Mortal Kombat 11is on its way even sooner than anyone expected. With a release date set for April 23rd, with the series eleventh entry coming to Xbox One and PlayStation 4, new details about the story, roster and fighting systems are beginning to come forward. 

The story shall bring time traveling elements back into the series as different eras of ‘Kombatants’ collide to stop a brand-new threat to the realms. The time altering duo of Kronika and Geras appear to be the center of attention in much of the early looks we’ve seen. Returning fighters like Raiden, Scorpion, Sonya Blade (voiced by MMA legend Ronda Rousey), and more will be all that stand in their way. 

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One of the most interesting features added to this addition of the franchise is the return of Injustice 2’s “gear system.” Instead of having traditional unlockable costumes for one’s fighter, numerous different clothing or armor sets will be available for tons of customization. This is a feature I’m really glad to have transfer from NeatherRealm’s DC Comics propertyInjustice. A gear system allows for endless replayability for fans of the series to unlock more and more different looks for their favorite characters and make them their own (My black and silver armored Superman was a force in Injustice 2).

Some fans might be upset that they will not be able to choose between the three different “fight variations” that were included for each fighter in Mortal Kombat X, but it would appear that this system has been streamlined for the better. With a promise for a more customizable move set, one can choose how they want their Raiden to play, instead of settling for what special moves and abilities they are given. 

This level of independence is new for fighting games and I wonder how online play, or actual tournament play for that matter, will balance the variations in available techniques. If the 2017 Injustice 2’s formula is to continue to be followed, then it is likely that players competing in actual E-Sports will have to play with the default settings provided. The same would likely be true for ranked online matches. 

Another interesting change is splitting the “special meter” into two across the screen. Now if one is looking to use a “Kombo Breaker” to stop a seemingly never end torrent of attacks, you don’t have to sacrifice the built-up meter that allows the use of the awesome X-Ray attacks. This might sound like a minor change, but the strategic way in which players have used this bar carefully became essential for success at the highest levels.

One thing is certain. MK 11is going to be one of the most action packed and bloody fighting games we’ve seen in a while.