“Kombat League” is an all-new seasonal ranked mode in which players compete over the course of four weeks to earn exclusive in-game items. Teased in Mortal Kombat 11’s multiplayer menu since the game launched in late April, the first Kombat League season starts *checks watch* tomorrow. Oh dear.
Powerful sorcerer, vile betrayer and all-around not nice guy, Shang Tsung returns in Mortal Kombat 11 as a downloadable fighter. Sporting both the voice and the look of Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, the actor who famously portrayed him in 1995’s Mortal Kombat movie, this version of Shang Tsung’s got the moves and magic to…
According to reports from Deadline, Warner Bros. announced that the new Mortal Kombat movie will be released on March 5, 2021. As of right now, this will go directly head-to-head with Sony and Mattel’s Masters of the Universe which was recently pushed back to this date as well.
The film is still slated to be produced by James Wan and will be directed by newcomer Simon McQuoid – a veteran and acclaimed commercial director for various companies such as Playstation, Duracell, and Nissan.
The film has started pre-production in South Australia, with no further details on cast or plot. Time will tell if the March 5th, 2021 date holds firm, but it’s a very positive sign to see James Wan and Warner Bros. still moving forward with a new Mortal Kombat movie.
adamDMK’s Thoughts: A quick op-ed piece from yours truly. I’m super excited to finally see some concrete news on the next Mortal Kombat movie. The media aspects of Mortal Kombat, which marries the deep lore and history from the video games to the exciting characters and martial arts action is one of my favorite things about this franchise.
James Wan is a super-talented filmmaker, and I feel he can get his vision across properly. Also, curious to see what Simon McQuoid can offer. Looking through his resume of the commercials he’s filmed, some of them iconic even, I feel the movie is in very good hands. However, as we’ve recently seen with season 8 of GoT, your film can be stylistically and visually amazing, but if the plot is contrived, nonsensical, and cheesy – it won’t matter how great the film looks. James Wan has expressed a desire to do things right – so here’s hoping the previous plot “leaks” were just fan created and we get a proper adaptation of the Mortal Kombat story.
I’m a bit skeptical though – and given how the timelines and storyline in the Mortal Kombat video games are a bit “all over the place” if you will, Warner Bros. might play it safe and combine recent storylines and give in to fan service – which may or may not work well. Keeping in mind Warner Bros. recent track record of handling the Justice League and Suicide Squad franchises in particular, I’m very cautious to see how things will play out. I’m hoping my skepticism turns into a sigh of relief and we get a fun, popcorn movie with all of our favorite Kombatants and a coherent story.
Last thing I’ll say, I still feel strongly that a movie is not the proper medium for Mortal Kombat. Come @ me bro! Telling a story this complex with all of the lore in less than 120 minutes does not do the franchise justice, and we end up with a contrived mess. It CAN be done right, as we’ve seen Threshold and Paul W.S. Anderson having the right idea in 1995 – streamlining the plot and action sequences. It wasn’t rocket science then though either – good guys versus bad guys, fighting in an ancient martial arts tournament to determine the fate of the world. Couple that with awesome fight scenes and (at the time) groundbreaking visuals – and cast it correctly with decent actors, you have the recipe for a fun summer popcorn flick.
With the above being said, the lore and history of Mortal Kombat has grown exceptionally large since the 1995 film, so simplifying the story probably wouldn’t sit right with the current younger generation of fans, who’ve grown up on MK9, MKX, and MK11’s rich stories. I feel these fans will influence Warner Bros. much more than the “weathered” fans who’ve been with the franchise since the early 90s.
What exactly am I getting at? The 2010’s have shown that serial television shows are extremely popular and profitable. With the proper showrunners, some of these become masterpieces even. We’re truly in the golden age of serial television. Mortal Kombat absolutely needs to be a serial show.
I think Kevin Tancharoen had the right idea with Mortal Kombat: Legacy. I just think he was handcuffed by a lower budget and time restraints, but he was able to get the true spirit of Mortal Kombat and a lot of the lore and history down pat in basically 190 minutes of content. He mostly hit on a lot of his casting choices (namely in Season 2) as well. However, imagine 8-10 hours of content per season? With a budget much larger than Legacy’s? See where I’m getting at here?
I think Warner Bros. is missing something here. Why not have a Mortal Kombat serialized show be the crown jewel of their new WarnerMedia streaming service? Or if they were going for a more mature audience – throw it on HBO, one of their subsidiaries. I feel HBO might be a bit more of an adamDMK fantasy, but it’s still a viable option for Warner Bros. Unless it was a complete flop and utter failure, I feel a serialized show would be a more realistic long term money maker and revenue stream since movie adaptations of video games are still so hit or miss. I mean think of all the successful recent serialized shows and how they work so well as shows with hours of content as opposed to 100-minute movies. Cobra Kai? Mr. Robot? Stranger Things even?
This would also help not having to go all in on the movie – as the budget for a movie demands immediate returns to be profitable. With a serialized show, the first season can have a “lower budget” in relative terms, with a more focused plot and cast. Say the first season is just establishing your key characters, giving context to their backstories, and have it be based on the first Mortal Kombat game (or first part of MK9). If successful, the scope of show can increase over the next few seasons and additional characters, worlds, and plot threads can be introduced.
I completely understand this is just me talking out of my butt here, but like I said I have felt strongly about a Mortal Kombat serialized show for awhile now. Either way, cheers to James Wan and company putting together something fun for all of us varying Mortal Kombat fans.
- 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.
- 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.
While it got off to a bumpy start, Mortal Kombat 11 seems to be doing just fine.
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.
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.