Mortal Kombat is one of the most iconic fighters of all-time. Ever since the very first game was released back in 1992, people can’t stop talking about it. Now, in just a few short weeks, the latest entry in the series—Mortal Kombat 11—is due to launch.
This past week, I had the opportunity to participate in the Mortal Kombat 11 closed beta on my Xbox One X. The beta had five playable characters, online multiplayer matches, Klassic Towers, and a preview of the all-new Custom Character Variation System.
The final game launches April 23, 2019—but in the meantime here are a few impressions from my first taste of Mortal Kombat 11.
Mortal Kombat 11 Details
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Developer: NetherRealm Studios
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: M (Mature 17+)
Varied and unique playable characters
The Mortal Kombat 11 closed beta had five playable characters: Baraka, Jade, Kabal, Scarlet and Scorpion. Each of the characters offers their own unique playstyle, which includes abilities and Fatalities. While we don’t have the final roster list of characters, based on the character select screen, it looks like the game could ship with approximately 25 characters. Not to mention, those that pre-order, will get a code to get Shao Kahn as a playable character.
One of my favourite characters in Mortal Kombat has always been Scorpion, so naturally I started with him. What I really like about Scorpion is that he is relatively easy to pickup and start playing as. And yet, he’s an all-around character that requires a certain degree of skill to truly master. Yes, his harpoon-like spear and the infamous “Get over here!” has made its way to Mortal Kombat 11.
Baraka, my second favourite character, excels in close and mid-range combat. His signature Blade Spark move is here and if executed right can cause some serious damage. Kabal is a fast-moving character with a long reach and agile attacks that will leave your opponent spinning. Additionally, Jade’s combos allow you create a gap between you and your opponent, which allow you to strike with her deadly staff. Finally, Skarlet makes her return from Mortal Kombat 9 and has some amazing mid-range punishing moves.
Klassic game modes
There were only two gameplay modes available in the Mortal Kombat 11 closed beta: Klassic Towers, and online multiplayer mode. Klassic Towers is a series of battles against five random computer-controlled opponents that you must face, once after another. If you successfully defeat all your opponents, you unlock character endings. This mode allowed me to practice moves and to experiment with different gameplay styles.
The online multiplayer was fantastic! Upon entering the mode, you are randomly matched with an online opponent. Before accepting to face them, you are shown their type of connection—wireless or wired—and signal strength. Out of the 30 to 40 odd online matches I played, I never had a single problem. Finding an opponent was quick and in no time were in a match. Surprisingly, I never experienced any form of lag.
A glimpse at the Custom Character Variation System
Perhaps one of the most interesting things about the Mortal Kombat 11 closed beta was getting a glimpse of the new Custom Character Variation System. Here you can virtually customize your character to your hearts content. For instance, there are skins, special abilities, gear, Brutalities, Taunts, and even Intro and Victory Cinemas.
Naturally, the closed beta had most of this locked but each of the fighters had three different styles to choose from. Based on what I saw, the Custom Character Variation System will add a whole new level of gameplay to the series.
Changes to gameplay, so far
Mortal Kombat 11 has seen some changes to gameplay that I found to be for the better. First of all, Mortal Kombat 11 steps it down a notch from Mortal Kombat X’s fast and furious pace. This is a good because now I actually felt like I had a chance against some of the more advanced opponents. Kabal is still quick, but not nearly as fast as he was previously.
Next, X-ray attacks are now known as Fatal Blows. You can only land a Fatal Blow once during a match and become available to use when you are low on health. Though, if you miss it, your gauge will refill after a minute or so. Additionally, if you land a counter attack at just the right time, you deal out additional damage.
In addition, it looks as if NetherRealm Studios has made these slight changes to gameplay in order to tone done excessive juggling of characters and make the overall game more accessible to players of all skill levels. I’m excited to get my hands on the final version of the game to see what if any other changes have been made.
Pre-order Mortal Kombat 11 now!
After spending several days playing the Mortal Kombat 11 closed beta, I was left wanting more. I’m really interested in exploring the new Custom Character Variation System to see how I can fine tune my character to my particular gameplay style. The game’s fatalities are as gruesome as ever and truly live up to the Mortal Kombat reputation.
Mortal Kombat 11 launches April 23, 2019 and based on the closed beta, I’m pretty excited about what it brings to the table. Mortal Kombat fans will surely love it, but also anyone who enjoys deep, competitive fighting games. Don’t forget, if you pre-order, you’ll get a code to download Shao Kahn as a playable character!
Stay tuned for a full review on the Best Buy Plug-in blog soon!