Netherrealm Studios held a Reveal Event on January 17, 2019 for their upcoming April title, Mortal Kombat 11. There was much they wanted to show: Characters, gameplay, and some story elements, and wow did they deliver! First off, we got a look at the game via a gameplay trailer. This showed us a few big things. X-ray moves are gone, and the game has a cinematic feel that keeps action flowing. This also showed us some characters. Absent since MK9 in 2011, Tarkatan chief Baraka and Blood mage Skarlet are back this game! Those weren’t the only surprises in store, however. Showing off more trailers and a Fatality video, We also got to see that Sub-Zero, a fan favorite returned. A new trailer gave us a good look at a new character and a cinematic that told even more was shown off!
The new character trailer was for new character Geras. Geras is seemingly an ally of new character Kronika, who appears to be the game’s big bad. Geras has manipulation of both sand and time, and has quite a few tricks up his sleeve. Geras, aside from trap moves with sand, can use said power to conjure up some pretty painful looking attacks and even has a command grab. His most interesting attribute, however, is time manipulation. Geras has a move in which he rewinds time up to 4 seconds back, undoing any moves or damage done to him in that time. The cinematic that was shown was actually the game’s opening scene. Raiden, corrupted by the Jinsei, tortures a chained Shinnok, and we get the set up for the main event here. Among the stuff shown after (general trailers) we learned that Sonya Blade is back, and Liu Kang and Kung Lao might be too. Sonya was a special case, however, because the folks at Netherrealm had some big news on that front: Ronda Rousey was at the event, and she is officially the voice of Sonya in the game! We got to see a video where Ronda talked about the character and why she really wanted this.
The biggest part of the event, however, was seeing the game in action and learning about the new mechanics. I mentioned earlier that X-ray moves are gone, and they have been replaced with a new move caled a Fatal Blow. Fatal Blows are a quick cinematic type move like x-rays, but they go faster and keep the pace of the game going. The big difference is that they’re much more strategic moves. X-ray moves could be built up and used multiple times in a match or game, but Fatal Blows are best saved for the right moment, because once you’ve gotten it to land, it’s gone for the game. Speaking of that, the standard meter is gone, split into two meters. Now on the HUD, players will see an offensive meter and a Defensive meter, used for different moves. The variation system is back, and it definitely changed. Characters in the game once again have three standard variations with different moves, such as Hack and Slash Baraka, but now introduced to the game are custom variations! Players can mix and match moves and gear to create their personal take on characters, and what’s more, these custom variations can be named! Boon showed the last part off quite sneakily by having the variation Scorpion used in a lot of footage be titled “Boon’s Main”. This led us to a pro player exhibition! In the London event, PND Ketchup and Mustard faced off against each other in the game. In LA, a small tournament featuring the likes of Dragon, Tweedy, Rewind, Scar, and Sonicfox occurred, with Sonicfox emerging as the victor. This arguably gave us the best look at how the game plays right now, and wow is it looking good.
There were a lot of people at this event, many who got interviewed or played the game. Maximilian and the Yo Video Games crew were there, interviewed by Netherrealm community manager Tyler Lansdown. Creators from the likes of Nerdist and Twitch were there and even WWE stars showed up. Among the event’s guests were Xavier Woods, Zelina Vega, and Kofi Kingston, who all came in awesome cosplays. Woods was Shao Kahn, Zelina was Jade, and Kingston was Shang Tsung! We got to see all sorts of great cosplays this event, with a few Scorpions and Sub-Zeros there too. A lot of FGC (Fighting Game Community) folks were there too, with members of groups like FGC Sirens and even event organizers like LI Joe present. This was a big deal for Mortal Kombat fans and WOW did the studio deliver. The game looks great, and will only improve as time goes on! I’ll leave you with a small list of my personal character hopes: Jade, Nitara, Sareena, Havik, Shujinko, Onaga, Shang Tsung, Kintaro, SpawnFujin, Motaro, Jarek, and Mileena.
Written by: Alex Henning