 demonstrates lack of integrity among ‘gaming journalists’


Universal praise for MK11 demonstrates lack of integrity among ‘gaming journalists’

Universal praise for MK11 demonstrates lack of integrity among ‘gaming journalists’

The disconnect between gamers and gaming outlets has never been more apparent than with the release of Mortal Kombat 11. Video game outlets heaped praise on the latest Mortal Kombat release in their reviews of the game, perplexing disappointed consumers. By no reasonable measurement was this year’s Mortal Kombat worthy of praise, leading many to speculate about what actually motivated these outlets to lavish the game with positive reviews.

The video game currently holds a score among critics of 82 on Metacritic. In comparison, the game holds a Metacritic score of 3.1 among audiences. Every major gaming outlet scored the game at 80 percent or above. IGN, embarrassingly, awarded the game a 9/10.

Mortal Kombat 11 is a full-priced game built to resemble a free-to-play mobile game. Nearly every feature of character customization must be obtained through a painfully tedious process or by purchasing the content using actual dollars. The game features an obnoxious amount of “loot box” type DLC to obtain items that are technically already included with the game, despite creative director Ed Boon promising fans that the game would not employ these features. Boon made the false promise to fans prior to the game’s release, while he was encouraging them to preorder.

Beyond the loathsome attempt to style the latest Mortal Kombat as a mobile game, the game is just incredibly uninspired. Mortal Kombat 11 is simply bland. From the fighting arenas to the character design, it’s all dull and uninteresting.

Perhaps nowhere is the lack of originality more apparent than in the game’s story mode. The generic plot feels like it could have been thrown together in a single afternoon. Like the rest of the game, the story mode is hopelessly boring and unimaginative.

Within it’s first week of release, Mortal Kombat 11 was already selling for more than 15 percent off the MSRP on Amazon. It seems pretty clear that developer NeatherRealm Studios and publisher WB Games were not expecting the level of backlash they received from fans. The game’s developers are still attempting to sell an additional $40 “kombat pack” to fans, although the price was temporarily lowered to $20 for PC gamers through Steam.

It’s blatantly apparent that the majority of gaming outlets value their readers less than the compensation they receive from giving positive reviews to bad games. Whether that compensation is in the form of direct cash payments, or heightened access to gaming developers, is irreverent. Although, it seems likely that the major gaming outlets simply chose to give Mortal Kombat 11 a positive review in hopes they wouldn’t be blacklisted from the millions of dollars in marketing Warner Brothers was about to spend advertising the game.

Regardless of what motivated these outlets to give Mortal Kombat 11 positive reviews, they should be embarrassed with themselves. They’ve exposed the fact that there is nothing journalistic about their content, while simultaneously elevating more honest coverage from independent outlets. IGN might as well allow publishers like Warner Brothers and Electronic Arts to write their own reviews for their games.

How much longer should NeatherRealm Studios expect consumers to pay full price for titles modeled after free-to-play mobile games? How much longer should gaming outlets expect readers to tolerate their shamelessly biased coverage? If they’re not careful, they might discover the answers sooner than later.

This article contains the personal opinions of the author. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Mess of Media. This disclaimer appears on all articles that feature the personal opinions of the author, as Mess of Media is an unbiased and nonpartisan source of information.

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