Shang Tsung is the first available fighter in Mortal Kombat 11‘s Kombat Pack DLC. He’s here to steal souls, your hard-earned Koins and remind us that the 1995 Mortal Kombat flick had at least one redeaming element: the presence of Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa.
IT HAS BEGUN
Tagawa once again blesses us with his presence as the Outworld Sorcerer, and NetherRealm does a perfect job capturing his nostalgic likeness, twisted demeanor and malicious intent. Shang’s not nearly as OP as I thought he’d be, but for Zone players, there’s no doubt he’s going to be a great hand. I’ve got great news for those wondering which Tagawa you’re going to get in the game, too, and that’s.. all of them. There is the Old Man Tsung you remember as the Keeper of the Krypt, and classic Shang game gear and movie outfit options, too. You don’t even have to hunt down the Dark Magic Master’s skins on his island base, either; Shang’s signature black leather jacket — the “Spirit Stealer” — is instantly available to Kustomize.
I CHALLENGE YOU
Tsung feels great in kombat, so long as you don’t get too close to stronger enemies like Shao Kahn and Jax Briggs. His soaring jump kicks are among the best, especially when you kombo those leaping strikes with the special kameo moves of Ermac (a Force Lift slam), Rain (a Superkick wet party), Reptile (a Sliding rush), and Smoke (a Shake that will parry projectiles and basic attacks when amplified). Shang Tsung also has a quick recovery when dealing with danger, along with some healing spirit abilities. Zone-wise, Shang Tsung has a surfeit of fireball attacks, sorcery rushes and korpse drops.
Of course, the best part about playing with Onaga’s Resurrector is in his ability to morph into anyone. Not only does Shang have an ability to instantly switch places with his opponent, he can also entirely steal their whole persona — abilities and krushing blows, to boot. I just wish there was a way for Tsung to swipe their fatalities, too. His finishers, while extra glorious, can get redundant after a few hours of non-stop play. Worse, you can’t use any of Shang’s shape-shifting abilities in ranked, tournament, or Kombat League play. NetherRealm has locked these move out, and for what reason I don’t know. Despite being profecient at Mortal Kombat 11 (one of the few video games I’m quite nasty at), I don’t play online; but the absence of these move morphs is shitty.
SAVE YOUR PITY FOR THE WEAK
In the end, your enjoyment of the Shang Tsung DLC fighter will depend on whether you play competitively or not. Great news for sole/soul players, though: Tsung’s ending in the Towers is a delightful one, so make sure you katch it. And battling Kronika as the Dark Sorcerer is pretty damn epic. There are a ton of Shang Tsung related awards — bracers, skins, scrolls, augments, soul phylacteries, taunts, intros, etc. — ripe for the taking in the Living Towers. Embrace the kontent. Pity the professional.
Offline = 4.25/5 Ermac In A Bottles.
Online = 3.5/5 Imbecile Bibles.