New Mortal Kombat Cranks it up to 11 (see what I did there?)

Shelby Reser

Daniel Anderson

In the early ’90s arcades were packed with kids ready to fight their friends in games like Street Fighter, but in 1992 one fighting game stood above the rest… Mortal Kombat. This game got kids giving querters to the Mortal Kombat consoles just to prove who was the better kombatant (yes I am purposefully replacing every C at the beginning of certain words with a K just because I’m talking about Mortal Kombat), but what really gave this game traction was its implementation of brutal violence. Of course, being so popular and has brutal and graphic violence means a game like Mortal Kombat will gain some controversy, and it did. Back in the 90’s parents were more concerned about what their kids played, unlike today where the average 6 years old will cuss as often as an Irishman after getting robbed in Call of Duty. Mortal Kombat practically made the ESRB rating system which lets parents know just what exactly is in the game from the start, although let’s be honest, in the comments tell me if you actually pay attention to the age ratings. But what most people didn’t know about until it was too late was the Fatality system in the game letting a player finish off an opponent in a way that Jason Voorhees would take off his hockey mask and grin manically. However in the early 2000’s MK looked to have taken a turn for the worst releasing mediocre games, a beat-em-up that wasn’t half bad and worst of all Mortal Kombat vs. DC Comics, the game that shut down Midway Games made the Fatalities boring and worst of all in this game, giving Mortal Kombat a T rating instead of the M it was known for.

Luckily Warner Bros. has seen MK’s success and bought the IP for the game and established Netherrealm Studios named after the Hell-like dimension in Mortal Kombat and re-booted the franchise in 2011, with some klassic gameplay, a fantastic story, and more brutal kombat, improving on krypt, and giving back the tag team mode letting 4 players play on the same console. The game also gave us a few guest characters such as Freddy Krueger from “Nightmare on Elm Street” and if you got the PlayStation version Kratos from “God of War”, and that trend continued into 2015’s MKX where Netherrealm added Jason Voorhees, Xenomorphs and Predator from “Alien vs. Predator” and finally Leatherface (not a Batman villain). The game also added a super move called an X-Ray move where players can take out large chunks of an opponent’s health bar and leaves the player with the question “how is my character still alive”. Enough of those games you want to read about MK11, the story takes place shortly after MKX after Shinnok (God of the Netherrealm) was defeated. As it turns out all the events that happened over the past 27 years of games was caused by Chronica a new character who has the ability to bend the arc of the universe. How exactly the protagonists are going to take her down is still unclear, but I can tell that this is going to be a good fight.

Speaking of kombat Netherrealm has changed the way you fight in the game splitting that one bar at the bottom of the screen into three separate ones for offense, defense, and the characters super move. The X-Rays have been changed up significantly implementing them into kombat by chaining attacks and unleashing brutal combos, but they are no longer used super moves, instead, that’s been replaced by the Fatal Blow function which is tied to 30% of a fighters health. The Fatal Blow can only be used once a round meaning you can’t cheese the attack, but you have to hit the enemy for the attack to be used if you missed your shot don’t worry it will cool down and regenerate for a second chance. The offensive and defensive are as the name applies, offensive and defensive special moves, letting you pull off special techniques that devastate enemies or break advance combos. There are only 2 full bars of each and they will cool down over time (but at least nobody will be using Scorpion’s spear move 20 times in a row), so if you’re a noob who only does one move over and over again say goodbye to your cheap tactics as this will make the kombat more skill based.

In MKX Netherrealm implemented the “variation” system, a mechanic that allows the player to choose what special moves they want to use in the fight (do not confuse this with kustomization or kostume selection), in MK11 Netherrealm has decided to expand upon that and let the player kustomize a new fighter variation changing the movesets, clothes, and weapons for say Raiden. They also let you choose how your character will enter the fight, as well as the victory pose, and (this will put smiles on many fans faces) the fatalities. That’s right. You can now kustomize a characters fatalities. On to the characters, MK11 has some returning fan favorites like Baraka (first playable in MK2 last playable in MK9) a feared warrior who has blades inside of his arms, as well as new characters such as Garus who has the ability to kontrole time (freeze an opponent in mid-air, and take 30 seconds off the kombat timer).

One last thing, one of the characters in the game will be mo-caped and voiced by a real-life fighter. Are you ready for who it is? Sonya Blade, a fan favorite character since the first Mortal Kombat game, is going to be played by the UFC’s first female champion Ronda Rousey, so even fans of real-life martial arts have a reason to play Mortal Kombat. Whether you’re an old fan since 92, or a new fan you can pick this game up on April 23 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC, or you can preorder and get beta access as well as series villain Shao Kahn as a fighter. Leave a comment down below on what you think, and I’ll see you all in kombat.