THE MAKING OF MORTAL KOMBAT 11 WITH NETHERREALM STUDIOS (C2E2 Main Stage – Day 1, Friday) – There was a palpable electricity in the air, an electricity that is born out of nearly twenty-seven years of devotion to a storied fighting game franchise. Many, like myself, have been there for the Mortal Kombat series from the highest highs (MK3) to the lowest lows (urm, MK: Armageddon). Ever since Warner Brothers acquired Midway, leading to the formation of NetherRealm Studios, we’ve been lucky to be in a new golden age of Kombat games…
The lights dimmed and a mature content warning appeared on the large screen — instantly met with a thunderous roar from the crowd. The excellent Story Mode trailer began to play, after which the members of the panel were introduced. Some discussion was had about the recent Stress Test (mini-beta which I had the fortune of receiving an invite to last weekend), as well as info from the major Reveal Event and past installments of the Kombat Kast.
Then something happened that sent the crowd into a frenzy. In what I’m convinced was a brilliant marketing move, in a campaign that’s been damn near perfect so far, a certain former cryomancer was prematurely revealed. During a discussion about how Baraka’s face rip/brain-munch fatality evolved from the storyboard stage to the render stage, an image appeared in the slide show of none other than Noob Saibot him.. them.. selves(?)! The panel attempted to play it off rather cooly, saying that it was an accident…
The next 10-minutes became very torturous as the crowd and yours truly were positively aching for the trailer. After what seemed like an eternity, the footage (just up above) was finally shown. The crowd cheered during the fantastic character trailer, particularly during the display of the ultra-creative and super-f&%$* fatality. The marked departure of Noob Saibot’s attire and appearance was a nice way of revamping — yet retaining the essence of — the cult favorite.
The reveal of Shang Tsung as downloadable content was great; but the fact that Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa will also be the voice and facial model was a welcome surprise. It’s a nice way of having the movies come full circle with the games. This moment also made me wax nostalgic on the fact that Mortal Kombat (1995) was one of the only movies I was able to see with both my parents and my brother.
I’m thoroughly impressed so far with how sharp and on-point Warner Bros’ marketing has been so far and more over, I’m impressed by how NetherRealm has had their ears and eyes wide open to the fans. So far, the pre-release has been a Flawless Victory. As if I needed anymore hype, “The Making of” panel left me energized and excited for the game. 4.5/5 Bibles.
April 23rd cannot come soon enough.
-Cory Alexander Gaitan