Mortal Kombat 11: Everything we learned from the reveal event

Last month, NetherRealm studio head Ed Boon cheekily used his appearance at The Game Awards to announce Mortal Kombat 11. Now, after a much-hyped reveal event, we know more about the upcoming game’s story, characters, and new gameplay features.

Read on to find out exactly what was revealed for Mortal Kombat 11.

Brutal Gameplay

NetherRealm kicked things off with a gameplay trailer which pitted the legendary undead ninja Scorpion against the monstrous fan-favorite Baraka. Ed Boon himself was on hand to narrate the match,l and explain some of Mortal Kombat 11’s new gameplay features which include the following:

  • Separate meters for offense and defense: NetherRealm has redesigned the meter system so that there are now separate meters for offensive and defensive moves. Players no longer have to decide how they want to spend their meter since they’ll have access to multiple meter-based maneuvers simultaneously.
  • New “Fatal Blow” attacks: Fatal Blows are basically MK11’s version of the stomach-churning X-Ray attacks from Mortal Kombat X. However, players don’t need to build up their meter to unleash a Fatal Blow. Instead, they gain access to it once they drop to 30 percent health.
  • Flawless Blocks: By perfectly timing their block, a player can “parry” their opponents attack and open them up to a counter-offensive.

Custom variations

Taking a page out of Injustice 2’s book, Mortal Kombat 11 allows players to customize individual characters by tweaking the look and functionality of their gear along with their abilities and even AI behaviors. These customization elements tie into MK11’s custom variations, which allow players to save personalized “profiles” which affect how a fighter functions.

Obviously these custom variations will make balancing online and tournament play a bit of a chore, but we imagine NetherRealm will find some way to keep things fair. Either way, getting to personalize our favorite fighters to such a minute degree should be a treat for new and old fans alike.

New and returning characters

We already knew that Scorpion and Raiden would be returning, but the reveal event also confirmed several additional kombatants. Along with the previously mentioned Baraka, MK11’s current roster of returning faces includes Liu Kang, Kung Lao, Sub-Zero, Sonya Blade, and Skarlet. The iconic Mortal Kombat villain Shao Kahn is also available as a pre-order bonus character.NetherRealm also showed off one of the game’s brand new additions, a brawler named Geras who combines time-manipulation techniques with devastating close-quarters combos. Along with Geras, there’s another character named Kronica who appears to be a time-based Elder God. Sadly, we didn’t get to see a playable version of Kronica, but it looks like she’ll factor heavily into MK11’s new story mode.      

Story mode

As a special reveal event treat, NetherRealm showed off the entire opening cinematic for MK11’s story mode experience. The cinematic shows the aftermath of Mortal Kombat X’s story events, specifically how Raiden has embraced a more villainous path. Not unlike the Injustice series’ take on Superman, the Raiden of MK11 believes the best way to defend EarthRealm is to simply murder anyone who would threaten it.In the story cinematic, viewers witness Raiden torturing his fellow Elder God Shinnok. The cinematic also shows a bit of Kronica, who’s clearly upset with Raiden over his meddling in the intended fate of humanity. Our guess is that Kronica will end up being the game’s main villain with Raiden going through some sort of redemptive arc. This is Mortal Kombat, though, so we could be completely wrong.

Celebrity talent

One of the more interesting announcements made during the reveal event was that MK11’s version of Sonya Blade will be voiced by none other than MMA superstar-turned-WWE personality and actress Ronda Rousey.

Rousey played herself in the more recent entries of EA’s UFC fighting game series, and has long touted her personal video game fandom, so seeing her appear in a series like Mortal Kombat isn’t too surprising. In the above video, Rousey also talks about how she enjoyed getting to play Mortal Kombat as a kid, so getting to portray a character as iconic as Sonya Blade is a dream come true for her. 

Fatalities

A warning might seem a bit silly given the nature of the game we’re discussing, but the following trailer is definitely not for the squeamish.

It naturally wouldn’t be a proper Mortal Kombat event if there weren’t plenty of fatalities being shown off, and the MK11 event had them in spades. As usual, NetherRealm continues to show just how good it is at coming up with disgusting new ways for one person to kill another.

Pre-order beta

NetherRealm closed out the initial reveal event by announcing an upcoming beta for Mortal Kombat 11. The beta will begin on March 28, and fans can secure their spot by pre-ordering the game. As for the full launch, that’s scheduled for April 21.

When it finally arrives, Mortal Kombat 11 will be available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, and (surprisingly enough) Nintendo Switch.