Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks
Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks is an action-based beat 'em up game and a spin-off of the classic fighting game franchise, Mortal Kombat. Although Shaolin Monks features familiar characters from the MK series, this game offers a lengthy adventure instead of replayable competitive fighting. While there are several Mortal Kombat spin-offs, few are as fun or entertaining as Shaolin Monks, as it maintains the bloody spirit of the series while also introducing a new genre of gameplay. Using your talented and deadly fighting abilities, you'll battle through numerous fantasy locations as you defend Earthrealm, beating down every enemy who dares to cross your path!
Main Game Features
- Single-player and cooperative adventure
- Includes classic Mortal Kombat game content
- Bloody and exciting combat
Shaolin Monks takes place directly after the events of the original Mortal Kombat, focusing on the two fighters Kung Lao and Liu Kang. At the end of the first Mortal Kombat tournament, pandemonium breaks out as Liu Kang and the evil sorcerer Shang Tsung go head-to-head, ultimately ending in Shang Tsung's retreat. As the building around them begins to collapse, the pair head back to the Wu Shi Academy, led by their mentor and guardian of the Earthrealm, Raiden. Upon arrival, the characters learn that Shang Tsung has begun a proper invasion of Earthrealm, attempting to conquer it despite the outcome of the tournament. In order to stop Shang Tsung and protect the world, Liu Kang and Kung Lao must journey across the land and brave the otherworldly horrors of Outworld.
Although Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks is a spin-off title with its unique structure and gameplay, the combat will feel immediately familiar to fans of the series. The game plays similarly to action titles like God of War, with players controlling either Kung Lao or Liu Kang. The game can also be played cooperatively, with certain areas only accessible with two players. Both characters have unique moves and abilities, mirroring their attacks and combos from the mainline Mortal Kombat games. You'll progress through linear levels, spread across both familiar and new locations within the Mortal Kombat universe, smashing through hordes of Shang Tsung's ghoulish army. Fighting baddies feels satisfying and easy-to-learn, so smashing skulls in Shaolin Monks doesn't require too much skill.
That said, you are rewarded with experience points based on how well you fight, so you'll want to keep the combos coming. Experience points can be used to unlock new special moves, such as multiple fireballs for Liu Kang and unique hat-tosses for Kung Lao. Shaolin Monks wouldn't be much of a Mortal Kombat game without fatalities, so the popular mechanic has been refitted as finishing moves. Finishing off foes with fatalities gains you bonus experience as well, so it's always best to finish the fights as bloody as possible. If you ever grow bored of leveling up in the main adventure, you can also participate in casual versus matches with your friend, thanks to a bonus competitive mode.
Like the classic fighting games it's based on, Shaolin Monks is a fast-paced, bloody, and consistently enjoyable experience. This lengthy adventure offers plenty of fan-service for Mortal Kombat faithfuls, but delivers a big dose of bloody combat that's fun enough for any action game enthusiast. The fighting feels just like a mainline Mortal Kombat game, with easy-to-learn controls and a deceptively complex combo system. The ability to play through the adventure with a friend elevates this Mortal Kombat spin-off above the rest, making it a thoroughly enjoyable and gruesome game that's worth playing.
- Fun upgrade system
- Stays faithful to the main franchise
- Great to play with a friend
- Underwhelming story
- Repetitive enemy design