Mortal Kombat 11 and the Evolution of Scorpion’s Spear

“Come here!”

One of the genre’s most iconic special moves, Scorpion launches a spearhead attached to a chain directly at his opponents. If it successfully makes contact, he yells out one of his two signature catchphrases as he reels in his now-stunned opponent. From there, his opponent is left standing in a dizzy state, primed for Scorpion to smack them any way he so chooses. In the old games, my go-to follow-up was the classic uppercut.

In most Mortal Kombat games, this is how the spear works. It’s not quite so in Mortal Kombat 11.

In the latest iteration of the game, Scorpion behaves a bit differently when the spear connects. Instead of simply dragging them in, he slashes them in the back with his sword as his opponents stagger past him. There are no opportunities to continue your combo after you hit the regular version of the spear, as his opponents fall to the floor after being struck by the sword.

The enhanced version does allow you to continue your combo…sort of. Just before his opponents reach him, Scorpion lunges forward with an elbow strike to the nose. This gives Scorpion enough time to continue the combo, but the opponent is knocked back far enough to prevent him from continuing the barrage with any move in his arsenal. You have to use specific moves that can reach far enough to compensate for the gap.

It’s not the first time that the behaviour of Scorpion’s spear has been altered. In Injustice, the regular version of his spear ends with an uppercut that sends them flying across the screen. The enhanced version gives you the dizzy state, but costs meter. However, I’m pretty sure it’s the first time his spear hasn’t done what you expect it to in a mainline Mortal Kombat game.

Based on what I remember seeing and hearing about Mortal Kombat 11, it’s an interesting design choice that’s meant to make the move fit within the game’s shorter and more deliberate approach to combos. With the spear acting as the ultimate combo extender, NetherRealm felt like the time was now to nerf it a bit. Even burning meter wasn’t enough to get the original behaviour back, as the elbow strike deliberately prevents that.

I don’t hate the change. It makes sense within the overall flow of what this game is trying to do mechanically. However, as a fan who cut their teeth on the old Mortal Kombat games, it does look odd to see one of the most iconic moves in the biz behave differently.

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