Quick, who would win in a fight, Johnny Cage or Johnny Cage? That is not a trick question—a new trailer for Mortal Kombat 11
pits old school and new school versions of iconic fighters against one another, and it looks to be a bone-crunching good time. That is, if you are into the kind of violence that Mortal Kombat is known for.
Mortal Kombat wrote the book on graphic violence in fighting games. Back when it was a thing, I remember shoving quarters into an arcade cabinet to play the original Mortal Kombat, which featured realistic looking (at the time) sprites and delightful blood splatters. It offered a similar experience to Street Fighter, that other fighting game that has stood the test of time, but was also completely different.
Now almost three decades later, Mortal Kombat 11 is getting ready to land on consoles and PC. Far removed from Midway Games, the series is now being developed by NetherRealm Studios and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.
Timelines will clash in the newest installment, as combatants meet past versions of themselves. It is over-the-top and ridiculous, of course, and totally befitting of Mortal Kombat, which has always featured over-the-top gameplay. From pools of blood to gruesome fatalities, Mortal Kombat unabashedly takes brawls to the extreme.
The developers also deserve huge props for getting Ice Cube and Vince Staples to provide two distinct soundtracks for the trailer, underscoring the old school versus new school theme. Nearly 30 years ago, I would have been firmly in the new school camp. Now in my 40s, however, I'm decidedly old school.
I'm also not alone—in a poll on Twitter, the official account for Mortal Kombat 11 asked who players would choose, "Old Skool Johnny" or "New School Johnny." The former currently has the lead, at 61 percent versus 39 percent.
Mortal Kombat is currently available to pre-order on console and PC. Those who pre-order for PlayStation 4 or Xbox One can participate in a close beta ahead of the game's launch. In North America, the beta kicks off Wednesday, March 27 at 8 am PT (11 am ET)
and ends Monday, April 1, at 11:59 pm PT (2:59 am ET April 2)
. See this FAQ
for dates and times in other areas, and other info about the beta.
You can pre-order the game from the following links:
Mortal Kombat 11 releases to console and PC on April 23, 2019.