Mortal Kombat 11, One Month Later

It’s been one month since the release of Mortal Kombat 11. One month of arguing over microtransactions. One month of nightmare-inducing violence. One month of cringing every time Sonya Blade opens her mouth. The first month of what’s sure to be years of very good fighting. Here’s what happened in that month.
  • 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.
  • The Test Your Might post was aggregated on Reddit shortly after it was posted, becoming a warning to players about Mortal Kombat 11‘s “draconian” grind walls. The post suggested the random Krypt rewards and difficult challenges were purposefully designed to steer players towards real-money microtransactions. In reality, the game’s microtransactions turned out to be pretty reasonable.
The game’s premium shop features five rotating items for sale every 24 hours.
  • 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.

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It’s much easier to earn in-game kurrency to unlock items in the Krypt now than it was at launch.

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While it got off to a bumpy start, Mortal Kombat 11 seems to be doing just fine.

Sub-Zero Can Turn Invisible In Mortal Kombat 11 With A Very Specific Glitch

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.

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Players found evidence of the bug right after Mortal 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.

Ian Walker loves fighting games and loves writing about them even more. You can find him on Twitter at @iantothemax.

‘I’d Have These Extremely Graphic Dreams’: What It’s Like To Work On Ultra-Violent Games Like Mortal Kombat 11

Mortal Kombat 11 is a brutal game. That’s what you come for—sensational, over-the-top violence that’s inventive and gratuitous on a level that doesn’t exist anywhere else. It can be shocking in its detail and funny in its execution, but it’s always arresting. It’s also short. Fatalities, gory, physically improbable…

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