×
Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Things You Won't Be Able To Do In Mortal Kombat 11

With over 22 titles released in the series over the years, the Mortal Kombat franchise doesn't show any signs of slowing down. Since its initial announcement trailer was dropped in December 2018, fans of the ultraviolent fighting game series have been hungry for any details surrounding the upcoming Mortal Kombat 11Who's on the roster? What kind of Fatalities can be pulled off? Will it include Shaggy? (Sadly, no.)

While all of those are valid questions, perhaps the more important question is: what will be removed from this installment? What will be taking the place of the old mechanics? And how will this affect the overall gameplay experience of MK11? Well, to answer the first question: there will be many things from previous MK entries that won't be carrying over into 11. The good news is that this has been consciously done by NetherRealm Studios in order to ensure that the franchise stays fresh for longtime fans.

As MK series creator and NetherRealm's creative director Ed Boon explained, "I think the big thing is we always want to introduce change. The last thing we want to do is take the last game and just kind of reskin it with better graphics, and then people play it and realize that it's the same game as before."

If you'd like to know about some of the things you shouldn't expect when playing Mortal Kombat 11, then test your might and proceed.

The Super Meter is no more

Mortal Kombat (2011) and Mortal Kombat X featured a Super Meter (sometimes referred to as the EX bar) that allowed fighters to pull off different kinds of supermoves, depending on how full the meters were. The Super Meter has been replaced by two different meters in the new game, one for Offense and another for Defense. 

DualShockers explains, "Say I want to lengthen a combo, I can spend a bar of offense stamina and get some more damage that way. Or say I want to break up a combo and counter, I can just spend a defense stamina bar." 

These changes will likely encourage quite a bit more strategy than the simpler Super Meter and will no doubt spark debate in the competitive community. However, more casual players will likely miss the ability to charge up their Super Meter and deploy a bonkers X-Ray Move.

Oh, speaking of X-Ray Moves ...

X-Ray Moves have been replaced

X-Ray Moves (or X-Ray Attacks) were hyper-violent attacks that could previously be pulled off with a fully-charged Super Meter. They have proven to be pretty popular among fans, so with that in mind, it should be interesting to see how they react to the mechanic replacing X-Rays: Fatal Blows.

As explained by Game Revolution, Fatal Blows "become available when a character is below 30 percent health. These moves can change the tide of battle, but if missed can leave players open to punishment." In other words, they require a bit more strategy than X-Rays, but they can really help a Kombatant come back from the edge of defeat.

In an interview with Twin Galaxies, NeatherRealm Studios Senior Designer Brian Lebaron explained why they ditched the X-Ray Moves, saying, "One thing that we did not really like was that it took so long, and we want [these attacks] to be really quick and instant."

It will be exciting to see how many close matches this new mechanic will lead to. One of the most exhilarating things to watch in competitive play is when a player manages to make a strong comeback during a fight that hasn't been going their way. Fatal Blows look to be a new way of doing that very thing.

Also, for the gorehounds in the MK community, don't fret: they're just as intense as X-Rays were.

There's nowhere to run

That's right, Mortal Kombat 11 will not feature running.

In an interview with Game InformerEd Boon explained that this was done to create more of an emphasis on maintaining neutral ground and close-quarters fighting. He explained, "In Mortal Kombat X, it was way more of like a rushdown, get in the guy's face, run up to them, make them guess high or low. So we're really holding back on that, and making it more strategic."

While the inability to run will quite literally be a change of pace, it will also encourage players to fight a little more defensively, rather than going at their opponent gung-ho. This alteration will also be more likely to encourage players to learn and embrace the new Defense and Offense Meters. 

This change is certain to ruffle the feathers of gamers who really embraced the more ferocious, high-octane action of Mortal Kombat X. However, it could also be a great way for NetherRealm to welcome in more casual gamers, folks who are more familiar with the franchise's classic installments and may be intimidated by the speed of the more recent games.

Don't expect Injustice-style Gear upgrades

NetherRealm's Injustice 2 featured a loot box system that was new to the DC Universe fighting series. These boxes contained gear that allowed players to customize their characters' physical appearance and costumes, as well as augment their preexisting abilities. For example, you could equip Batman with some new Kryptonite-laced gauntlets which could afford him a boost to his damage and defense.

While gear will be available in Mortal Kombat 11, Trevor Traub of NetherRealm Studios has revealed that it will be strictly for appearances. In an interview with Xbox WireTraub explained that "the gear itself has no stats. It's cosmetic-only."

Instead, players will have access to "augments," which Traub explains will be upgrades used to "modify either moves or gameplay or recovery windows ... So, the gear itself is the cosmetic component, and then the augments are all different types of loot you can get throughout the game." This will allow gamers to have the look they want without sacrificing their preferred stat boost.

Separating the two components seems to be a way for NetherRealm to learn from the missteps they made with Injustice 2's loot system. As Ed Boon explained to GameSpot, "We really wanted to have it so you can't buy your way to a better character." 

It's hard to find fault with that concept. And just so it's clear: those augments will not make their way into online matches.

Your juggling days are over

Juggle combos are performed when you spike your opponent into the air and then manage to hit them again (and again and again) before they land. Depending on what side of one of these combos you're on, they're either awesome or an absolute plague that sucks the fun out of fighting games.

Speaking with GameCrate, Paolo Garcia, Mortal Kombat 11's advanced designer, explained some of the changes being implemented to gameplay that would prevent the kind of infinite combos that have dominated the series' last few entries. "A lot of our moves will have it so this move can only be done once in a combo, and stuff like that. So that's generally how we try to prevent infinite [combos]," said Garcia. "But there will still be juggles, and it's still the MK style. It's almost trying to go back to MK2 and style instead of the big long combos." 

Basically, MK11 will necessitate major changes of strategy for players who have counted on juggling and dash moves for their wins.

You won't hear some familiar voices

At the official Mortal Kombat 11 reveal, Ronda Rousey was announced as the new voice and motion-capture actress for series mainstay Sonya Blade, replacing Tricia Helfer in the role. However, the decision to recast many of the Kombatants sadly came as a shock to some actors who had been playing them for years.

For example, one of the earliest rumblings of the possibility that Mortal Kombat 11 was even in development came from the Twitter feed of Eduardo Garza. Garza, perhaps best known for his voice role as Krillin in the Spanish language dub of Dragon Ball and its related series, revealed that he would no longer be voicing Kung Lao or Reptile.

Meanwhile, Patrick Seitz, who has been voicing Scorpion since 2008's Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe, didn't realize he had been recast until the first teaser trailer was dropped for Mortal Kombat 11. On his Twitter feed, Seitz shared the official MK Twitter's post of the trailer, commenting, "Well, that's a hell of a way to find out I'm not voicing Scorpion in MK11 ..."

Seitz later added, "After a ten-year relationship with a character, a call or an e-mail giving me a heads-up that my run was ending would have been a very easy kindness to grant." 

It'll likely be a bit of an adjustment for gamers to hear a different voice coming from their favorite characters, but it seems like even more of an unpleasant surprise for the actors themselves. 

(Don't) show 'em your moves

There have been a few changes to competitive play, seemingly done to course-correct from some issues NetherRealm had with Injustice 2. As Trevor Traub explains to Xbox Wire, online play in Mortal Kombat 11 is "not quite like Injustice 2 — your stat changes won't all be in play online, but the cosmetic choices will be seen by other players."

Paulo Garcia elaborated a bit on this in his chat with GameCrate, saying, "you get to just set your character variation the way you want. But when you play in competitive mode or tournament mode there will be a pre-set set of moves ... you'll play with pre-set variations that we've defined."

This essentially means that you can make your character look as cool as you want, but customized move-sets will not be carried over into competitive play. While this will likely annoy quite a few players who enjoy deeply customizing their characters for the competitive scene, it will also ensure a bit more of an even playing field. It may also encourage competitive players to get comfortable with characters other than their usual "mains."

Want to play as Kronika? Too bad.

Introduced in the story trailer for Mortal Kombat 11 as "the guardian of time," Kronika is notable for a few reasons. For one, she's the first female boss character in the franchise's history. For another, she seemingly has vast powers over the flow of time itself, which makes her more than a match for Raiden and the gang. And lastly, much like Shang Tsung in the first game, you can't play as Kronika.

While this puts Kronika out of the ring for the main game, that doesn't necessarily mean she won't become available down the line, perhaps in the form of a DLC. While new Kombatant Geras displays how a time-manipulating character plays in a Mortal Kombat match, it would certainly be interesting to see what Kronika would do differently. Would she be quicker, more lithe than the brutish Geras? 

Only time will tell (no pun intended), but the answers don't look to be coming in the standard version of Mortal Kombat 11.

There's no way to turn the gore off

Though violence has been a staple of the series since the early days, some fans have actually found themselves a little turned off by the evolving realism of the gore. In an editorial for Kotaku UK, journalist Ian Dransfield wrote, "Maybe I'm old, maybe it's the graphical fidelity that puts me off — there's a distinction between the blocky, pixellated, B-movie style spinal cords ripped out of the original Mortal Kombat and seeing someone's internal organs slapped in front of the camera in vivid detail."

This is a fair point. It's also fair to wonder if NetherRealm would consider providing an option to play the game without the excessive gore. Well, the answer to that is a resounding "NOPE." In an interview with GameSpot, Ed Boon explained why they're forgoing a "bloodless" option for the game, saying, "Usually, somebody who buys a game called Mortal Kombat, that's had this history of whatever, they kind of know what they're getting. So it's kind of like, 'Let's make a G-rated version of The Godfather.' People are gonna say it doesn't work."

To be fair, a G-rated version of The Godfather would be hilarious.

You won't be playing the beta if you don't own a PS4 or Xbox One

Poor PC and Switch players. In a move that likely feels quite similar to a split-punch from Jonny Cage, the closed beta for Mortal Kombat 11 will not be available on those platforms. While everyone preordering the game will receive Outworld Emperor Shao Kahn as a playable character, WB Games have made one thing clear: "The beta for Mortal Kombat 11 will only be available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 4 Pro, Xbox One, and Xbox One X."

There's no official word on whether this is somehow related to the reported "special geometry reductions" that are being done to Mortal Kombat 11's Switch version, which were necessitated by the Switch's graphical limitations. Hopefully it's not an early warning sign that the Nintendo Switch release of Mortal Kombat 11 could actually be delayed. Even if that were the case, it still wouldn't account for the lack of a PC beta. Whatever the reasoning, it's definitely a disappointing turn of events for MK fans who were looking forward to an early taste of the new installment.

The beta is scheduled to kick off March 28, 2019.