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Mortal Kombat 11's first gameplay footage: new fatalities, characters revealed

Mortal Kombat 11 is pairing its familiar ultraviolence with more character customization.

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Raiden is looking pretty dark in Mortal Kombat 11.

NetherRealm Studios; screenshot by CNET

We got our first taste of Mortal Kombat 11 gameplay as footage teasing the game's new characters, fatalities and story was revealed at a live event Thursday.

Developer NetherRealm Studios also showed off the story prologue and some delightfully violent fatalities -- including a variant on Sub Zero's klassic head-and-spine rip.

In terms of the characters, we saw Baraka, Sonya Blade (now played by WWE champion Ronda Rousey), Scorpion, Sub Zero, Raiden (who's gone a little dark), Skarlet and new fighter Geras -- seven of the 25 slots on the selection screen.

Now playing: Watch this: Mortal Kombat 11: Everything we learned from its debut...
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We also got a hint that Kabal, the masked, hooksword-wielding ex-mercenary first seen in Mortal Kombat 3, will return. The character was seen dashing across the screen while NetherRealm Community Manager Tyler Lansdown was on stage -- he teased that we'll see more at a Jan. 30 Kombat Kast.

There are different variations of characters like Mortal Kombat X, but this game lets you create your own. You can customize costumes, like Scorpion's mask, spear and swords, so there's potential for major aesthetic variety when you play online.

"In Mortal Kombat X, we introduced the concept of character variations, but those were kind of set in stone," producer Trevor Traub told CNET. "Now we're handing all that control back to the player, and they're able to make their specific variations exactly how they want."

The gameplay mechanics are a little different now too. Your souped-up attack and defense options are determined by horizontal and vertical meters respectively, while a perfectly timed Flawless Block gives you an opening to counterattack.

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Baraka takes on Scorpion in the latest Mortal Kombat.

NetherRealm Studios; screenshot by CNET

In terms of story, this game picks up directly after Mortal Kombat X, with the opening cinematic revealing the moment Raiden beheaded the defeated Shinnok. Series creator Ed Boon hinted that the Thunder God will suffer some consequences for his actions in this game, and we'll see some time travel elements (Raiden first tinkered with the timeline in 2011's Mortal Kombat).

NetherRealm revealed Chronica, the series' first female boss, in another behind-the-scenes video and teased us with the prospect of versions of klassic characters from different points in the timeline going head-to-head. It's likely that old-school Liu Kang and Kitana will run into their undead counterparts, and perhaps we'll see the resurrected Scorpion meeting his skull-headed self.

For the superfans, there's also a $99 Kollector's Edition with a steelbook case, a Mortal Kombat logo magnet and a Scorpion cowl-and-mask bust.

Now playing: Watch this: Mortal Kombat 11: First look at fatalities
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Mortal Kombat 11 was announced with a violent reveal trailer at The Game Awards 2018 back in December, and its cover art was revealed last week.

It hits PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch on April 23, and preordering a copy will unlock series archvillain Shao Kahn as a playable character.

Those who preorder on PS4 and Xbox One will get access to a prelaunch beta sometime in March, our sister site GameSpot noted. GameSpot also has a little speculation on characters we might see joining the roster.

Check out the full gameplay trailer and story prologue below:

First published at Jan. 17 at 9:24 a.m. PT.
Updated Jan. 18 at 5:29 a.m. PT: Adds CNET's video interview, further details about Kollector's Edition.

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