Mortal Kombat 11 is the latest entry in the long-running franchise produced by Netherealm Studios and distributed by WB Games. Built using a modified version of the Unreal 3 Engine, Mortal Kombat 11 pushes the limits of graphical fidelity on the current generation of consoles and drives the trademark violence to unbelievably photorealistic levels.
Its predecessor, Mortal Kombat X, introduced the “Variation System,” where characters were given three separate load-outs that changed special moves and character strings, adding a significant amount of depth to the game’s strategy component. Mortal Kombat 11 has built upon this system, allowing players to create completely custom variations for each character, selecting special moves and abilities from a plethora of options (standard preset options will still be present for tournament mode). Additionally, the appearances of the Kombatants are fully customizable through skins and gear, building on the foundation that NRS developed for Injustice 2.
Each character has dozens of skins with different colored shaders, as well as three gear pieces (specific to each character) that can have up to fifty unique options. Given how many individual pieces of gear there are, as well as the abundance of skins and shaders, players should have absolutely no problem creating a personalized version of their favorite characters. Outside of the standard one-on-one death matches, players can select various game modes including the Towers of Time, the Story Mode, and the Krypt – a third-person pseudo-adventure mode that serves as a hub for unlockable content. There are additional single player and multiplayer game modes included which have not been shown or announced at the time of writing, but have been confirmed to exist by NRS.
NRS has pioneered cinematic story modes in their fighting game franchises, and Mortal Kombat 11 is no different. Not much is known about the game’s plot, but a synopsis has been made available. In MK 2011, Raiden created a divergent timeline from the first seven games by sending a message back to his past self in order to prevent the events of MK Armageddon–this resulted in an alternate retelling of Mortal Kombat 1-3. MKX continued the reset timeline, adapting the events of MK4, and showing events twenty-five years later as they pertained to the main villain Shinnok and his defeat at the hands of the Kombat Kids. In MK11, an omnipotent being who controls time and destiny, named Kronika, is dissatisfied with the current course of events and the averted Armageddon at the hands of Raiden. In order to rectify this, Kronika decides to pull fighters from various points in the timeline so that the balance of good and evil can be restored back to its “natural state.” This leads to some of the situations shown in trailers, like the current Johnny Cage working with his past self from the first tournament, or Kotal Kahn being able to confront Shao Kahn for control of Outworld. The whole premise seems to draw heavily from and be inspired by DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earths comics event, which is a welcome change of pace for the series.
Mortal Kombat 11’s roster will include twenty-five characters at launch, with another six fighters coming via DLC over the next year. Among these twenty-five, there are fan-favorite classic characters from the original trilogy of games making a return, such as Johnny Cage, Liu Kang, Kung Lao, Baraka and Kitana. Characters who made their debut in MKX, such as Kotal Kahn, D’Vorah, Cassie Cage and Erron Black are also being brought back and given a fresh coat of paint. Three slots are being given to brand new characters – there’s Shao Kahn’s taxman, The Kollector, the Elder God of Life, Cetrion, and main antagonist Kronika’s servant, Geras. The first DLC character has been revealed to be Shang Tsung, portrayed and facial modeled by his actor from the live-action adaptation, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa. The remaining five DLC characters have not yet been revealed, but it is expected that at least one or two of them will be guest characters from Warner Bros. properties as was done in MK9 and MKX.
Mortal Kombat 11 releases on April 23, 2019, for PC, Xbox One, Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch. Return back at that time for a full review and in-depth analysis of the gameplay and game modes.
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