When the announcements for Mortal Kombat 11: The Reveal were over, everyone in the audience couldn’t wait to get their hands on it. The team at NetherRealm Studios had outdone themselves yet again, bringing more of what we all love in the series – brutal and unhinged violence with combat. But while everything looks amazing, would the game actually play well? During the event, we were able to go hands on with Mortal Kombat 11, and here are our initial takeaways from it.
Playing on a custom PC, with a PlayStation 4 controller, Mortal Kombat 11 immediately felt familiar once we started moving the cursor around the screen. The menu, the sound effects, and even the layout were all seamless, and with such a user friendly interface, fans should have no problem getting used to this. While we played around with the Gear system for a bit, we wanted to get into some Kombat, so let’s get into the meat and potatoes of the package: the fighting mechanics. We played a couple of matches in the demo, the first being the oldest rivalry in the Mortal Kombat story, Scorpion vs Sub-Zero.
Right off the bat, we could tell that the long combos were gone, as each variable fighting style now has a list of specific smaller button combos you can execute. While this makes the learning curve a bit easier, we couldn’t help but feel that it took away from the frenetic pacing that Mortal Kombat is known for. Regardless, once we acclimated ourselves, the flow of the match was a little bit better. Mortal Kombat 11 plays very similar to its previous two iterations, Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat X. We didn’t have any problems with this, as the formula still works in 2019 for excellent fighting mechanics.
The X-Ray moves also make their return, however they are now seen more frequently, such as landing an uppercut or executing a throw move, making the fight seem more intense. When the player’s health bar gets low, they can use the full X-Ray move on their opponent for an insane amount of damage. The fight ended with Scorpion winning, but he failed to pull off a Fatality. The second match pitted long time favorite Baraka against Skarlet. While we hoped that Baraka would be able to hold out his own against the red ninja, this was a mismatch from the start.
Baraka is a close combat specialist, while Skarlet has a wide array of range abilities. Despite the gap, Baraka got a few good shots in on her, including a brutal X-Ray move, which is a great sign for the game, as using an unfair moveset (cheesing) against an opponent is often frowned upon in the fighting game community. Still, Skarlet was able to put Baraka away, and this time, a Fatality was used. Skarlet forces all of Barakas blood out of his body, turning them into sharp bloodscicles. She then uses telekinesis to push them into his body multiple times, before sauntering over and finishing him off by shoving one of the bloodscicles through his head and taking his eyeball with it.
This is how Mortal Kombat is supposed to feel, staring slack-jawed at the screen after you’ve been skewered through the head with your own blood. After that, we knew that this game is more than deserving of the name Mortal Kombat. The action, blood, and glorious violence is still there, and if this demo is any indication, possibly the best it’s ever been. Just like the fans at the event, we can’t wait for this game to come out. Mortal Kombat 11 launches on April 23, 2019 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. You can sign up for the Beta by pre ordering the game, as well as getting access to Shao Khan.
You can check out our hands on gameplay of Mortal Kombat 11 here: