Holy crossover, Batman! The rest of Mortal Kombat 11’s first round of character DLC has been revealed. It includes series regular Sindel before going off the rails with the Terminator, Spawn, and a dapper-looking Joker.
A YouTube video this morning outlined the rest of the cast for Mortal Kombat 11’s “Kombat Pack.” Many of these match up to a leak that was revealed some time ago. The first two characters, the evil Shang Tsung and stalwart Nightwolf, have already released, but now we know when everyone else is coming to join in the (ugh) kombat.
The Terminator T-800 arrives on October 8; evil Outworld queen Sindel screams into action on November 26; a kinda handsome (?) version of the Joker will arrive on January 28; and Todd McFarlane’s hyper-edgy hero Spawn rounds everything out on March 17. Apparently he got tired of being the dumbest character in Soul Calibur.
Netherrealm fighting games are renown for quirky bonus characters. Mortal Kombat 10 included the serial killer Jason Voorhees and the gosh darn Predator. Presumably we’ll see a similar mix of Mortal Kombat and “real” characters in whatever Kombat Pack follows this. My most outrageous guess? Guybrush Threepwood, mighty pirate!
Renowned Belgian DJ Dimitri Vegas did the music for Mortal Kombat 11’s launch trailer. Next week, developer NetherRealm Studios is releasing a Sub-Zero skin featuring Vegas’ likeness, which is great. It also features Vegas’ voice, and that’s not so great.
Mortal Kombat 11’s voice cast consists of proper professional voice actors with a firm handle on what they are doing (and also Ronda Rousey). So when someone like Dimitri Vegas lends his pipes to a character—especially one whose lines are already voiced by the incomparable Steve Blum—the difference in quality is jarring. While Dimitri Zero, as fans are calling him, is not live in the game yet, his files are already in place, so modders have been able to share his unique spin on the dialogue. Have a listen, courtesy of Gamer XL on Facebook.
It’s not that Vegas is not trying. He sounds like he’s having fun with it, at least. He’s just not trained for this sort of thing, so the results sound, as one Redditor put it, “like a low budget anime dub.”
Mortal Kombat Reddit is having a lot of fun with the Vegas skin and voice. Some say it’s horrible. Others are looking forward to deploying the skin as a sign of disrespect to their opponents. There are also fans who don’t mind Vegas’ delivery, bless their souls. Then there are those who say it really just sounds like a Belgian DJ trying to play a ninja warrior who speaks English. Personally, I think that’s exactly what it sounds like.
Longer YouTube video comparisons, like the one featured by Eurogamer earlier today, have been copyright claimed into oblivion. Expect the floodgates to open wide on August 22 when the free Dimitri Vegas Sub-Zero skin is officially released.
Evo 2019’s Mortal Kombat 11 tournament ended with Dominique “SonicFox” McLean lying on stage, his weekend of competition finally over. He was once again the king of Mortal Kombat.
Although SonicFox has competed in multiple games over his career, NetherRealm Studios franchises have always felt like his home. He first made his mark on Evo history by winning Injustice: Gods Among Us in 2014 before earning back-to-back Mortal Kombat X championships in 2015 and 2016. SonicFox’s focus strayed a bit with the release of Dragon Ball FighterZ, which he won at Evo 2018, but he can never be counted out when it comes to the games where he first found huge success.
Heading into Evo 2019, SonicFox had two apparent goals ahead of him: defending his Dragon Ball FighterZ championship and winning the event’s very first Mortal Kombat 11 tournament. He barely missed out on the former, losing a close grand finals match to Japanese rival Goichi “GO1″ Kishida on Saturday afternoon, but followed that up shortly afterwards by qualifying for the Mortal Kombat 11 finals. SonicFox would have one more shot at Evo gold before the weekend was over.
To say SonicFox made the most of this opportunity would be an understatement. He tore through the bracket, sending up-and-comer Julien “Deoxys” Gorena to losers and fending off a brief challenge from Evo 2017 Injustice 2 champion Ryan “Dragon” Walker in winners finals. When it came time for their rematch in grand finals, SonicFox pulled off an incredible 3-0 sweep, collapsing on the stage behind them afterwards. His day of competition had started at 10 am, and now, over 12 hours later, he had an Evo trophy to show for it.
Mortal Kombat 11 is still relatively young, and there’s no telling whether SonicFox will be able to maintain the stranglehold he currently has on the playing field. Several players have proven they have the potential to rise up and knock him off his throne, so it should be exciting to see how competition in Mortal Kombat 11 develops after this first Evo appearance.
“Kombat League” is an all-new seasonal ranked mode in which players compete over the course of four weeks to earn exclusive in-game items. Teased in Mortal Kombat 11’s multiplayer menu since the game launched in late April, the first Kombat League season starts *checks watch* tomorrow. Oh dear.
Each Kombat League season will see players fighting ranked matches against similarly-skilled opponents, progressing through nine tiers, beginning with Apprentice and ending with Elder God. At the end of the four week competition, players will earn cosmetic rewards based on the highest rank they achieved during the season, so once they reach Elder God they can nap for the rest of the event without fear of missing out on cool garb. Players can also win rewards by completing both daily and season missions, like spilling a certain amount of blood during the event.
Yes, blood. Each Kombat League event will be themed, and the first one is called the “Season of Blood”. Advancing through the ranks in this season will earn players special skins that are black, white and red all over.
The Season of Blood event starts tomorrow, June 18, which is also when Kombat Pack 1 owners get early access to Shang Tsung. Coincidence? Probably.
Powerful sorcerer, vile betrayer and all-around not nice guy, Shang Tsung returns in Mortal Kombat 11 as a downloadable fighter. Sporting both the voice and the look of Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, the actor who famously portrayed him in 1995’s Mortal Kombat movie, this version of Shang Tsung’s got the moves and magic to make him a formidable foe. There’s both an older and a younger looking version of the character, as well. Yesterday’s Kombat Kast stream dropped these and other fresh details on the menacing magician.
According to lore delivered by Netherream’s Stephanie Brownback during the Kombat Kast presentation, Shang Tsung isn’t technically a new addition to Mortal Kombat 11. When the villain Kronika pulled kombatants from the past into the present, Shang Tsung was there. Knowing Shang Tsung’s rocky history with allies (he betrays everybody!), Kronika decided to lock him away for safekeeping. Now that Kronika’s been defeated, Shang Tsung is free to enter the fray once more.
Well, he’s not free, exactly. He’s part of the game’s first Kombat Pack, a season pass that gives players access to six new fighters over time. He is the first, to be followed by Mortal Kombat fan favorites Sindel and Nightwolf, guest character Spawn (voiced by the legendary Keith David) and two unannounced guests.
He’s missing a few wrinkles, but that’s nothing a few decades of aging can’t fix. Like many other time-tossed characters in the game, players can choose between young Shang Tsung, as seen in the Mortal Kombat movie, or an older, more wizened version.
Not bad for an old man. My Shang Tsung, however, will be sporting this awesome ensemble lifted straight from the film.
It’s not just the look at movie tie-ins that have me excited about Shang Tsung. Netherrealm has given the characters moves a strong magical focus. He still hits and kicks as per normal, but there’s a lot more fire and soul-draining going on. One of his moves involves summoning a wall of flame after reading a magical scroll. His basic throw does less damage than other characters but heals the sorcerer for the difference. He’s shaping up to be the most Shang Tsung ever. Now all we have to do is wait for Netherealm Studios to FINISH HIM.
On April 20, three days before Mortal Kombat 11‘s launch, a post on the Test Your Might fan forums detailed some early issues with the game. Problems cited included poor difficulty tuning in the game’s Towers of Time challenges and poor rewards for completing said challenges. There was also a punishing gear system requiring that players spend substantial time and in-game gold to augment equipment and randomized loot drops in the game’s Krypt, making earning character-specific skins, fatalities, and equipment more difficult.
Mortal Kombat 11 launched for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch on April 23. Gaming sites, including this one, praised the game for its accessibility, phenomenal tutorial, and emotionally-charged story mode. Review site Metacritic was swamped with negative user reviews, many citing rampant monetization and microtransactions that, once again, do not exist. Other subjects touched on in negative user reviews include the desexualization of the game’s female characters and a perceived “SJW” agenda, illustrated by an arcade story ending in which the character Jax goes back in time to prevent slavery.
The Nintendo Switch and PC versions of Mortal Kombat 11 aren’t quite in sync with the Xbox One’s and PlayStation 4’s. While developer Netherrealm Studios focused on the PS4 and Xbox One, QLOC created the PC version and Shiver Entertainment handled the Switch port. This lead to inconsistencies between the versions at launch. Some moves worked differently in the PC version, and the Nintendo game launched without character-specific tutorials. Subsequent updates have brought all versions of the game more in line with one another.
On the day of the game’s launch, Netherrealm promised a patch to reduce the difficulty of the Towers of Time challenges and increase rewards for completing in-game goals, making unlocking new items in the Krypt easier. On April 26, publisher Warner Bros. released a road map covering upcoming patches and updates for all four versions of the game. The updates also rewarded early players for their patience, giving them a pile of in-game currency to help unlock items in the Krypt. Patches rolled out over the next couple of weeks, first to Xbox One and PS4, with Switch and PC straggling behind. The PC version got its most recent patch on May 14, reducing the requirements for completing character towers.
While it got off to a bumpy start, Mortal Kombat 11 seems to be doing just fine.
Several characters in the Mortal Kombat universe can turn invisible, but none to the extent of Sub-Zero in Mortal Kombat 11. Since the game’s release last month, players have discovered a bug that allows the cryogenic combatant to completely disappear, and the issue lingers within Mortal Kombat 11 to this day.
The glitch in question can be activated through a very specific set of circumstances. First, Sub-Zero must have access to his end-of-round Ice Klone taunt, which can be acquired by playing through the first two of his unique challenges in the Towers of Time mode. Unlike most other fighting games, where taunts are performed with a dedicated button press or button combination, Mortal Kombat 11’s taunts occur automatically right after a fighter wins a round, at which point a taunt is selected randomly from those that have already been unlocked.
The taunt selection can vary depending on where the round ends. The specific Ice Klone animation, for instance, only happens when Sub-Zero wins a round while standing close to his opponent in the corner as a way to make space between the two characters for the next round. Something about this taunt in particular—perhaps the way Sub-Zero disappears briefly before reappearing further away—is what kickstarts the invisibility bug.
From there, it’s a simple matter of using Sub-Zero’s Kold Shoulder special, which, apart from custom loadouts, is only available in his Blast Chilled tournament variation. As you can see in the clip below, the attack doesn’t even have to connect with the opponent for it to still end up turning Sub-Zero invisible. This effect lasts until Sub-Zero is hit.
Obviously, using this glitch provides a huge advantage to the Sub-Zero player. Without a way to see what attacks are coming or from which direction, anyone facing an invisible Sub-Zero is open to huge damage. The silver lining here is that the steps needed to enact the bug are so specific that it’s unlikely anyone will see it, particularly as more taunts are unlocked. The more taunts you have, the less likely it is that this one will be selected. On the other hand, there’s really no way for players to actively avoid the glitch.
Players found evidence of the bug right afterMortal Kombat 11 was released. The only indication that anyone on the development or publishing end is looking into fixing Sub-Zero’s invisibility glitch is a short Twitter reply from early May that acknowledges the “report” of the bug. Kotaku contacted Warner Bros. for more information and has yet to receive a response. With regard to the inaugural installment of the Mortal Kombat 11 Pro Kompetition this weekend, Combo Breaker tournament organizer Rick Thiher told us that his event’s setups have not unlocked any additional taunts and should thus be insulated from the glitch affecting any tournament matches.
Bugs and glitches of this sort are very common in fighting games, not to mention video games in general. Where players had to learn to deal with them in classic releases like Street Fighter II and Marvel vs. Capcom 2, developers now have the opportunity to patch and update their games on the fly. NetherRealm Studios in particular has been very adamant about hotfixing previous installments of Mortal Kombat and Injustice on a regular basis, so it should only be a matter of time before Sub-Zero is back to normal in Mortal Kombat 11.
Highlight Reel is Kotaku’s regular roundup of great plays, stunts, records and other great moments from around the gaming world. If you record an amazing feat while playing a game (here’s how to record a clip), send it to us with a message confirming that the clip is yours at [email protected]Or, if you see a great clip around that isn’t yours, encourage that person to send it in!
Ronda Rousey: Trailblazer, UFC Hall of Famer, and WWE star. Ah, I forgot a couple of her accomplishments: She shared an inflammatory conspiracy video about the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre to her millions of Twitter followers and made transmisogynistic and outright asinine comments about transgender MMA fighter Fallon Fox. And as of Mortal Kombat 11, she’s the voice of iconic character Sonya Blade. Let’s take a moment to consider how messed up that is.
In 2013,Rousey shared a conspiracy video regarding the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that claimed 26 lives, including 20 children. The video suggested the massacre was a hoax carried out by the government. When called out about it, Rousey started by doubling down.
“I just figure asking questions and doing research is more patriotic than blindly accepting what you’re told,” she said in a reply on Twitter. The following day, she made another tweet saying that she “never meant to insult or hurt anyone” and that she was “sorry if anyone was offended.”
But it doesn’t stop at her sounding like a corporate bullshit apology bot. Take her comments regarding Fallon Fox. Fox is the first openly transgender MMA fighter in the sport’s history. She had undergone sex reassignment surgery in 2006 but received pushback against the idea that she could fight against other women. UFC president Dana White stated that he didn’t believe Fox should be allowed to fight other women. Former NFL defensive tackle and MMA fighter Matt Mitrione called Fox a “lying, sick, sociopathic, disgusting freak,” and was later suspended for his comments. Through all this, Rousey declined to fight Fox, insisting that her fellow fighter would have a physical advantage in the ring.
“She can try hormones, chop her pecker off, but it’s still the same bone structure a man has,” Rousey told The New York Post. “It’s an advantage. I don’t think it’s fair.” She also commented that she was glad the UFC didn’t “straight cut” Mitrione for his comments.
Thank the stars that Ronda got the pronouns right, I guess.
I didn’t write anything sooner because I thought that maybe I wouldn’t have to be the one writing this. As this piece was in the middle of being edited (I’ve been writing this over the course of two days) my peer Danielle Riendeau at Waypointpublished an article about Rousey’s involvement, which is heartening. Still, I wish it didn’t have to be queer folks speaking up. Where are our allies on this?
You know what I want to do? Play Mortal Kombat 11. But I would have to be wild to consider it. I’m not obligated to let bygones be bygones, and I’m just not going to. Rousey’s presence in Mortal Kombat 11 is unacceptable. Sonya could have been played by any number of capable actresses, but instead, NetherRealm stunt casted someone whose very presence makes many of my friends feel completely uncomfortable playing Mortal Kombat 11.
The Switch port of Mortal Kombat 11 plays like a champ but looks like jaggy ass. It’s pleasingly portable but incredibly finicky about its internet connection. I want the Switch version to be my go-to, but it keeps pushing me away.
As noted in my Mortal Kombat 11 review, I spent most of my time with Netherrealm Studios’ latest on the PlayStation 4. It’s the code the studio offered for my review copy, it’s the easiest version for me to capture for footage and screenshots, and the PlayStation 4 is in the living room, so my young children can wander in while I am playing and be traumatized for life. The PlayStation 4 version, along with the Xbox One version, was developed by Netherrealm directly, so it’s a good baseline for the game.
While Netherrealm worked on the PS4 and Xbox One versions, Miami-based Shiver Entertainment was working on the Switch version. It’s a semi-realtime port that is almost but not quite up-to-speed with the regular console version of Mortal Kombat 11. This slightly staggered development process might explain why the Switch release was delayed until May 10 in Europe, and why the North American version, released on April 23, was not feature complete on launch. One of my favorite features of Mortal Kombat 11, the character-specific tutorial lessons, were missing from the Switch version on its release day and got quietly added in over the weekend as part of a massive patch.
Performance-wise, the Switch version of Mortal Kombat is pretty amazing. The transition from pre-rendered cutscenes to gameplay may stutter, but once a match gets going, it nails that 60 frames per second target. Sacrifices were made to achieve that feat, of course. The visuals are fuzzy and jaggy. Draw distance is drastically reduced. Lighting effects are dialed way back, giving everything a slightly more drab appearance. This is all noticeable when I watch my gameplay footage, but I rarely notice these things during the heat of battle.
It does look bad, though. It looks like a tablet trying to emulate a console game, which given the Nintendo Switch’s relatively modest specs, isn’t that far off the mark. Between the game’s extreme violence and its demand on hardware, it’s amazing there’s a Nintendo port at all. But there is, and it plays quite well. That’s what matters.
The only time the graphical downgrade took a real toll was during the game’s Krypt, which is the vast, free-roaming adventure mode that serves as Mortal Kombat 11’s means of rewarding players with new skins, concept art, equipment and the like. The third-person action in this mode runs ridiculously poorly. The frame rate chugs. The draw distances are laughable.
Here’s a screenshot from the PC version of the Krypt.
And here is a shot from the same location on the Switch version.
That is some Nintendo 64 era fog in play.
Again, graphical compromise is to be expected on the Switch, and honestly, it doesn’t bother me too much. What truly gets me riled up about the Switch version of Mortal Kombat 11 is how this wonderfully portable version of a great fighting game is so tightly tethered to online servers. Like its PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 counterparts, Switch MK11 saves players’ progress and rewards to online servers. Winning battles, completing single-player towers, completing the story mode and even progressing through the game’s tutorial each require an online connection to be validated.
If a player disconnects while playing Mortal Kombat 11, they are warned that they will not earn rewards for progress until they are reconnected.
It’s not a huge issue when playing with an always online console. But the need to stay connected becomes a problem when playing on the Switch in portable mode, which is where I do most of my Switch game playing. For one, I can’t put the system into sleep mode, because it disconnects. If I am in the middle of going through a solo tower and I pause and put the Switch to sleep, I come back to a network error and get kicked back to the main menu.
What’s worse is once I disconnect, there is no easy way to reconnect. I’ve just been exiting out of the game completely and restarting it. This morning I found a workaround—trying to launch a local wireless match and then canceling it seems to get the game to connect to the internet again.
It’s little more than a mild frustration, but it does also go against the whole idea of having a game ported to the Switch. Sure, third-party games on the Switch might not be as pretty as they are on the Xbox One or PS4, but I can take them with me wherever I go and play hassle-free. That’s the idea, at least. That’s a little lost on Mortal Kombat 11.