Notes from the Mortal Kombat 11 Gameplay Reveal Event

First revealed at the 2018 Game Awards, Mortal Kombat 11 had its big coming out party at a January 17th event. We got our first real glimpse at its gameplay, expanded variation system, story prologue, and more! Not going to provide a comprehensive rundown here, but I’ll highlight a few notes that I thought were worth noting!

Baraka, Sub-Zero, Sonya Blade, and Skarlet are Back!

Fan favourites Baraka, Sub-Zero, and Sonya Blade return. Not too surprising, but I’m a fan of all three. Skarlet, who originally debuted in Mortal Kombat 9 but sat out Mortal Kombat X, returns here. Was a big fan of hers in the last game, so I’m looking forward to trying her again! That said, she’ll have to get in line, cause I’m always going to start with Kitana!

Kitana was not mentioned at all in this event, but they did tease Kabal. Liu Kang and Kung Lao appeared in a few cinematics, but were not playable in this build and I don’t think they confirmed that they would be playable either. I’d bet they will be revealed as playable characters eventually though.

A new character named Geras appears

Not too much was revealed about his motivations, but we saw a fair amount of his gameplay. He seems to have the ability to control sand, which lets him do a lot of wild stuff. Also, he has certain moves and X-Ray moves that play on his ability to freeze time? Not exactly sure what’s happening there, but he looks cool and I’m looking forward to seeing more!

The “create-a-character” style elements from Injustice 2 are coming to Mortal Kombat 11

Tons of different options are available to be tweaked, from clothes, to abilities, intro animations, AI behaviours, right down to the look of Scorpion’s spear. I also saw some sort of socket system, which possibly allows for certain gear to provide gameplay boosts. I’d imagine that there would be ways of disabling this for online ranked, but still cool nonetheless!

They split the resource meter into three

Ed Boon slyly mentioned this during the gameplay reveal, but this has potentially huge ramifications for Mortal Kombat 11. Traditionally, defensive, offensive, and X-Ray moves all shared the same meter. While this simplified the HUD, I found that it caused players to only use their meters for one-or-two specific things instead of using the full toolset. Admittedly don’t follow the scene too much, but I know I remember watching pro play where no one ever used EX moves or X-Rays, as they banked the meter for combo breakers instead.

Splitting them out greatly incentivizes players into using everything. In particular, having X-Ray moves tied to your health bar hitting a specific point should make those far more common in competitive play. Expect to see more cinematic skull-crushing and eyeball gouging!

Players who pre-order get access to an exclusive beta

Starting on March 28th, players who pre-order will get to try their hand at the game a bit early. Not sure if I’ll be in there, as Mortal Kombat games always come out right before my birthday when I’m not supposed to buy anything, but we’ll see!

So far, the game looks like it’s shaping up really well. Then again, NetherRealm has been on a tear since Mortal Kombat 9 and I didn’t expect it to dip here. My only real question is what the Switch version is going to look like. Nevertheless, Mortal Kombat 11 looks like it’s going to be another winner!

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