January ended, but ended in style in the city of São Paulo thanks to a Mortal Kombat 11 event. Canaltech was present at the time and was able to check out the various activities, attractions and news, as well as chat with the main artist of scenarios from NetherRealm Studios, Thiago Gomes, and of course, test the new game in the saga.
The so-called Konvocation was a true celebration for fans of the franchise and featured countless game stations so everyone could have a taste of what’s to come in Mortal Kombat 11. There were also cosplays of various wanted characters from the series and booths with varied activities , including making a themed tattoo.
A tournament was also organized between some of the guests and the big winner would have the chance to confront the professional player Bruno Henrique de Sousa, better known in the fighting game community as “KillerXinok”. The championship was a great chance to test the game against other players.
A taste of what’s to come
Incidentally, all the game stations could be played against the CPU or against another person. There were 7 characters available: Baraka, Sonya Blade, Skarlet, Raiden, Sub-Zero and Scorpion, plus the “fresh meat” franchise, Geras, a servant of villain Kronika. As soon as it hits the eye in Mortal Kombat 11, it is possible to notice the graphical evolution of the game in relation to the previous ones, with more details and coloration leaping to the eyes.
The animations have also gained more presence during the fights: with each special stroke execution – when the player manages to execute a perfect hook, for example -, there is a brief cutscene in slow motion spicing up the battle even more. Not to mention the amount of punches and new combos for all the characters and the Variations system for each of them.
Variations are kinds of combat styles and each one directly affects how the character is controlled during matches, including their combos and hits. Unlike Mortal Kombat X, however, where there were only three Variations for each character, in the next title of the series players can create their own Variations, in addition to using the Variations that already come with the game.
This will offer a huge range of fighting styles, and given that there is still a character customization system where players can assign different clothes and punches to each doll, each Variation will be unique and this may in fact influence the course of matches. During testing at the event, however, this customization system was not available.
The mechanics have also been altered: the characters are slower and, although it causes a certain strangeness at first, it gives a certain “weight” to the character and the player really can feel the impact of the blows. The reason for this was purposeful: NetherRealm Studios wants players to feel more realism on the screen, so every detail counts.
Finally, in addition to the Fatalities and Brutalities, which remain spectacular and somehow even more bloodthirsty than ever, one of the novelties is Fatal Blow: the special sequence came to replace the X-ray and is activated when each of the dolls arrive to 30% energy. Interestingly, even if the opponent blocks the attack, the feature remains active until it is finally hit by the enemy. When it does, it starts a brutal cutscene that causes a considerable amount of damage.
Brazilians in the spotlight
Brazil loves Mortal Kombat and NetherRealm knows and recognizes this. So much that the game will come totally in Portuguese, counting on dubbing by the studio UniDub. In addition, there will be exclusive editions for Tupiniquim territory, starting with a premium edition with steelbook and a “Kombate Package” with exclusive items for the game.
The Nintendo Switch will also feature a national physical edition and Brazilians will be delighted by the very limited Kollector’s Edition, a more special edition for fans that offers the “Kombate Package”, a special steelcase together with a themed magnet, and is Of course, the most desired item in the bundle: a life-size helmet of the Scorpion character.
Finally, we also showed an immensely cute video of Ed Boon speaking Portuguese just to announce an exclusive skin for Brazil, the character Kano. He will win a “Kangaceiro” costume, in honor of the players and roots of our country. Will he also have a Fatality or a Custom Brutality when he is dressed like that?
Scooby-Doo, where are you, my son?
We also talked during the party with Thiago Gomes, the main scenario artist for NetherRealm Studios about seven years ago. In his resume, they include the first and second Injustice and Mortal Kombat X, and now he is also involved with Mortal Kombat 11.
At Canaltech, he said working on the new Mortal Kombat is pretty cool: “The game is very good. The fidelity, the realism in the scenery is great, I’m loving it. ” We also asked how it is to use the experience that was acquired with previous studio games for the next game in the franchise.
“[NetherRealm] has a philosophy. On my team it’s the same thing: every game has to make a good improvement. It can not be just an ‘improved’ bit. So if you compare Mortal Kombat X with 11, it does not even look like they’re from the same generation of consoles, “says Thiago. And the level of realism and detail does not stop there.
According to Thiago, all the characters had their faces scanned and for some of the scenarios, he and his team had to travel to take photos and be able to scan details of these places, such as rocks, for example. “That attention to detail and this level of realism helps. And that’s what we’re always trying to do. ”
From the MKX to the MK11, Thiago also commented that there have been improvements in the studio’s graphics engine, raising the level of realism for the new title’s visuals – including lighting. But of course, it was not only in this aspect that evolutions happened: the novelties extend to the mechanics of game as well.
“That’s the way the game is played,” he explained, guiding the conversation toward gameplay. He commented that the game was slower but justified this decision by stating that the idea is to instigate players to bring their characters closer to each other. “I’ve never been a game fan who gets a [character] on one side of the screen and the other person [on the other side] throwing things at each other,” said the artist.
As an example of this new philosophy of the game, Thiago quoted Baraka, his favorite character: “He is a character to play closely”. Asked why they decided to bring this character back, he explained that his return was more drawn to the story. “[On account of] Kronika and the sands of time and these old game characters [returning], he gave him back,” he explained. However, the artist could not reveal anything much beyond that, not even if we will see other old characters of the franchise.
In fact, Thiago could not answer even how many characters will be in total, besides those that have already been revealed. However, we asked what the inspiration for the new role model fighter in the series, Geras. “In a fight game time is so important … And having a character who can go back [or freeze] the weather is super cool,” he commented.
To finish on Geras, Thiago also added that he liked the design of the doll and stated that the purpose of creating it is also related to the history of the game. But if you have a character that players really want to see in the new Mortal Kombat it’s Scooby-Doo’s Shaggy.
“I do not know anything about Sausage. The people are asking, they’re crazy about the Sausage! “Said Thiago, confirming that NetherRealm is aware of the meme and that he found the initiative very fan friendly. And about Kano cangaceiro, we questioned if there are chances of winning a scenario inspired in the Brazilian northeast to complete the homage.
“It’s possible, but I can not confirm anything by the hour,” Thiago said during the interview. Will we have an inspired and dedicated setting for the Kano cangaceiro in Mortal Kombat 11? Only time will tell.
Mortal Kombat 11 is scheduled to launch on April 23, 2019 on the Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.