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Mortal Kombat 11 DLC Review: Nightwolf Has An Axe To Grind

Following the popular release of Shang Tsung, Mortal Kombat 11 has now received its second DLC character for its Kombat Pack in the long-awaited return of Nightwolf. Sporting two distinct kompetitive variations and a development that has clearly stayed true to the spirit of the character, Nightwolf is an outstanding addition to the roster.

Players who have purchased the Kombat Pack 1 have access the Nightwolf right now, while anyone looking to purchase each individual character will need to wait another week, as done with Shang Tsung on his release.

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Gameplay and Fun Factor

So far, Nightwolf brings a fun toolkit with a broad and versatile playstyle. In sum, he can keep opponents at range, rush and close gaps quickly, and teleport while reflecting projectiles in one of his variations.

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His two distinct kompetitive variations offer interesting ways to play. It will be interesting to see which of the two works best in the long run. Nature’s Call is Nightwolf’s first kompetitive variation, offering the unique use of Rising Tomahawk and Spirits to buff damage or resistance. The second kompetitive variation is called Weapons of War, offering Grappling Stalker, Moonlight Reflector, and Tomahawk Swing.

Check out the video below for some preliminary combos that are showing an impressive amount of damage in both variations.

Wherever Nightwolf lands in the kompetitive meta, he is likely to be a popular fighter among most players thanks to the versatility of his overall toolkit.

Balance

It is far too early into the release of the character to properly describe how balanced Nightwolf is, or where he will fall in the kompetitive meta. It was only recently that Shang Tsung showed off his potential at Evo 2019, doing quite well as a ranged character.

Nightwolf, unfortunately, has released at the same time as a massive balance update that has upended everything we thought we know about our characters. A significant number of fighters have received nerfs or buffs, and the best players in the world are struggling to find their new best characters to main.

This means that while early videos of professional players look promising, it will be some time before we know for sure. At the earliest, we may see Nightwolf used at the next large competitive event that takes place at the end of the month at the Celtic Throwdown. Given that so many characters have undergone changes, seeing high-level Nightwolf play is not out of the question.

RELATED: Jax Briggs May Be Mortal Kombat 11's Sleeping Giant

Art Style, Costumes, Voice Acting, Dialogue

While these points are more subjective than commenting on the potential for kompetitive play, they all seem to have been done with care. The default skin for the character feels far more appropriate and in line with how others are dressed. This is to say that Nightwolf looks ready to fight, weapons hanging off to the side for quick access, and with an attitude that is neither preachy nor romanticizing of his Indigenous heritage.

More than anything, the dialogue with the next DLC character, Sindel, should be fantastic, given that he killed them both in a previous game.

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Story Ending

Following the defeat of Kronika, we see Grey Wolf in his youth, angry and frustrated at his Indigenous ancestors for giving away their future to colonizers. After meeting with Kano, Grey Wolf has the opportunity to become rich, if only he were to steal and sell the relics from his tribe.

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At that point, Grey Wolf comes to the realization that in choosing to save only himself, he would be surrendering the last of his people’s dignity. For refusing the offer, Kano shoots and leaves him for dead, until the spirit of Nightwolf comes to a worthy Grey Wolf, allowing him to fight for his people.

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Nightwolf comes to a crossroads with regards to his path. On the one hand, he has inherited the mantle of Kronika, and on the other, he is the protector of the Matoka tribe, and he cannot do both. By relying on his spirits for guidance, he keeps watch over time, knowing that the mantle of Nightwolf can be taken by any worthy member of the tribe.

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Before the character released, many wondered if his ending would spark the same manner of controversy as Jax Briggs. For the unfamiliar, Jax defeats Kronika and then wields the control over time to help his black ancestors, creating a better world for everyone in a world that was presumably free of slavery. For a small number of people on the internet, such a conclusion was too political for their liking, and readers can click here for the whole story.

Your New Main?

The release of the second DLC character seems to be a great success. Nightwolf has clearly been developed with care and attention paid to his previous iterations and looks to be a dominant force in the meta, though it may be some time before we know if that is the case.

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