|Mortal Kombat 11|
|Publisher(s)||Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment|
|Composer(s)||Wilbert Roget, II[b]|
|Engine||Unreal Engine 3|
|Release||Windows, PS4, Xbox One|
PS5, Xbox Series X/S
Mortal Kombat 11 is a 2019 fighting game developed by NetherRealm Studios and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Running on a heavily modified version of Unreal Engine 3, It is the eleventh main installment in the Mortal Kombat series and a sequel to 2015's Mortal Kombat X. Announced at The Game Awards 2018, the game was released in North America and Europe on April 23, 2019, for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One—with the exception of Europe's Switch version which was released on May 10, 2019. The game was released on Stadia on November 19, 2019.
Upon release, the console versions of Mortal Kombat 11 received generally favorable reviews, which praised the gameplay, story, graphics, and improved netcode, but it received criticism for the presence of microtransactions and over-reliance on grinding. An expansion for the game was released on May 26, 2020, entitled Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath. This expansion includes an additional story mode, three new characters, new stages, and the return of stage fatalities and the friendship finishing move. An enhanced version of the game containing all downloadable content up to that point, titled Mortal Kombat 11: Ultimate, was released for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S on November 17, 2020.
Like the previous three games in the series, including MK Mobile, Mortal Kombat 11 is a 2.5D fighting game. Alongside the returning Fatalities, Brutalities, Stage Fatalities, Friendships and Quitalities, new gameplay features are introduced, such as Fatal Blows and Krushing Blows. Fatal Blows are special moves similar to the X-ray moves in Mortal Kombat X. Like X-ray moves, Fatal Blows deal a large amount of damage, but unlike them, they only become available when a player's health drops below 30%, and can only be performed once per match. Krushing Blows are a special cinematic variation of a given special move, triggered when certain requirements are met, like most Brutalities in the previous game. Also new to the series is a Flawless Block mechanic, which allows for a comeback window after blocking an attack with precise timing. Another returning finisher is Mercy, last seen in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, where the winning player can opt to revive their opponent, giving them a small amount of life.
Mortal Kombat 11 introduces a Custom Variation feature which offers a character customization system similar to the Gear system in NetherRealm Studios' previous DC Comics fighting game Injustice 2, improving over the Variation system featured in Mortal Kombat X. Each character has an initial set of outfits, weapons and moves, which can be further customized by the player. However, unlike Injustice 2, in Mortal Kombat 11 the characters' appearance does not determine their abilities, allowing the players to create custom move lists independently of their character's appearance.
Following Shinnok's defeat, Dark Raiden plans to protect Earthrealm by destroying all of its enemies and making an example of Shinnok; decapitating him. This latter act inspires Kronika, Shinnok's mother and the keeper of time, to rewrite history in order to erase Raiden's interference. Two years later, a Special Forces strike team led by Sonya Blade, Cassie Cage, and Jacqui Briggs attack the Netherrealm, with Raiden providing a diversion to aid them. The team succeeds in destroying the Netherrealm castle, though at the cost of Sonya's life. Kronika creates an alliance with revenants Liu Kang and Kitana, now rulers of the Netherrealm, immediately afterwards.
Meanwhile, Kotal Kahn, the current emperor of Outworld, attempts to execute Shao Kahn loyalist Kollector, but is interrupted by a time storm that brings Shao Kahn, Skarlet, Baraka, and younger versions of Kano, Erron Black, Jade, Raiden, Kitana, Liu Kang, Johnny Cage, Sonya Blade, Jax, Scorpion, Kabal, and Kung Lao from the past and erases Dark Raiden from existence. A battle erupts in Kotal's Koliseum until D'Vorah transports Baraka, Skarlet, Shao Kahn, Black, and Kano to her hive, recruiting them into Kronika's fold.
Liu Kang, Kung Lao, and Raiden appear at the Earthrealm's Special Forces HQ after forging an alliance with Kotal Kahn while Jade and Kitana aid Kotal in protecting Outworld from Kronika's forces. Liu Kang and Kung Lao investigate the Wu Shi Academy and encounter Kronika's right-hand man, Geras. Their subsequent battle ends with Geras using his chronokinetic powers to escape with powerful energy capsules containing Earthrealm's life force.
The Special Forces learn that Sektor, backed by Noob Saibot and a cyberized Frost, has reinstated the Cyber Lin Kuei, intending to build an army of cyborgs out of kidnapped Lin Kuei warriors for Kronika. Sub-Zero and Hanzo Hasashi go to the factory to stop them. With Cyrax's aid, they shut down the factory; forcing Geras and both versions of Kano to retreat to Kronika's Keep, where they revive Sektor and rebuild the cybernetic army themselves.
Meanwhile, Raiden tries to consult with the Elder Gods. They refuse to help, but Cetrion gives him a clue on how to defeat Kronika. During a later attempt, Raiden discovers the Elder Gods were killed, and that Cetrion betrayed them to serve her mother, Kronika. Kotal and Jade go to a Tarkatan camp in order to get them to fight against Shao Kahn, but Kotal's hatred towards the Tarkatans causes Jade to battle him before Shao Khan appears and captures both of them.
The Special Forces base is destroyed by the Black Dragon and Kronika's cybernetic army, with the younger Johnny and Sonya captured in the process, the elder Johnny wounded, and Sektor killed. Due to the destruction of Sub-Zero's Lin Kuei Temple, Wu Shi Academy's Sky Temple, and the Special Forces base, the Shirai Ryu's Fire Garden becomes the only safe haven left to Earthrealm's heroes. Cassie leads a strike team to save her parents, where Sonya kills the younger Kano to erase his present self from existence. Meanwhile, Kitana, Liu Kang, and Kung Lao battle Baraka in order to secure an alliance between him and Sheeva. With their aid, Kitana successfully defeats and blinds Shao Kahn, uniting the Outworld factions and inheriting the throne from Kotal.
Raiden sends Jax and Jacqui to Shang Tsung's now-abandoned island to retrieve the Crown of Souls, but the pair are thwarted by Cetrion, who eventually gets away with the Crown, and present-day Jax, who had been deceived by Kronika. Hasashi is tasked with convincing Kharon, the ferryman of Netherrealm's souls, to join their side so they can travel to Kronika's fortress. Hasashi fights his past self and persuades him to join his side, only to be mortally wounded by D'Vorah. Scorpion drives her away and returns to the Fire Garden to honor Hasashi's dying wish. However, an enraged Raiden attacks him on sight, attempting to finish him off using Shinnok's amulet. Liu Kang intervenes, causing Raiden to realize how they have fought before in multiple timelines, and that Kronika had orchestrated them all because their combined strength would be the only thing that could stop her. Anticipating this, Kronika kidnaps Liu Kang to weaken the heroes. With Kharon recruited, a joint Earthrealm-Outworld army assaults Kronika's Keep. Geras is dropped in the bottomless Sea of Blood; Frost is shut down, disabling all the cyborgs; and the older Jax defects to the heroes' side.
Once revenant Liu Kang has absorbed his past self's soul, Kronika sends him to attack Raiden. Near the end of the fight between the two, Raiden and Liu Kang merge into Fire God Liu Kang; acquiring the memories and knowledge of Kronika's plan from his revenant self in the process. The heroes breach Kronika's Keep, only for Kronika to turn back time to its beginning. Fire God Liu Kang however proves immune due to his god-like status, and subsequently defeats the remaining revenants and Cetrion before battling Kronika.
Depending on the outcome of the battle, the story ends in three different ways:
Following Kronika's defeat, Fire God Liu Kang and Raiden attempt to utilize Kronika's Hourglass to restore history, but are interrupted by Shang Tsung, Fujin, and Nightwolf; all of whom were imprisoned in the Void by Kronika for refusing to join her. Shang Tsung elaborates that, due to the destruction of the Crown of Souls when Liu Kang defeated Kronika, the Hourglass cannot be used to change history without destroying it. He convinces Liu Kang to send him, Fujin, and Nightwolf back in time to retrieve the Crown of Souls before Cetrion does. Though Raiden is suspicious of Shang Tsung's motives, Liu Kang agrees and sends them back, staying behind to protect the Hourglass.
Fujin, Shang Tsung, and Nightwolf are transported to the Koliseum just as Kitana confronted Shao Kahn. They attempt to flee undetected, but news spreads of their arrival, prompting Kronika to retaliate. To face Cetrion on his island, Shang Tsung determines their best option is to resurrect Sindel, so they head to the Netherrealm and capture her revenant. Returning to Outworld, Shang Tsung uses Sheeva's blood debt to Sindel to grant him access to the Soul Chamber and restore Sindel despite fierce resistance from Kitana and her allies.
Sindel joins Shang Tsung and the others to his island, where Fujin defeats Kronika's forces and convinces present-day Jax to change sides early while Sindel defeats Cetrion and helps the group capture the Crown. With the Crown in their possession, Fujin and Shang Tsung travel to the Fire Garden and convince Raiden of Shang Tsung's alliance. When Kronika attempts to intervene, Raiden, Fujin, and Shang Tsung fend her off, though she reveals the sorcerer was the one who designed the Crown.
As the offensive on Kronika's Keep is about to commence, Shang Tsung signals Sindel to heal Shao Kahn and betrays and defeats Sheeva, gaining control of her army. Together, they destroy Geras, imprison the Cage family, defeat Kitana, Liu Kang, and Jade, throw Kung Lao into the Sea of Blood, and kill Kotal. In the process, Sindel reveals she betrayed and killed her previous husband Jerrod as she saw him as weak compared to Shao Kahn. While Fujin spearheads the offensive on Kronika's Keep, Raiden discovers Shang Tsung's plot and Sindel's betrayal while fighting revenant Liu Kang after the latter receives injuries from his past self.
Raiden arrives too late to stop Shang Tsung from tricking Fujin into giving him the Crown, and the sorcerer gains Kronika's full power; revealing he had planned everything ever since Kronika imprisoned him in the Void. He overpowers and drains Raiden and Fujin's souls before using Sindel and Shao Kahn to reach the Hourglass. Once Kronika's remaining allies are killed, Shang Tsung eventually betrays Sindel and Shao Kahn and drains their souls as well. He then defeats Kronika and absorbs her. As Shang Tsung starts approaching the Hourglass, Fire God Liu Kang shows up, revealing he was aware of Shang Tsung's intentions all along and that, after observing that only Shang Tsung was strong enough to beat Kronika, he had deliberately allowed Shang Tsung to stay alive so the Crown of Souls would stay intact when Kronika was defeated.
From this point, the player can choose to fight as Shang Tsung or Liu Kang. Depending on the outcome of the battle, the epilogue will show one of the following:
Main article: List of Mortal Kombat characters
The game's roster consists of a total of 37 playable characters; 25 characters in the base game (2 of which are unlockable) and 12 characters available via DLC (5 of which are guest characters). The characters in bold are new to the series, while the italicized ones are guest characters.
|Base Roster||Kombat Pack 1||Aftermath||Kombat Pack 2|
Along with series veterans including Kano, Raiden, Scorpion, Sonya Blade and Sub-Zero, and others such as Skarlet, who returns from the 2011 reboot, four new fighters were introduced, three of whom are playable. Firstly, Kronika serves as the series's first-ever female boss character, who has powers over the flow of time, and had been supervising the events of the timelines since the very beginning of the events in the overall Mortal Kombat story. She is not among the game's playable characters. New playable fighters include Geras, a construct of Kronika who, like her, has powers that allow him to control the flow of time, and produce sand-based attacks; Cetrion, an Elder Goddess who is Shinnok's sister and Kronika's daughter and has control over elemental forces; and Kollector, a six-armed Naknadan who serves as a tribute collector to the Outworld empire.
Non-playable characters appearing in the game include Shinnok, who appears in the intro to the story mode and in one of the stages (albeit only his head); Sektor and Cyrax, who also appear in the story mode as NPC opponents; Ermac, Reptile and Smoke, who all appear in the gameplay as part of Shang Tsung's moveset, as well as one of Rain's fatalities; Kintaro, who appears in one of Shang Tsung's fatalities.
Using Unreal Engine 3, Mortal Kombat 11 was developed by NetherRealm Studios and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, the two parties also involved with the game's predecessor, Mortal Kombat X. The game was announced by series co-creator Ed Boon in December 2018, at The Game Awards 2018, with a trailer showcasing Dark Raiden and Scorpion fighting against each other. At the end of the announcement trailer it was announced that pre-order buyers would have Shao Kahn available as a playable character. The trailer featured "Immortal", an original song by artist 21 Savage. On January 17, 2019, a community reveal event was held simultaneously in Los Angeles and London. The reveal event featured, among many others, a filmed interview with Ronda Rousey, the voice actress for Sonya Blade. On March 22, 2019, about a month before the game's release, it was announced at C2E2 that actor Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa would reprise his role as Shang Tsung from the 1995 film and the second season of Mortal Kombat: Legacy, while coinciding the announcement of the character as downloadable content. A public stress test of the game's online mode took place between March 15 and 17. Also, a closed beta was available between March 27 and April 1, 2019, for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One pre-order buyers. During the 2019 Brasil Game Show, Ed Boon announced that the story mode of Mortal Kombat 11 served as a conclusion to the saga that started since the first Mortal Kombat title and the storyline that was established in the 2011 reboot.
The game was released on April 23, 2019, across Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, with a Stadia port releasing later in the year on November 19, 2019. With the Nintendo Switch release, this marks Mortal Kombat 11 to be the first game in the series to be released on a Nintendo console since Mortal Kombat: Armageddon for the Wii in 2007. On March 22, 2022, almost three years after the game's release, a patch was released for the PC version, removing the Denuvo Anti-Tamper from it, among other minor changes.
At C2E2 on March 22, 2019, Shang Tsung was announced as the first downloadable character, who was returning from the 2011 reboot. The character featured the voice and likeness of Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, who portrayed him in the 1995 Mortal Kombat film. On May 31, 2019, five additional fighters were announced to be released under the first Kombat Pack with Shang Tsung. Three of the confirmed characters were Nightwolf and Sindel, both returning from the 2011 Mortal Kombat game, and Spawn from Image Comics by Todd McFarlane, making his promised debut in the series as a guest character and featuring Keith David reprising the role as the titular character from the HBO animated series, Todd McFarlane's Spawn. In February 2015, McFarlane granted Netherrealm a limited window of permission to use Spawn as a guest character for their titles. However, in April 2015, Ed Boon revealed that Spawn had been discussed as a potential guest character early in development, but that he did not know McFarlane had made the offer until after the release of Mortal Kombat X. Leading up to a Reddit AMA in December 2018 where McFarlane hinted that Spawn will indeed be in Mortal Kombat 11. During San Diego Comic-Con 2019, McFarlane expresses enthusiasm on Spawn's inclusion on his behalf that gave the developers at NetherRealm Studios creative freedom on how Spawn is being portrayed in the game. Keith David described his excitement on returning to voice Spawn as it "Feels like home". The gameplay trailer featuring Spawn was released on March 8, 2020, during the "Final Kombat" tournament, where David attended the event as a guest alongside the debut of the Red-Band trailer for the animated film, Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge.
On August 1, 2019, a humorous teaser that poked fun on the whereabouts on the entirety of the Kombat Pack was uploaded moments after the Nightwolf trailer, confirming the trailer's release date on August 21, 2019. The remaining two guest characters were revealed on the day of the trailer's release. These were the T-800 model from the Terminator franchise and the Joker from DC Comics, marking his return to the series since Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe after being a playable character in the Injustice series, with voice actor Richard Epcar reprising the role from both. As a tie-in release to Terminator: Dark Fate, the Terminator's facial likeness and capture were provided by Arnold Schwarzenegger, with the character voiced by Chris Cox, who was appointed by Schwarzenegger himself. In a December 2015 interview, Ed Boon revealed that like Spawn, the Terminator had been considered as a guest character for Mortal Kombat X. The reveal for the Joker's design was met with negative reception, generating a wave of online fans comparing it to a poor cosplay. A teaser trailer later debuted on December 12, 2019, revealed that the Joker had a redesign due to the initial backlash back in August. The redesign for the Joker was later well-received, citing improvement on his facial features as opposed to the initial reveal. Ed Boon initially described the presence of the Joker as "Vicious", in contrast to his previous appearances that were toned down in both Injustice games and Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe in order to secure the T rating. Another teaser was uploaded on New Year's Day 2020, featuring the character's trademark graffiti and smiling on the walls of Arkham Asylum during fireworks, followed by laughter. Two weeks later, Boon later posted a gameplay image of the Joker covered in blood through his Twitter account, promising a taste of things to come for the character's inclusion. The gameplay trailer was officially released two days later on January 16, 2020, showcasing the Joker's new moveset and gruesome Fatality.
Like Mortal Kombat X, Mortal Kombat 11 received skin packs included in the Kombat Pack, normally consisting of three character skins per pack bring up a total of eighteen skins all together. A small number of single skins were released for free such as a Harley Quinn-inspired skin for Cassie Cage and a Dimitri Vegas skin for Sub-Zero, featuring Vegas himself providing the voice for the skin as Sub-Zero. During the Summer of 2019, two Klassic skin packs were released in a period of two months, consisting of a Klassic Ninja skin pack in June and a Klassic Arcade Fighter skin pack in August 2019. In October 2019, a Double Feature skin pack was released while a Halloween skin pack was released for free. In November 2019, a Gothic horror skin pack was released. In January 2020, an Elseworlds-themed skin pack was announced to be released with the Joker alongside a Darkseid skin for Geras. In March 2020, a Matinee skin pack was released with Spawn including a "Hellspawn" themed skin for Jacqui Briggs.
On May 5, 2020, a new story mode DLC was teased, to be officially announced the following day. This DLC was revealed to be titled Aftermath and together with new story mode content, it consists of Fujin, who was last playable in Armageddon; Sheeva, who previously appeared as a non playable character in the game's story mode; and an additional guest character RoboCop, with actor Peter Weller reprising his role for the first time since RoboCop 2. Three more additional skin packs were announced in July 2020 as part of the post Aftermath launch, which were released between August and September 2020.
On October 6, 2020, a teaser trailer for an additional DLC pack was uploaded, promising more information on October 8. This was revealed to be Kombat Pack 2, consisting of three playable characters: Mileena, who was last playable in Mortal Kombat X; Rain, who was last playable in the 2011 reboot via DLC; and an additional guest character, John Rambo from the Rambo franchise, with original actor Sylvester Stallone providing his voice and likeness. Kombat Pack 2, along with all previous downloadable content, is included as part of the game's enhanced Ultimate re-release. To work around the COVID-19 pandemic, Stallone recorded his dialogue at his home, through Zoom conference calls with the Netherrealm staff. Mileena's inclusion in Kombat Pack 2 was due to high demand from fans in the wake of her absence in the game previously. Ed Boon revealed that the motivation for her exclusion from the base game was that the team wanted to "create an appreciation" for the character, after getting constant replies from fans on social media demanding her return. An enhanced version of the game with all downloadable content included, titled Mortal Kombat 11: Ultimate, was released on November 17, 2020 for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. A "Klassic MK Movie" skin pack was released on November 24, 2020, adding new skins for Johnny Cage, Sonya Blade and Raiden using the respective voices and likenesses of Linden Ashby, Bridgette Wilson, and Christopher Lambert, who portrayed them in the 1995 Mortal Kombat film.
On July 2, 2021, NetherRealm Studios have announced that Mortal Kombat 11 would no longer receive DLC and update support, and that they would instead be focusing on their next project.
|PC Gamer (US)||85/100|
Mortal Kombat 11 received generally favorable reviews according to the review aggregator website Metacritic. IGN praised the more slow-paced combat compared to the previous game in the series, as well as the expanded tutorial, story mode and improved netcode. However, it condemned the game's drawn-out progression and customization unlock system, which was described as "frustratingly gimmicky and grindy". GameSpot gave the game a 9, praising the fighting system calling it "accessible, deep and exciting" as well praising the story mode. However, they criticized the "always-online requirement for progression" as well as the randomization of rewards in the Krypt.
The Nintendo Switch version of the game was also well received. Pure Nintendo gave the game a 9, praising the game's story mode, customization mode, and the game's tutorials, though stated that the online features are where the Nintendo Switch version "falls short". Nintendo Life gave the game an 8 out of 10, praising the game on its features, though it was critical on the game's graphics, stating that "it's a performance-first experience that nails 60fps, and boasts every mode and mechanic from other versions, only with a noticeable downgrade in the aesthetics department".
In North America, Mortal Kombat 11 was the best-selling video game software for the month of April. This, along with Fortnite, contributed to digital game sales reaching over $8.8 billion in April. In June 2019, Mortal Kombat 11 surpassed the sales of Kingdom Hearts III. Mortal Kombat 11 proceeded to be the best-selling video game software in North America for the following month of May, for both Xbox One and PlayStation 4, the sales of the game is nearly doubled comparably to previous entries of the series. In May 2019, the game reached number 1 in Australia, and number 2 in New Zealand. It was the 4th most downloaded game on the European PlayStation Store charts in April 2019.
Overall, Mortal Kombat 11 was the fifth best selling game of 2019 and the fourth best selling PS4 game of 2019. By 2021, the game had sold more than 12 million copies worldwide.
|2019||2019 Golden Joystick Awards||Best Storytelling||Nominated|||
|Best Multiplayer Game||Nominated|
|The Game Awards 2019||Best Fighting Game||Nominated|||
|Steam Awards 2019||The "Best Game You Suck At" Award||Won|||
|2020||23rd Annual D.I.C.E. Awards||Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition||Nominated|||
|Outstanding Achievement in Audio Design||Nominated|
|Fighting Game of the Year||Won|
|NAVGTR Awards||Game, Franchise Fighting||Nominated|||
|SXSW Gaming Awards||Excellence in Animation||Nominated|||
|Excellence in Multiplayer||Nominated|
|Excellence in SFX||Nominated|
|18th Annual G.A.N.G. Awards||Audio of the Year||Nominated|||
|Sound Design of the Year||Nominated|
|Best Original Instrumental||Nominated|
|The Game Awards 2020||Best Fighting Game||Won|||
Due to its gore, Mortal Kombat 11 is banned in Indonesia, Japan, China and Ukraine. In Ukraine and Indonesia, it is because of the laws banning Nazi and Communist symbols. Some of these symbols are present on the "Kollection" images and on the bonus costume of character Skarlet, which was also part of the MK11 Premium Edition.
Mortal Kombat 11 also received heavy backlash from members of the Mortal Kombat fanbase for drastically cutting back on the sex appeal of its female characters. Creator Ed Boon, in an interview with Playboy, claimed it was "unrealistic" for female fighters to be scantily clad and thought that the 2011 Mortal Kombat had "gone too far in its sexualization".
In 2019, Mortal Kombat 11 developers revealed to Kotaku that they had to go to a therapist and were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because of the realistic graphic violence they had to work on the game. The developers suffered trauma from incessant exposure to violent and gory animations and “real-life” research materials, such as videos and pictures of murder victims and slaughtered animals, to the point of having graphic, violent dreams in their sleep. The studio is also accused of instituting "crunch culture", with employees regularly working 80 to 100 hours a week to meet submission deadlines.
In January 2021, a Mortal Kombat 11 Pro Kompetition finalist, Titaniumtigerzz, was disqualified for naming his Sheeva variation 'WhyDidNRSdoThis'. The name "was supposed to be a very mild criticism of Sheeva's strengths" according to the player.
At Toy Fair 2019, it was announced that McFarlane Toys would be producing a line of action figures to promote the game.
In February 2019, the mobile game that had originally been launched as Mortal Kombat X for iOS and Android, was renamed to Mortal Kombat Mobile as it received its 2.0 update, incorporating Mortal Kombat 11 content in the process. Among these changes, the graphics engine was transitioned from Unreal Engine 3 to Unreal Engine 4. The app is available on App Store and Google Play, with 50 million downloads in the latter.
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