For any Mortal Kombat fan, the time leading up to the next game is a time for theories. A time to consider who will make it to the next game roster. With each iteration, favourites seem to be missing but new favourites quickly take their place. From the sizzle reel at the start of the show, we saw the following characters:
Baraka is back
- Sub zero
The fan favourite MK9 DLC character, Scarlett also makes a return. What do you think of her new look?
Gerus is a new character for Mortal Kombat, although Raiden seems familiar with him. He is undoubtedly an Elder God as he controls earth and time. His gameplay appears to be a combination of Noob Saibot and Jax.
Throughout the show, of the above faces recognised, we saw no gameplay of Liu Kang or Kung Lao but it would be pretty outrageous if they weren’t playable in MK11.
Of course, Mortal Kombat creator Ed Boon, graced the stage and brought up the roster panel for us. Disappointingly, not all characters were available to see. It looks like NetherRealm Studio is not quite ready to show their hand. This was a big shame as, no doubt, many were expecting the full roster reveal to be the highlight of the show.
However, we can see from the above image, there are plenty of spaces to be filled. How many of Mortal Kombat X’s new characters will return? With the time manipulation of MK11’s story, could we expect to see fan favourites like Nightwolf, Stryker, Kabal, Triborg or even Motaro return to the fray? Unfortunately this question remains unanswered for now. Which characters are you dying for NetherRealm to bring back?
Just when you thought Ed Boon and his team couldn’t get any more creatively disgusting with Mortal Kombat’s signature fatalities, somehow they have raised the bar again. Not just in how fatalities play out (camera panning, zooming and time slowing just like the reveal trailer), but also how we fight from match to match. Mortal Kombat X’s interactive environment returns and it appears arenas enjoy just a little bit more lying around for players to smash their foes with.
It also appears NetherRealm Studio has done away with X-Ray moves. But fear not! What they have replaced it with is all the more juicy. Stepping in, in its place is the Fatal Blow system. This is an extra damaging grab move that can be initiated once your character is below 30% health. The resulting move has exactly the same desired effect as an X-Ray move and is more cinematic. MK purists may be worried that limiting this move to a certain time in the fight is dumbing things down a bit. That’s where the attack bar comes in to keep things interesting.
Many of us know this bar is something to be charged so we can perform perfect parries or high damage special moves. The same is the case here but the twist is – we now have two bars to charge. Defensive and offensive, vertical and horizontal bars respectively, neatly tucked into the bottom corner of the display. Each of the two bars open up abrasive rushing specials or more cautious keep-your-distance kind of moves. This is a massive overhaul in how we fight in Mortal Kombat and it will no doubt take some getting used to. There’s no denying the explosive results, like Baraka having a good ol' munch on his opponent's arm, ripping out juicy chunks!
Not only does moment to moment kombat look more cinematic in NetherRealm’s glowing new engine, but it also appears to be snappier, calling back to the faster paced matches of MK9. To top it all off, a silhouetted bit of kombat plays out during the load screen. Whether or not this is interactive remains unclear.
Shortly after a quick match, Ed Boon took a little time to discuss Kustom Kombat. Previous Mortal Kombat games have paid homage to their own history, allowing players to unlock retro versions of characters. Essentially the same thing is here, with Kustom Kombat, however the system in which you will find those options will be incredibly broad and far reaching. The spectrum of looks players will be able to modify characters with is frankly exciting, especially in OnlineRealm. Everything from clothes sets, to colour sets, to weapon appearance can be modified, all based on every iteration of the character we have seen in the entirety of Mortal Kombat history. Check out the below image for a mere handful of versions it is possible to create of Scorpion.
All of the changes are purely cosmetic and there is nothing here to suggest these changes will add gameplay modifiers. And thank god – such changes would tear apart the fabric of what makes kombat in the MK series so balanced. To top it all off, players can also unlock various intro sequences for their characters as well as victory sequences.
Mortal Kombat 11 picks up directly after the events of X. In fact it takes a moment to jump back to just how Raiden came to sever Shinnok’s head after he brazenly attempted to take EarthRealm for himself. Suffice it to say, we now have Dark Raiden. In other words it appears he has succumbed to the dark side in an enraged defense of EarthRealm. He’s still fighting for the good guys, only now, he’s a totally unlocked ball of rage.
In the short clip shown off at the reveal, Raiden angrily zaps off into the sky, Shinnok’s living head, left to suffer on a table next to EarthRealm’s lifeforce – the staging area for Mortal Kombat X’s final fight. Raiden is soon replaced by a divine being, the woman we saw in the final seconds of the reveal trailer. Ed later tells us her name is Kronia, an all powerful goddess (possibly ranking more highly than the Elder Gods) who herself states “again the thunder god has upset the balance of history… The universe bends to my will”, setting the stage for Mortal Kombat 11’s timey wimey manipulation stuff. She tells Shinnok his severed head deal is not his destiny and anything is “just a matter of time” as his dripping blood slows to a halt.
The implications for what this scene makes possible in Mortal Kombat 11 are frankly mind boggling. As our roster of characters will no doubt be at the mercy of her manipulations, Ed tells us the characters of Mortal Kombat 11 will come face to face with their former selves… Juicy!
What To Do In The Meantime
Mortal Kombat 11 is confirmed for release April 24th. What will we do in the meantime? Community Manager for NetherRealm Studios, Tyler Lansdowne, took to the stage to tell us. NetherRealm Studio will again be hosting their renowned Kombat Kast – a kind of live stream dev log of episodes, airing up to the game’s release. The first Kast will air very soon on January 30th. Keep a close eye on the official Mortal Kombat 11 website to stay locked in with NetherRealm Studios updates.
He also informs us that anyone who preorders any version of Mortal Kombat 11 will get Shao Khan as a playable character, as well as privileged access to the early Beta. This part was a surprise, as the Beta will be available around a month before release, beginning March 28th. Finally, for true Mortal Kombat fans, the Kollector’s Edition looks like NetherRealm Studios’ best yet. It boasts a steelbook case, magnetic MK dragon logo and… Scorpion’s mask which looks like no pushover piece of merch.
Among the biggest MK fans, there will of course be some concerns after this reveal. It’s great that the highly rated Scarlett is back by popular demand and new character, Gerus looks undeniably fun to play. Although, with the roster still not fully revealed (likely so NetherRealm have time to decide which of the most awesome characters can be held back as DLC…) the most aching question fans wanted answered was not satisfied. We still have no word on Doubles – a feature that juiced up MK9 by a massive margin, never to be seen again.
“The most blood splashing, spine snapping gore spewing action you have ever seen in a MK game”
On a final note, the reveal said nothing of Mortal Kombat’s famous Krypt. A fun and expansive way to explore in first person, unlocking things with earned Kombat Koins – a staple of Mortal Kombat. The cynics among us could easily fear the looming monetisation plan NetherRealm no doubt have in store for their latest game. After all, it was pretty relentless in MKX. To assuage these fears, Kombat Koins were visibly earned during the matches shown off so, at the very least… we can still grind for all that Kustom Kombat stuff. It would honestly be remiss of NetherRealm Studio not to incorporate the Krypt once again as it would play so perfectly well into their Kustom Kombat system.
If we were rating this event out of ten, it got a solid 7. There’s plenty to look forward to and it is clear NetherRealm are listening to the fanbase by reworking Baraka and Scarlett back into the roster. But will it come at the cost of the disappearance of other fan favourites? What’s to hold NetherRealm back from creating a Mortal Kombat game with a Super Smash Bros Ultimate level of roster if they really want to appease the fans?
“Mercy is wasted on those who defile EarthRealm”
The kombat looks and sounds crunchier than ever. There’s more ways than ever before to make those sounds on your foes with more interactive environment, a promising rework of the X-Ray system and the snappier kombat calling back to MK9.
Lots to think about leading up to the game’s release, come April 24th. Share your thoughts in the comments below and for ongoing Mortal Kombat updates, keep it keen right here at KeenGamer.