We all like some gore, that moment when you’re watching a movie in which you cover your eyes but slowly separate your fingers to look through them at all the blood in the screen; or when you are reading a book and you get too scary just thinking about putting it into the fridge, but you just can’t stop reading. In video games, nothing defines gore better than Mortal Kombat. All the battles come to an end in the gruesome way, the whoa-moment in which you think “is this too much?”, but you know that you want more. The series, co-created by Ed Boon and John Tobias, and currently being published by Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment, has been around us since 1992 when the first Fatality hits the arcades, and there is no signs of slowing down. So, after 2015’s Mortal Kombat X, we all are expecting it’s follow up installment.
You may ask “why are you talking about Mortal Kombat 11 if it hasn’t been an announcement yet?”, well that’s a valid question, but knowing their developers NetherRealm Studios and their pattern of released games, you can be sure of what’s – or better saying as in MK X’s slogan – who’s next. They released Mortal Kombat in 2011, Injustice: Gods Among Us in 2013, Mortal Kombat X in 2015 and Injustice 2 in 2017, which lead us to another Mortal Kombat game in 2019. All of these previous games were announced the year before it release, about a week or two before E3. Taking into account this patterns, we can be pretty sure that an announcement will drop in the next weeks, late May or Early June.
So the big question is not “will Mortal Kombat 11 be announced?” but rather “what can we expect from Mortal Kombat 11?”. Here is a little break down of things we may expect from the next game.
Being the third installment of this saga that started with Mortal Kombat in 2011 – storywise it was a soft-reboot of the saga, as well as a return to the “2D style” of gameplay – we can expect some things to come back. First of all, the core of it. The game will probably be a 1 on 1 fighting game, with 2D gameplay in a 3D environment. Also, it will likely maintain the power bars, with the possibility to enhance moves, make a combo breaker or finally, the main introduction in this trilogy of games, the X-Ray move. But also, Mortal Kombat X invited us to dive into variations, a system in which every character has 3 sets of pre-established move-sets to fit different style of gamers. Keeping the core of this games, we can expect that Mortal Kombat 11 will bring its own innovations, a new game gimmick that will make all the promotion round around this.
The big question raised in this is that if we will see the return of the variations system, or we will see the introduction of a gear system that NetherRealm Studios tried and liked in Injustice 2. Probably NRS will like to keep both games away from each other, but as happened before, a gimmick from one game, may land in the other. The weakness of the variation system is that of the 3 sets, one of them was almost never used, neither in the online nor competitive. But this doesn’t mean that the system hasn’t work. We may just see a “variation” of the system with 2 sets per character, and maybe some customizable options, like having 10 special moves per character, but you can only use 4 of them at a time and also you can do 3 presets of move-sets.
Fatalities will make a comeback for sure, but they will probably will be accompanied by a new finisher move. Mortal Kombat (2011) had made Babalities comeback, and Mortal Kombat X did the same with Brutalities as well. And they still haven’t introduced Friendship and Animalities in this new era of High Res visuals. Babalities and Brutalities both have had a new face, the first one combined with a humorous action from the characters, and the later by being included into the game itself and not as an ending scene. So if we see a return of Friendship or Animality, we can be sure that they will have a twist to the mechanic. Or maybe they will simply made a new way to end the life of your opponent.
Besides the natural tower-based arcade mode, we probably see the return of the Story Mode introduced back in Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe. All lore fans – including me – will probably tell you that a character-chapter based story mode, in which the same guy wins 4 fights in a row, it’s not the best way to tell a story. But nobody can argue that this is the best mode to teach player how to use various characters and how the game works without taking him to a boring tutorial. But, sure we can expect some twist to it. Maybe we will see some shared chapters between 2 characters like we have seen in Injustice 2, or maybe a non-linear story in which we play 4 fights with the same character but them happening in different time periods of the story.
Beside that, we can expect the return of the Test Your Luck game mode, which was hugely improved in Mortal Kombat X, and after its debut, in Mortal Kombat 2011, being so chaotic that is the funniest way to play the game locally with your friends in the couch. The online game will keep evolving, maybe instead of the Factions that were introduced in Mortal Kombat X, we will see a system more like the guilds of Injustice 2, something that let everyone create their own “Faction”. Nevertheless, what we can be sure about is that we will see some form of mechanic that will make players to team up in order to win rewards.
A Mortal Kombat Story
Mortal Kombat (2011) was a soft-reboot of the saga, with time travel and premonitions, creating an alternative universe, and at the same time retelling and recreating the first 3 games of York. Mortal Kombat X was in the future, spawning 25 years of story, and introducing the offspring of some familiar faces, as well as new enemies. But, with all the new faces, both games have been in touch with the original timeline that went from the first Mortal Kombat in 1992 up to Mortal Kombat Armageddon in 2007. If we keep this trend, we will probably see some sort of recreation of the games from the so call “3D era” (2002 – 2007).
Of all the bosses and their stories, we are only missing Mortal Kombat Deception’s Onaga, and Mortal Kombat Armageddon’s Blaze. But the later we can say that this new timeline’s purposes is to avoid it from happening. So we are left with a recreation of Onaga’s story, or a totally new story. If we follow up the ending of Mortal Kombat X, we can have 2 main stories develop: Dark Raiden’s attack on Outworld, or Liu Kang and Kitana’s new reign of the Netherrealm. Or maybe a combination of these two plus plot points from Onaga. Nevertheless, we can be sure that it will not be an exact retelling of a previous story, but rather a plot that will move the story forward.
Besides the obvious recurring faces of Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Raiden, Liu Kang, etc. we can expect some returning characters. Everyone has their favorites, including the developers. And what Mortal Kombat X has shown us, is that no matter how far into the future we would take the story, the MK1/MKII base will still be there. So don’t be surprised to see Kano, Johnny Cage, Reptile, Sonya, Jax, Kitana and Kung Lao on the roster among others. On the other side, this new timeline seems to have a new “respect” for the Death, and Baraka, Mileena and Quan Chi will likely rest in peace – at least for one game -.
Finally, Mortal Kombat X introduced us to 8 new characters, which may seem like a high number, but was necessary after 3 games of next-to-none introductions – Mortal Kombat Armageddon had only 2 new characters, Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe had none and Mortal Kombat (2011) only had one via DLC -. Following this record, we can be sure that Mortal Kombat 11 will introduce new characters, but probably not as much new faces as it predecessor did.
The trend in the Arena area is this: Mortal Kombat (2011) had 25 arenas (30 counting variations of the same arena), and Mortal Kombat X had 14 arenas. For Mortal Kombat 11, we should probably be closed to the latest. Another thing to take into account is that, except for the DLC The Pit, neither arena have been repeated between both games. So we probably will see no returning arenas from previous games.
Mortal Kombat Mobile App Companion
Nowadays, Android and iOS have become the new handheld mobile devices. Mortal Kombat (2011) may have come to the PSVita, but that will unlikely to happen again, as all the follow up games – Both Injustice games and Mortal Kombat X – have had a mobile app. NetherRealm Studios even have a mobile division exclusively to work in this games. You may ask “why do I need another MK mobile app, if Mortal Kombat X’s is still updating?”, well, you should draw a big line in quality between the first three NRS games – being Injustice: Gods Among Us, WWE Inmortals and MK X – and their latest Injustice 2 app. The gameplay, game modes, visuals, and all you can think about has been hugely improved in that game. So you want them to improve for the Mortal Kombat 11 app.
All in All, we can expect Mortal Kombat 11 to be the end of a trilogy. Having this in mind, it will keep innovating, but will still have the same base as the previous two games. If you liked Mortal Kombat (2011) and Mortal Kombat X, you will love the next one.