We’re so close to the release of Mortal Kombat 11 you can almost taste it. And it tastes a little like copper. With the game less than a week from launch, developer NetherRealm Studios has been ramping up its promotion engine. Yesterday it was the reveal of the Mortal Kombat Pro Kompetition. Today, it’s all about…shoes? Wait, what? No! Today it’s all about the big man: the fallen emperor of Outworld himself, Shao Kahn, who graced us with a reveal trailer.
Shao Kahn is back, baby. I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to that reveal trailer than a cheesy rock ballad and Shao getting all snarky with Raiden. Shao Kahn was introduced back in Mortal Kombat II in 1992 as the series’ big bad. He’s been playable here and there throughout the series, but he wasn’t around for Mortal Kombat X. You know, what with him being dead and all. But with this latest iteration, death once again has no meaning — Shao Kahn has returned, and he’s likely gunning to take the Outworld throne back from Kotal Kahn.
As far as his moveset goes, Shao Kahn is once again your heavy hitter. He doesn’t have much in the way of combo strings from what I gathered with the reveal trailer. Shao’s modus operandi is instead to hit as hard as he can with his enormous warhammer or spear, plus use command grabs to further the pain. His classic shoulder charge is back (naturally), which he can use in short, punchy combos. He can also taunt in his usual fashion, calling his opponent out or simply laughing with his hands on his hips, as he is wont to do. What the taunts accomplish beyond humiliating his opponent isn’t quite clear yet.
I wouldn’t say Shao Kahn’s fatality is the best in the game so far, but damn is it effective. He uses his hammer to crumple his opponent into a prostrating position — appropriate. Then, he knocks his opponent’s head and attached spine right out of their back like a golf ball. Like a golf ball.
Blood In The Water
The reveal trailer also briefly teased a stage I haven’t seen yet. It’s absolutely gorgeous and probably stands as my favorite stage yet. It’s a night stage, with a glowing blue pond and a stone staircase that leads into a valley. Surrounding the pool are enormous stone dragons with blue water flowing from their mouths. If anyone asks me if Mortal Kombat 11 includes some of the best stages from the entire series, I would gladly point to this one.
There won’t be a Kombat Kast this week, sadly, as NetherRealm is busy with promotional events. However, there will be one next week on Monday, the day before the game comes out. Most likely, the team will give us a closer look at Shao Kahn on that day.
Mortal Kombat 11 comes out for PC on April 23. Shao Kahn, however, will only be available to those who pre-order the game. At least, for a little while.