I love Mortal Kombat. It’s my all time favorite franchise going back to the first game’s arrival in arcades. NRS makes some truly beautiful games with fantastic facial animations, cool individual select screen movements, great writing (from intros to the story mode)… They’re excellent at making a game look cool.
That said, I wouldn’t want them anywhere near Killer Instinct.
The recent MK’s, for all they have going for them, still feel really choppy to me. The jumping always feel off, whether it’s hit detection, speed… I honestly can’t explain it. Characters can do really cool moves, but the combos and the sum total of what makes an MK game just isn’t as fun for me to play as this version of Killer Instinct.
I love how IG makes the characters feel so different, and how the systems work together flawlessly without feeling like tacked on gimmicks or relatively pointless graphical showcases. I get it, MK’s next game will be its eleventh mainline title, while KI only has three, so KI can rely a bit more on doing more of the same and improving upon what it did before than MK can.
But from a pure gameplay perspective, I just think that this version of KI is deeper, more fun, more cohesive and more rewarding then most MK games I’ve ever played. NRS does the surface stuff brilliantly, and I’d love to see a KI game look as streamlined and as gorgeous, from the UI to the characters, etc, and to have a dark, foreboding, consistent style. But I’d never sacrifice what IG can do with character designs and overall gameplay to get that.
Hopefully, if there’s a new KI, IG is at the helm, and this time they have the ability to build their own engine and code / create the game they want to make, from the ground up, with more graphical polish, more of a consistent style, etc, rather than having to take over someone else’s game and use their engine as best they can.