The Joker has arrived in Mortal Kombat 11 and while I was a little sceptical about him at first, mainly due to my dislike of the previous Joker in Injustice, I was pleasantly surprised by the Mortal Kombat 11 version. He has no doubt been crafted with the utmost care by the developers and delivers a dark and twisted yet fun and whimsical approach to combat. Something you would expect from the Clown Prince of Crime. The new interpretation is a refreshing take on the villain but not only due to his subtle appearance, but also his wide range of attacks and combo sets that make him an exciting fighter in the roster.
The Joker also marked my first time playing Mortal Kombat 11. While the game did release back in 2019, I never got around to experiencing the fighter until last week when I received the Joker character code along with the game. I have never been a fan of how WB Games or any other fighting game handles DLC character as I believe they are shameless cash grabs, but The Joker kind of changed my mind here. Especially thanks to the idea of adding different series fighters into the mix. The next character, Spawn is going to be just as exciting.
So how does Joker play out? Well, he is easily accessible to anyone but also quite a tough fighter to master. His bag of tricks includes items that fit right into his fighting style such as cane that he carries permanently and offers some great reach. His “Trickster” style is all about the items he has on him and they all contribute to the fight in some way or another.
His jack in the box, for example, acts as his fists even uppercutting your opponent from the floor up. It is a smart way to approach the “sidekick” idea and carries into his other special moves too. His “Batsy Poo” moves all see him pulling out a Batman plush doll with a pistol in its mouth which fires at enemies from a distance. This is performed on the ground and from mid-height too.
We then have his grab attacks and brutality moves which are quite intense. His grab moves see him pull out two giant punching gloves on springs and knock his opponent to the ground to further beat them when they are down. His Brutality is then even more chaotic as he puls out his Batman down and wallops his opponent over and over again. It is the definition of a psychopath. Then there’s one that sees a dynamite-strapped man jump towards his opponent and explodes into a pile of meat.
His Fatalities are also fun to pull off and witness as they deliver the typical gore-fest you would expect from the series. It is all in fun of course as you sit back and watch Joker put a jack-in-the-box into an opponent’s chest and their head springs up through their shoulders.
Controlling Joker is a challenge at times. His attacks range from his basic moves using his cane to the gunplay from a distance. They are all very flashy yet brutal which is great to see come to life on screen and to master at the same time. He is a mad man, calls himself one too which is present through every scene with him on screen. He laughs as he beats someone down to the ground and flattens their heads and hops around with glee while they burn alive in front of him. It is as Joker as it could possibly get and the magic is how it fits into the Mortal Kombat game so perfectly.
Mortal Kombat 11 and the Joker make for a great match but he is not perfect. His cane swings are a bit slow and can prove to be blockable quite easily especially when you go up against him a couple of times. Sure, they pack a punch but any experienced players will be able to dodge and counter them due to their high frame count when pulling off the moves. This was an issue with Joker throughout my testing time with the character. He felt chunky throughout and don’t expect a quick and fast fighter here. However, once mastered, I can see him knocking someone into a corner and juggling them in the air helplessly.
Mortal Kombat 11 and the addition of Joker adds a new approach to a fight. Is he overpowered? No, not really but he has some great combat incentives that will suit many players. He is fun to play and the DC world comes to life throughout his subtle special moves and brutalities.
The Mortal Kombat 11 Joker character is part of the Kombat Pack now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC.