Guest writer Michael Dehoyos brings his view on NetherRealm Studios’ Innovations to NerdBastards.
NetherRealm Studios excited may disparate groups when it announced its plans for Mortal Kombat 11 (MK11), the latest installment in the now legendary fighting game. Not only does it seem that the game will appeal to hardcore fans, as well as to many of the game’s more recent converts and gaming enthusiasts, the award-winning developer is also reaching out to long-lost friends: those Kombat players who may have left the game as a nostalgic part of their past.
So with its release set for April 23rd, here is how NetherRealm Studios plans to get casual players on board with MK11:
An opportunity to compete.
Perhaps the biggest stumbling block to attracting causal players is the game’s reputation of being ultra-competitive, and therefore not a welcoming place for newbies. The developers have understood this and sought a number of innovations which will allow new and causal players access to the game, and the opportunity to actually win contests and build their rankings. The single-player mode is rich on tasks and techniques that will surely see players begin to grasp what it takes to become a better fighter in multi-player modes.
A touch of celeb
Ronda Rousey needs little introduction: a former wrester and MMA star, as well as more recently an actress and author, Rousey’s appeal is big, and in many ways she is a natural fit for Mortal Kombat with her history in combat sports. Rousey makes her debut here in a AAA video game, providing the voice for Sonya Blade, who will surely prove to be one of the most popular female characters in franchise history. And who knows, if another live action offering is in the pipeline, who better than to bring the character to screen?
“With such a wide appeal, bringing Ronda on board is a really smart move by NetherRealm Studios. She already has such a strong sense of appeal, and added to the popularity and potential of the Mortal Kombat market, this looks like a match made in heaven,” enthuses Robin Whiteside, a business writer at Australia2write and Nextcoursework.
Rich on story-telling
Another element of the game which is surely set to bring wider appeal is the story-telling nature of the game, which has seen the creation of a rich, fictional world of drama and in-depth character backgrounds. The story mode can continue on beyond 8 hours of gameplay, which is a serious addition to the fight mode, and a number of cut scenes and character interactions that the team have clearly developed through the influence of games such as Injustice 2 will see a whole new set of fans flock to the franchise.
Perhaps the very reason Mortal Kombat became so popular was because of the gory ways in which fighters were put out of their misery “Finish him” became a popular battle cry across school yards (and was one of the reasons that the game contributed so heavily to the inception of the Entertainment Software Rating Board in 1994 to control access to the new wave of video games).
Brutality remains an integral concept in MK11, but whereas the X-ray style offerings of MK10 have gone, the new approach is a slo-mo approach to the decapitations, eviscerations and disembowelments which have become a hallmark of the series. Enthusiasts of the sheer barbarity of the finishing moves will be sure to love the latest offerings.
One of the new innovations which will surely prove to be a hit with all players is the ability to customize nearly everything across the game. As well as skins and clothing, weapons can also be customized and many of these can influence game play across the different modes. Similarly, but restricted only to online contests which are agreed upon beforehand, Augments can be used to influence the gameplay of individual characters.
And perhaps the most exciting customizable feature is the ability to change three of the ten moves that each fighter can perform. “This will surely prove to be one of the most-talked about innovations. Players will note the ability to confuse opponents with customizable plans of attack. It’s a great feature,” enthuses Summer Keohane, a game blogger at Britstudent and Writemyx.
These customizable features promise an exciting entry point for new or casual players who can set up their fighters in a way that suits them best, and is a smart way of broadening the game’s appeal to the causal market.
Content marketer and gaming enthusiast Micahel Dehoyos is usually found assisting organizations in their digital marketing approach. He is an editor at PHDKingdom and Academicbrits, and a regular contributor to Originwritings.