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Everything We Learned From Yesterday’s Mortal Kombat 11 Reveal

We got our first real glimpse of Mortal Kombat 11 from Chicago-based NetherRealm Studios with yesterday’s reveal event, including actual gameplay, a sneak peek at the story, as well as some new and returning characters, and it was all as gory and over-the-top as we’ve come to expect from the series. Here’s what we know about the game from the event:

Gameplay

Returning from Mortal Kombat X is the Variations system for fighters, which gives you different takes on each character that excel in different ways. This time around, however, you’ll be able to create your own variations, and mix and match moves. We didn’t get a super good look at this system, so it’s not really clear how players will be kept from creating characters that are too good in too many areas.

It looks like Mortal Kombat 11 will be getting its own iteration of the Gear system, too, allowing you to play dress up with your characters and alter their outfits, while at the same time changing that character’s stats.

We also got a look at the changes coming to the meter system. In previous Mortal Kombat games, you gained meter from giving and receiving damage, which you can then spend to enhance your character’s moves, and to perform special attacks. The meter system has changed for Mortal Kombat 11, with the player now being given two separate meters, one for offense and one for defense, instead of the single meter with three bars from previous games. We also got a look at the new Fatal Blow mechanic, which is a powerful move a player gains once their health gets below 30%. Fatal Blows can change the outcome of the fight, or finish off an already weakened opponent.

Movement has been changed up, as well, with the ability to sprint replaced with a dash that leaves you vulnerable for a bit after you use it.

Fatalities have, of course, returned, and are more gruesome than ever.

Characters

We only got to see a few characters from Mortal Kombat 11‘s upcoming lineup. So far, the only confirmed characters are: Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Sonya Blade, Skarlet, Baraka, Raiden, Geras, and Shao Kahn as a preorder bonus. Out of all of these, Geras is the only truly new character that has been announced.

Geras has the ability to bend and manipulate time to his benefit–including the ability to add time to the fight clock, and rewind time several seconds, meaning any action taken during that time will be undone–including damage Geras might have taken. 

We also got to see gameplay from all of the rest of the confirmed characters, except for Shao Kahn. The character select screen had places for up to 25 characters, so it’s clear what we saw during the reveal is only a small glimpse of Mortal Kombat 11’s roster.

Ronda Rousey as Sonya Blade

Perhaps the most unexpected reveal, and one that baffled us, is the announcement of Ronda Rousey as the voice actor for Sonya Blade.

This seems like an odd choice. My initial impressions of Rousey’s voiceover work were that it was a little rough–I much preferred the work of Battlestar Galactica alum Tricia Helfer as Blade in Mortal Kombat X. We’ll just have to wait and see how this turns out once we get our hands on Mortal Kombat 11.

Story Reveal

We got a sneak peak at the story of Mortal Kombat 11, which appears to follow immediately after the events of Mortal Kombat X,

We were also introduced to a new character, Kronika, who is suggested to be the mastermind behind all of the events in the Mortal Kombat universe that have transpired so far.

We also see the return of evil Raiden to the Mortal Kombat series–with his transformation being teased at the end of Mortal Kombat X, the result of Raiden’s last encounter with Shinook.

Though we are definitely excited at the prospect of the next Mortal Kombat, this reveal landed with a fairly light thud. The prospect of Rousey as Sonya Blade didn’t really resonate with me, as it felt like a gimmick without a purpose. But, as with the rest of the changes for Mortal Kombat 11, we’ll have to wait and see what works and what doesn’t. Mortal Kombat 11 is set to release April 23 on Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One and Playstation 4. There’s also a $300 edition; it’s a bit pricey, but it comes with a cool looking Scorpion mask. And since it’s exclusive to Gamestop, that’s the only place you can get it.

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