Mortal Kombat’s Single-Player Modes Beyond The Kampaign Are Boring And Uninspired

Who knew unlocking new stuff would be such a grind?

Story Highlights

  • NetherRealm Studios introduced new but underwhelming single-player modes for MK11 and MK1.
  • MK11’s Krypt and the sequel’s Invasions Mode were too RNG-based, tedious, and grindey.
  • While the developers are looking to make Invasions more engaging, the fundamental issues remain.

Mortal Kombat is one of the few fighting game franchises that puts a decent bit of effort into its single-player content. Besides the Story Mode and local battles, it features modes like Towers to entertain players who don’t want to fight real players 24/7.

With Mortal Kombat 11 and Mortal Kombat 1, NetherRealm Studios wanted to be different and incorporate a new single-player mode to unlock cosmetics. Unfortunately, with both games, especially MK1, these modes were… uninteresting, to say the least. Are they unique? Sure. Are they fun? That’s a totally different story.

The Krypt Was An Ambitious Yet Disappointing Addition In Mortal Kombat 11

To sum up this mode, The Krypt was MK11’s main way to unlock different cosmetic skins, brutalities, fatalities, and items that you could use in Towers. Initially, this looked like a great idea, with players exploring a wide map while learning about some of the characters missing from the main roster.

the krypt mk11
Visiting Goro in The Krypt | Screenshot by eXputer

Unfortunately, a bright idea devolved into a tedious grindfest because of poor execution. The Krypt is a massive area and has hundreds of chests that contain randomized loot. Despite having tons of content, the RNG system in this mode was absolutely horrendous, and you’d honestly choose to pay for a specific skin outright if it meant you got it.

Now, opening the chests themselves wouldn’t be too big of a deal… if there weren’t so many. There’s hundreds of chests scattered throughout the map, and everytime you’d open a chest, you have to forcefully watch an unskippable animation. It may not seem like a lot, but when you have sizeable currency to spend, watching those animations over and over again can drive you mad.

Opinion: the Krypt quickly passed from addicting to annoying.
byu/fabioalbastos inMortalKombat

The Krypt just felt dull to visit and became more of a chore as time progressed. It’s too bloated for its own good, and most of the time, you’ll be unlocking stuff for characters you’ll probably never use. It becomes a disappointing reality that, even with a ton of currency to spend, you might find one or two chests containing items specifically for your character if you’re lucky. 

Invasions In Mortal Kombat 1 Might Be Worse Than The Krypt

Well, if The Krypt wasn’t a great mode, surely NRS would learn from their mistakes and make a better single-player mode in MK1, right? Well, if I had to give Invasions one achievement, it made The Krypt look like a glorious success story.

The Krypt at least tried to resemble Mortal Kombat by cleverly referencing characters and having some gruesome deaths if you weren’t careful. In the Invasions Mode, you have to go from Point A to Point B while fighting endless amounts of A.I. until you occasionally find a chest with something random in it.

I’ve never witnessed a more repetitive, tiresome, boring, and uninspiring mode in a fighting game before. At least with The Krypt, you weren’t constantly facing roadblocks and engaging in battles to artificially increase your playtime. If you quickly got burnt out by The Krypt, the gimmicks in Invasion mode will dry up before you blink.

invasions mode mk1
Showcasing Invasions Mode | Screenshot by eXputer

NetherRealm’s Attempt To Improve Their Single-Player Progression

I firmly believe that bad decisions from gaming companies can usually be overlooked if they admit their fault and try to overturn it. Fortunately, our complaints haven’t fallen on deaf ears just yet, and it seems NetherRealm Studios did notice that the modes they released were, in fact, terrible.

Recently, the developers sent emails to players asking for their feedback regarding Invasions. And judging from the recent Invasions trailer on their official YouTube channel, it looks like they want to regularly add new modes and genuinely appealing skins to make the mode fresh and worthwhile.

YouTube video

Still, dumping more content doesn’t fix the fundamental issues these modes have. As I said, I appreciate NRS for trying something new with their single-player modes, but it seems they’re getting worse at it with each mainline installment. What really infuriates me is the fact that they already had a mode that fixed the issues in The Krypt and Invasions.

For example, the Towers of Time mode in Mortal Kombat 11 was a solid single-player experience since you had actual challenges and knew the rewards you were getting, yet MK1 removed this mode entirely. If they had just fleshed it out a bit more, we could’ve had a fun and intuitive way to unlock cosmetics. As it stands, though, having another Invasions mode in the next Mortal Kombat game would be simply unacceptable.

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Daniyal is a Guides Writer and Editor at eXputer with over one year of experience in content writing. He's had a passion for tech and gaming for more than 15 years. Ever since his first console, the PS2, he's constantly branching off to different genres, and his go-to at the moment is the Souls experience pioneered by FromSoftware, which is evident by his 1,500+ hours of game time on Elden Ring. You can learn some more about Daniyal's gaming journey on his Steam & Xbox profiles.

Experience: 1+ Years || Mainly Covers Guides || Education: Bachelors in Computer Sciences.

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