Hot on the heels of the release of Mortal Kombat 1, NetherRealm is already exploring new corners of the Mortal Kombat universe with a new mobile title, Mortal Kombat: Onslaught. In this squad-based hero collection RPG, you can assemble teams of legendary fighters from Mortal Kombat history to face various challenges. Ahead of its release today, we had the opportunity to see the game in action to find out what we can expect from this new edition of the long-running series.
Onslaught expands the Mortal Kombat universe with real-time squad-based combat. Players can unleash various character-specific abilities (including targeted special attacks and, yes, some tamed Fatal) on the hordes of enemies they 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 since the beginning, while Cianciolo has been working on the franchise’s story since before the series’ reboot in 2011.
The story follows Scorpion, Johnny Cage, Sonya Blade and other characters on their mission to stop Shinnok. Story mode features full-motion cinematics and tells a story in its own universe, completely independent of the events in the main games. Onslaught’s main story is scheduled to be completed sometime in 2024 through post-launch plans, and by the end of the content release schedule, the game will feature more than 300 story battles.
Outside of Story, players can take part in Arena’s PvP battles, Boss Tower battles against powerful characters, and Chasm, a mode that gives you unique battle scenarios not found elsewhere in the game, such as a battle against six versions of Johnny Cage. A mode called Chronicles will also bring post-launch story beats, introducing players to new characters and allowing them to temporarily try them out.
Players can build their team from an ever-growing roster of characters from the Mortal Kombat universe, with more than 50 characters available at launch and an ambitious post-launch release schedule. Each character has a class/role, which can vary depending on the character’s version and level. These fighters all have different abilities, like Raiden’s area-wide lightning strike or Goro’s powerful stomp of an enemy. A three-star Kitana could be designed for ranged combat, while a five-star version could be based on melee attacks. Finding the right balance in your team composition will be crucial as more and more characters with different specializations join your squad.
In one example, we see a Scorpion who is a Warrior class, meaning he is one of the main damage dealers on the field, while a Defender class Shao Kahn is meant to attract 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 background, but is vulnerable due to low health and defense stats. You’ll need to take all of this into consideration when weighing the options of building a fully offensive-focused team, a more tactics-focused squad, or a defensive-focused group.
Like many hero collectors like Marvel Strike Force and Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, the core loop outside of gameplay focuses on an ever-expanding cast of characters that keep you constantly on the lookout for the latest additions and strengthening them. You can strengthen your characters by improving their 14 different stat categories using an equipment system. You can also equip relics that can provide synergies with the fighter. Some of the rarest relics even unlock fatalities for the characters. NetherRealm tells me that despite the genre’s tendency towards power creep, the studio will try to keep the game balanced by updating older characters as new characters are added.
NetherRealm claims this will be the most ambitious live content post-launch plan in the studio’s mobile history. The developer promises new game modes as well as a steady stream of additional characters. Players can even expect console and licensed guest characters to be added to the roster through this live content plan.
Luckily, if this is right for you, you don’t have to wait because Mortal Kombat: Onslaught is available today for iOS and Android. If you’re looking for a more basic Mortal Kombat experience, be sure to check out our Mortal Kombat 1 review here.