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Mortal Kombat 11: Roster, Trailers, Release Date and More

Mortal Kombat is back, and it's bigger, bolder and bloodier than ever.

Mortal Kombat 11 looks to push the iconic fighting game franchise forward with a fully revamped combat system, a bold time-traveling story mode and an unprecedented level of character customization. And with a new, strikingly realistic graphics engine, you can expect some of the most jaw-droppingly gory fatalities the franchise has ever seen.

Here’s everything we know so far about Mortal Kombat 11, from its roster and new game mechanics to its plethora of new, stomach-turning finishing moves.

When does Mortal Kombat 11 come out? Which versions can I buy?

Mortal Kombat 11 will launch on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch on April 23, 2019, and will cost $60. You can also opt for a $99 Premium Edition of the game, which gets you a steelbook case and a Kombat Pack that grants access to upcoming DLC characters.

Mortal Kombat 11
Mortal Kombat 11

If you really want to go all-out, you can pick up the GameStop-exclusive $299 Kollector’s Edition, which gets you the Premium Edition of the game, a steelbook case and magnet, a to-scale statue of Scorpion’s mask and a special collector’s box.

What’s new with Mortal Kombat 11’s gameplay?

Mortal Kombat 11’s gameplay has been overhauled significantly from its previous iterations, with a more deliberate pace and a more accessible approach to special techniques.

Gone is the traditional super meter that fills up as you dole out and take damage. Instead, you now have two separate meters that you spend on offensive and defensive techniques, both of which start off full and refill automatically. Mortal Kombat 11 also introduces Crushing Blows, which are stronger versions of standard attacks that you can trigger under specific conditions, such as when you land a counter-hit, or when you perform a move several times in a row.

The game’s famously grotesque X-Ray super moves have been reworked as Fatal Blows. Whereas X-Rays required you to have a full super meter, Fatal Blows can only be performed when you’re at 30 percent health or lower, making them a strong comeback mechanic. The catch? You get to perform only one Fatal Blow per match, meaning you’ll have to choose between spending it on an early round or waiting until the last possible moment.

Other notable changes include the removal of the run mechanic from Mortal Kombat X, as well as a new “Flawless Block” that allows you to recover quicker and perform a counter-attack if you guard against an attack with perfect timing.

What kind of customization options are there?

Mortal Kombat 11 promises an unprecedented level of character customization, both aesthetically and in terms of gameplay.

The game builds on Mortal Kombat X’s Variations system with new Custom Character Variations. In addition to being able to choose from three distinct playstyles for each character, you can also make your own, mixing and matching moves and attributes as you see fit.

Mortal Kombat 11 also seems to take a cue from Injustice 2’s gear system, allowing you to fully customize your fighter’s look and feel with a variety of different clothing items and weapons. You'll even be able to customize each individual gear piece with special augments, though it's not yet clear how this will affect gameplay, or how the system will be balanced for competitive play. Eiither way, when you hop online, there’s a good chance that your Scorpion is going to look very different from your opponent’s.

What’s the story in Mortal Kombat 11?

Mortal Kombat 11 picks up right after the ending of Mortal Kombat X, which sees a team led by Sonya Blade, Johnny Cage and Raiden finally defeat the nefarious elder god Shinnok. Raiden becomes corrupted during the battle, and goes on to behead and imprison Shinnok, while vowing to violently wipe out all remaining threats to Earthrealm.

However, just after Shinnok is imprisoned, he is visited by Kronika, a mysterious sorceress who appears to have the ability to manipulate time and change the course of history. According to Kronika, Raiden has upset the balance of good and evil in the universe, and it needs to be set straight.

A newer story trailer from March 2018, sheds more light on the narrative, as Kronika appears to be amassing an army of outworld warriors past and present (which includes the likes of Erron Black and Shao Kahn) in order to tip the scales back in favor of the bad guys.

This sets the stage for fun time-travel story, as we see younger versions of characters like Liu Kang and Kung Lao show up to face their older, more evil selves while forging surprising alliances with baddies like Kotal Khan. We even get a glimpse of an older Johnny Cage teaming up with his younger self to stop Kronika's forces, which is guaranteed to produce some hilarious exchanges.

The game's more recent "Old Skool vs. New Skool" trailer dives even deeper into the time travel madness, as we see old Johnny Cage nut-punch young Kano back to the 90s and watch as two versions of series staple Jax face off. What will Kronicka’s time-bending deeds mean for the future of the MK universe? We’ll have to wait until April to find out.

Mortal Kombat 11 roster: Which characters are in it?

Mortal Kombat 11’s current confirmed (konfirmed?) roster consists largely of returning characters like Scorpion, Sub-Zero and Johnny Cage as well as a few newcomers. Kronika is the game’s main antagonist and the first female main villain in Mortal Kombat history. She is served by Geras, a powerful grappler who can manipulate time and create structures out of sand, leading to some truly creative and deadly throw and projectile attacks.

Also new to the Mortal Kombat 11 roster is Cetrion, an elder god who has the ability to control the elements (and has one epic Fatality, shown in this exclusive Game Informer trailer). There's also a The Kollector, a four-armed outworld warrior who has a knack for hoarding skulls.

Here’s the full known Mortal Kombat 11 roster so far, based on official trailers and announcements:

  • Baraka
  • Cassie Cage
  • Cetrion
  • D'Vorah
  • Erron Black
  • Geras
  • Jax
  • Jacqui Briggs
  • Johnny Cage
  • Kabal
  • Kano
  • Kitana
  • Kollector
  • Kronika
  • Kitana
  • Kotal Kahn
  • Kung Lao
  • Liu Kang
  • Noob Saibot
  • Scorpion
  • Shang Tsung (DLC)
  • Shao Kahn (pre-order bonus)
  • Skarlet
  • Sonya Blade
  • Sub-Zero
  • Raiden

What modes are in Mortal Kombat 11?

We don’t yet have all the details about Mortal Kombat 11’s modes, but it seems safe to expect the usual plethora of content you get from a NetherRealm game. There will once again be a cinematic story mode. Single-player towers will return in the form of Towers of Time, which consists of rotating, randomized challenges, and Klassic Towers, which let you fight your way through a traditional arcade ladder. In the same video, creative director Ed Boon also promises that Mortal Kombat 11 will have improved online matchmaking compared to previous games.

A screenshot of the game’s main menu hints at four key types of modes: Konquer (longer single-player modes), Fight (quick online and offline fights), Kustomize (for customizing characters) and Learn (for training).

How about those fatalities?

It just wouldn’t be Mortal Kombat without Fatalities, and Mortal Kombat 11 already looks to have some of the grossest, most over-the-top finishing moves in series history. Some early highlights include Sonya Blade shooting fighters into the sky until your head is chopped off by a helicopter rotor, and Baraka straight-up ripping an opponent's face off.

Speedster Kabal drags his enemies to death in hilariously gruesome fashion, and Johnny Cage's fourth-wall-breaking, movie-inspired deadly uppercut might just be the best finisher yet. You can see more delightfully deadly finishers in the trailer below:

Should I buy Mortal Kombat 11?

We’ll have to get our hands on Mortal Kombat 11 to render a final verdict, but if NetherRealm’s track record is any indication, the latest MK game could be the best yet. Recent NetherRealm releases Mortal Kombat X and Injustice 2 are both excellent fighting games with polished story modes, engaging combat systems and tons of content for both casual and competitive players,. We expect MK11 to be no different.

Credit: WB Games

Michael Andronico

Mike Andronico is Senior Writer at CNNUnderscored and was formerly Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. When not at work, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter, devouring Twitch streams and trying to convince people that Hawkeye is the best Avenger.