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Mortal Kombat 12: everything we know so far

Mortal Kombat 12 is coming out in 2023. The latest iteration of the classic fighting game from NetherRealm Studios will bring yet more no-holds-barred action and bloody violence to our screens. 

Mortal Kombat 12 was only announced recently via a Warner Brothers earnings call, so we don’t yet have many concrete details about the fighting game.

Like its predecessors, Mortal Kombat 12 is likely to be a 2D fighting game, replete with an expansive roster of returning characters, such as Scorpion, Sub Zero, and Lui Kang. If Mortal Kombat 11 is anything to go by, however, we’ll most likely be in for an over-the-top story mode stuffed with delicious lore. Mortal Kombat 11 also introduced a character customization system that allowed players to customize their fighters with new skins, gear, and moves. It's likely that we'll see an expansion on this system in Mortal Kombat 12.     

Though we’ve had no official word as to which consoles Mortal Kombat 12 will be available for, it seems likely that the game will be available for PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC. Given that Mortal Kombat 11 also came to Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One, there’s a chance that the title may be released for those consoles as well. However, there are no guarantees at this stage.  

 Mortal Kombat 12: cut to the chase 

  • What is it? A 2D fighting game and the latest installment of the Mortal Kombat series 
  •  When can I play it? TBC 2023
  •  What can I play it on? TBC  

Mortal Kombat 12 trailers

Latest trailer

Scorpion in Mortal Kombat

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Thanks to the understated way in which Mortal Kombat 12  was announced there are currently no trailers or teasers for the upcoming game. When NetherRealm does release a trailer, you’ll likely find it on Mortal Kombat’s official YouTube channel, or via the game’s Twitter account

Mortal Kombat 12 gameplay

Mortal Kombat 11

(Image credit: Warner Bros. )

With no concrete details about Mortal Kombat 12, we don’t yet know how NetherRealm will change the series. However, this is what we’d like to see.

Whether or not you're using a controller or one of the best fight sticks, Mortal Kombat 11 had some solid fundamentals. However, the fights in Mortal Kombat 11 had a slower pace than in previous games, placing an emphasis on more methodical play at the expense of fast-paced rush-down playstyles. Mortal Kombat 11 also got rid of running, which, in the view of our hardware editor and Mortal Kombat veteran, Aleksha McLoughlin, was something of a misstep. 

Mortal Kombat as a franchise is known for its fatalities, brutalities, and over-the-top action violence. While Mortal Kombat X had a particularly gritty tone, things were a little more tongue-in-cheek with Mortal Kombat 11 which was a bit brighter aesthetically and more colorful. It's arguable that there was even some influence from NetherRealm's DC Comics fighter series, InJustice, with the tonal shift. 

We’d like to see Mortal Kombat 12 return to the more fast-paced style of gameplay for which the series was originally known. Though we don’t know if NetherRealm will go in this direction, we here at TechRadar Gaming are keeping our fingers crossed.   

Mortal Kombat 12 story and setting

Scorpion in his classic uniform on fire

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Given how the Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath expansion ends, with series lead and Earthrealm defender Lui Kang ascending to godhood in place of Thunder God Raiden, things are quite open-ended for Mortal Kombat 12. With Kronika defeated, the sands of time had been extinguished and the new era had been stopped in its tracks, meaning that we could see anything from a full-scale reboot to a continuation of the past trilogy. 

If the three animated movies that have succeeded the launch of Mortal Kombat 11 are anything to go by, it's likely that many of the characters and ideas from the predecessor will make their way into Mortal Kombat 12. The series has experimented with Elseworld stories for some time now, as well as a live-action movie back in 2021 which retained some of the franchise's staple roster from the 2D and 3D eras. 

It would make the most sense for NetherRealm to carry over the expansions made with Mortal Kombat X and Mortal Kombat 11 into Mortal Kombat 12. In particular, the new characters and fleshed-out settings including the Kombat kids and Outworld. That's because this trilogy has given us the offspring of fan-favorite characters Johnny Cage, Sonya Blade, Kenshi, and Jax with Cassie Cage, Takeda, and Jackie Briggs respectively. 

At the very end of Mortal Kombat 11's story expansion, Liu Kang goes back in time and meets The Great Kung Lao, one of the fiercest warriors that Earthrealm ever knew. Should Mortal Kombat 12 pick up where the trilogy left off, this means we would see the continued fight against the emerging forces of Outworld and Earthrealm. Whether they go back to the roots or carry on remains to be seen. 

Mortal Kombat 12 news

Scorpion from Mortal Kombat 11

(Image credit: Warner Bros. )

Mortal Kombat 12 announced in Warner Brothers investor call

Mortal Kombat 12 has been announced in a surprisingly left-of-field fashion: at a Warner Brothers investor call. The title is expected to release sometime in 2023, but, as of yet, no trailer or preview has been released. This is odd, considering it is one of the biggest [upcoming games] of the genre. However, we anticipate that NetherRealm will have something more tangible for us, soon.  

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