Rather than report everything you already know from yesterday’s huge Mortal Kombat 11 Reveal Event from LA, let’s break down the goods and critique it, shall we?
The internet was buzzing and several thousand moms’ basements were flooding with the official, perhaps a touch underwhelming, announcement of the seven characters you should expect to see when the MK11 beta hits March 28 for Xbox One and PS4. Yup–owners of the Switch and “the Master Race” of PC will once again be left in sub-zero temperatures. Naturally, gamers must pre-order the game for beta access.
Mortal Kombat 11‘s official release date is April 23, and if you’re fortunate to have that extra cashflow, the $300 dollar (!!) Kollector’s Edition comes with a freakishly neat and entirely wearable Scorpion mask bust, steel case, magnet coin, authenticity plate, and the Kombat pack DLC (so, basically all the extra goods will cost you an extra 200 buckeroos). Good luck!
Dates, Editions = 3.5/5 Bibles
We don’t have to wait too long to play, but no beta for PC/Switch stinks and the price of that Kollector’s Edition is scary.
LET THEM FIGHT
OK, so you want more… although Ed Boon and his NetherRealm stronghold announced the return of Baraka (MK2 O.G.) and Skarlet (MK9 DLC), a seemingly Evil Raiden (see Injustice‘s Superman), along with a new character that combines the powers of Thanos (time manipulation and stone) and Tempest (wind and sand), Geras, there was no huge mind-blowing surprise character drop like Spawn and The Batman Who Laughs. I get it. But if you went into yesterday thinking DLC not named Shao Kahn was going to be announced — and while officially in, Kahn was never mentioned on stage although heavily cosplayed — you’re better off steering clear and playing Street Fighter.
The roster reveal was definitely safe, with the usual spotlight on Scorpion and Sub-Zero, and justifiably so with full character customization now becoming a thing. It’s great that Mortal Kombat, the series that inspired Injustice, has no issue being influenced by Injustice as well. The new Kosmetics will allow gamers to fuck around and tinker with Kountless appearances– super thrilling when you consider that everyone has their own favorite look for the classic characters. This also seems to fit the time travel shenanigans of MK11‘s story mode (and more on that in just a bit). While I’m not much of an online player, it’s going to be rad seeing countless variations of characters duke it out. Customizables include character intros, weapons, shades and costume equipment. Hell, Scorp’s Kunai spear seemed to have 6-8 different variations alone.
Now here’s the major “controversy” of the roster reveal. Fan favorite Sonya Blade received a huge “push” with the announcement of WWE Raw Women’s Champ Ronda Rousey as the voice behind the U.S. Special Forces brawler. Two thoughts on that. Unlike most celeb tie-ins, I actually believe Ronda wanted to be Sonya growing up.. as you could see in her demeanor, physical attributes, and knowledge of Mortal Kombat. Ronda, revered voice actress or not, appeared beyond thrilled to get the chance to play Sonya (her UFC/WWE finisher is in the game). Also, celebs sell games. Period. Even if Reddit hates it, more than likely the Gen Pub doesn’t. Her inclusion will sell units; and from the footage revealed yesterday, Ronda seemed to do a fine job. Good for her.
Roster = 4/5 Bibles
Se7en doesn’t seem enough out the gate, but throw in full customization and the fact we are getting 25 at launch and it’s fair. The return of Baraka and Skarlet is huge. Rousey gives the game mass appeal.
BLOOD & WHINE
“We’re just here for the Fatalities.” If that’s you, you’ve got to be pretty psyched for what was shown yesterday. It seemed like both of the ladies shined in the death department with Skarlet’s Spikes of Blood and Sonya’s Choppa Decap. There’s no doubt Kombatants are in for a visual treat (or endless stomach pain). MK11‘s character detail and stage environments just about match the cinematic quality we see in the Fatalities, match intros, and bone crunching slow-mo’s.
Fatal Blows see Injustice 2‘s strategic and ultra clutch tide-turning powermoves kome to play, with Sonya’s head-blasting turret getting the most crowd pop. If your stamina is down to 30%, you’ll always have a puncher’s chance. Other new gameplay additions to help separate MK11 from MKX include offensive and defensive meters, and Flawless Blocks — time your shielding right and you can wind up performing an immediate combo. Lovely.
Judging by the 5-match Pro Tournament yesterday (all first 3 to win, featuring popular Kombatants PG Hayatei, bcHoneybee, Grr, Scarr, Dragon, Noble Rewind and finalists Simplicity Tweedy and Echo Fox SonicFox), MK11 looks smoother and more fluid than ever; with Fatal Blow and Flawless Block additions, the pro gamers appeared to take a more strategic stance in this fighter than usual.. as each match felt more like a real fight than a visual whirlwind. While no particular character looked OP, Skarlet’s speed and blood whips are certain cause for concern. And despite more swordplay, if you’re traditionally good with Scorpion you should be good with him again.
Fatalities/Kombat = 5/5 Bibles
Even the most squeemish have to respect the art in these finishing moves! And the actual fighting seems like the best yet, silky smooth and more strategic than ever.
But the chief reason I play Mortal Kombat is for the story mode. Most of the game narratives are wacky, wild and utmost fulfilling. As mentioned earlier, MK11‘s script, which picks up after MK9, places Raiden in the Injustice Superman role as Dark Raiden, while our rumored “Oracle”, Kronika, will make sure that whole character customization thing goes into good use; the Keeper of Time — the very first female boss in MK history — will alter existence and order to subject fighters of different eras to battle themselves in various forms. Throw in hints for a playable Kung Lao, Shinnok (seen here getting tortured by Bad Raiden), Liu Kang, and the aforementioned Shao Kahn and Mortal Kombat 11‘s single player mode is sure to be nothing less than awesome.
Oh and MK3‘s Kabal was teased and will likely become official with a plethora of other announcements on January 30 during the next Kombat Kast.
Story/Overall Reveal = 4.25/5 Bibles
The new character Kosmetics and manipulated timeline/earth story go hand-in-hand. A good number of legendary MK fighters are making their way back to the fold and the narrative feels more like a movie than a mere break between matches. Kan’t hardly wait!