With the Game Awards done, many gamers have plenty of things to look forward to. From new games and announcements to upcoming content updates for their favorite games. I know I’m one of many who can’t wait for Joker in Smash, but some would argue that another fighting game generated much more buzz. Rumors came up about the next installment for the Mortal Kombat series, and during the Game Awards, we finally got it.
While it would be fun to inspect all aspects of the trailer, there isn’t really much to say. It was a nice change to see Scorpion fight someone else that isn’t Sub-Zero, and I got a good laugh at how he took out Raiden before the story mode did. This did get me thinking about what we can expect to see for the next game since we are a few months out from April.
Mortal Kombat 11: Always strive to be better.
Depending on who you ask, Mortal Kombat X was a hit or miss. Was it a great step from the previous entry? Certainly. Players did get to enjoy another classic story mode, enjoy the revamped gameplay and guest characters that could make a horror movie fan giddy with joy. The game had great visuals and the fatalities were some of the best yet.
On the other side of that coin though, fans of the Mortal Kombat series are in hopes that we do not get the same game again. Not that MKX was bad, but some choices did leave fans questioning. From art design and direction, to the overall presentation, it was almost like the 10th installment of Mortal Kombat was a prototype for the next Injustice game.
All that said, you could say while MKX wasn’t perfect, there is still plenty of room for improvement. With the community event coming next month, it won’t be too long until we see the official gameplay. Until then, we can speculate on elements of Mortal Kombat that we would like to see return, dismissed or come in from NetherRealm’s other title.
Where does the story go?
If you have been following the story of Mortal Kombat lately, I can summarize it as “Raiden messes up.” While there was good intentions to prevent Armageddon, it did leave a good number of characters dead. Outside of maybe Scorpion getting a revive while keeping his demonic abilities, the majority of the MK cast is dead and the man who could revive everyone (Quan Chi) also got 86’d. Even with a team of “up and coming” protectors, it is kind of hard to say that MKX ended on a good note when you also have Raiden going up to the new rulers of the NetherRealm and outright stating “Anyone who threatens EarthRealm will be shown no mercy,” before throwing Shinnok’s head to Liu Kang and Kitana.
We can say if we continue this story from MKX, this could be a good way to set up Mortal Kombat 11 as a “Finale to a Trilogy.” We could still pull a few small tidbits from Deadly Alliance and Deception, but it will be kind of hard to do when you have Quan Chi dead and Raiden going full-murder on anyone who tries to start another fight. It could be fun to consider a situation like one realm framing another and leading Raiden to being easily manipulated into possibly destroying a realm and leading the fellow Elder Gods in a campaign against him. Perhaps Raiden has become the ultimate villain and it could be fun to see if his destruction would make things finally even out (or could lead to another reboot).
Also it would be nice to do something about all the killed off characters. Kind of unfortunate how easily most were written out of the plot.
If there is one thing you can say about fighting games, it can be how there isn’t many to do outside of the main game. In earlier titles in the Mortal Kombat series, they did have a few random goodies. You can play Mortal Kombat to rip someone’s spine out, but for those who want to take a short break, Mortal Kombat has had modes like a Kart Racer and Puzzle Fighter to name a few. And then you have the actual story modes that NetherRealm has refined into an art (or at least more so than most fighting games with story modes).
Not that we need these side attractions to all come back, but rather as of late, it feels like the focus in NR games are only on story mode when not working on the main game. There‘s nothing wrong with that, but some fans cling on the idea they could go a step further and add something more to the mix as they did in the past. Even something as simple as 2v2 could be nice if the stories have characters teaming up with each other. I would also love to take a side mode that would bring back Sholin Monks would be something that could get fans rushing to play.
This suggestion is as far from a problem or concern compared to other things we will talk about, but I thought it would be nice if they looked this during the development of the next title.
Multiple fighting styles: Variation talk
One of the biggest draws to Mortal Kombat X was how each character had three separate fighting styles. While the core character would be the same throughout, you could pick what style you would use to give your character a special move or two they wouldn’t have otherwise. This can range from giving additional abilities to characters having weapons that that could change up their combo potential and pressure game. It was a fun idea to see how far we could go with this, but it leads one to wonder if we will see its return or if we are going back to basics.
It is funny to consider, but there are plenty of players that fall on either side of this conversation. One side would love to see it return while others felt like you were playing a third of a character. I know for myself, it is hard to say how I feel about variations. It was a fun idea, but it seemed like once players knew exactly which variation was the best, they rolled with that one and rarely tried out the others. For some, variations appeared a way to “play” as a character that didn’t make the cut like Jade or the cyborgs. Either way, if this were to return, hopefully they add in some fun varieties, or will just combine all three into one again.
Then again, perhaps the best way to approach making your character unique could be to take a page out of NetherRealm’s other title…
Would you like to “Dress your Kharacter?”
We can say a lot about Injustice 2 and how it was a high step from the first game. While you can point towards just about any aspect of the game, some would argue that the ability to dress up your hero was a big drawing point. It seems like it becoming common in fighting games such as Tekken or Soul Calibur, but the approach to outfit customization is something many players enjoyed since it let players have their very own Batman, Superman, or whoever. With Super Hero designing done and done, some feel like it is Mortal Kombat’s turn to play dress up.
We already got a nice preview of how this can play out with Sub-Zero and Raiden, but we could take the concept and completely run with it with the roster of the next game. It isn’t like we need to go as far as have “stats tied in with gear” or special moves. Moves that some players could never unlock because they could not get that specific gear to drop. On that same note though, it would be nice if we were to see the ability to have characters uniquely customized to a player’s choice so they can have their own identity. I know a lot of people would love to see “Blue Scorpion” happen at long last.
Will we get more Guest Characters?
Ever since the 9th installment, we have seen a wide range of guest characters come into play. It started off with Kratos and Freddy, but soon escalated in MKX with movie slashers and space aliens (also a half-demon and turtles if we count Injustice 2). It was great to see Jason fight The Predator or Leatherface going up against The Alien but now it feels like we could hit a snag soon. Not to say you can’t have more guest characters, but with Mortal Kombat, it is a touch trickier due to all the murdering. Yeah, it would be great to see Ryu in Mortal Kombat, but I don’t think many people in Capcom HQ would be too keen on seeing Ryu’s head ripping out with his spine.
Who knows though? For all we know, Negan could be the next Kratos and be a guest character in Mortal Kombat 11 after being in a Namco fighting game. Outside of him though where do we get our characters? And does Mortal Kombat even need these characters anymore? You can say, “They do! Guest characters help drive fans of said character into checking out the game!” Nothing wrong with that either, but it feels like we might be reaching our limit for slashers in Mortal Kombat unless if they bring a few back into the mix. Not to mention that with how big the MK roster has gotten over the years, bringing a few noteworthy characters back would be nice.
But regarding who would be fun to see in Mortal Kombat. Well, that’s a story for another time.
Let’s talk… Animations…
When I made my post on ResetEra asking members what they would want to see improved from MKX to MK11, the answer of “Animations” came up in seemingly every post. If we were to look at all other games in the series, you could at least argue that each character has that special something that makes them who they are. In MKX though, it can feel like animations might be too stiff while some characters might blend in with each other.
For as much as I could attempt to breakdown the animations, there is a Youtube video that covers the bases perfect.
And it is understandable too considering how the Mortal Kombat games play different from other games (and not in the good way). The input of commands can usually differ from what is happening on screen and even the combos seem disjointed. Perhaps if you were to fix up the combo game of Mortal Kombat, then you might rip out the core of the game. Still, it seems like the combos needs some refinement and move towards a more smoother gameplay experience. “Dial-A-Combo” needs to get a rework.
Also as a fun fact, the second most responses I got for improving the game was to bring back color. Mortal Kombat 9 looked good, and a good deal felt like it took a step back in Mortal Kombat X as it looked like all the colors faded.
Like most conversations about how we could hope to “Improve a game,” we do not do these out of spite. The direction that MKX was great and gave us alot of amusing and fun ideas. The thing fans want more than anything else is to see Mortal Kombat 11 do what Injustice 2 did from Injustice 1. Take the lessons learned from the previous game, and improve on them to make an even better experience for all. Mortal Kombat X wasn’t flawless, but it had some fun fights and took the fatality game to another level.
With NetherRealm breaking their “two-year” cycle, they are taking the development of the next Mortal Kombat game very seriously. As for if that will translate out to a better title will be something to discover another time. Regardless, many players will wait with great anticipation for the next entry the Mortal Kombat series and see where the series goes from here.
Oh and before I forget: Remove the jump scares from the Krypt. I swear I will get a heart attack if one more spider jumps at me from out of nowhere… AND BRING BACK THE TOASTY MAN!
Mortal Kombat 11 comes out April 29, 2019. Preorder now and get Shao Khan as a playable character.
So what do you think?
What changes does Mortal Kombat 11 need to succeed. Are there any characters you’d like to see in the next game if we were to get guest characters again? Leave your thoughts down below and be sure to follow us here at Culture of Gaming for more articles on Mortal Kombat and other gaming goodness.
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How’s it going everyone, I’m Mike Sol and I am one of many contributing writers to Culture of Gaming. You can usually find me playing some of the latest games to come out, although I tend to avoid anything related to sports or strategy. I enjoy the big three and all the games on them but my main console is the Xbox One. I don’t have a specific preference in gaming, but any game that has fun action and beating up waves of enemies is usually my cup tea. If you ever want me to game with me or want me to write about something of interest, feel free to hit me up. I hope to have a personal blog set up soon, but my loyalties shall remain with CoG.