|Developer(s): NetherRealm Studios
Publisher(s): Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Platform(s): PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Release date(s): April 19, 2011
Genre(s): Fighting game
Mode(s): Single-player, multiplayer
Set directly after the events of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, developer Ed Boon describes the game as an altered re-telling of the events of the original first three Mortal Kombat games (MK, MK II, and MK3): “Raiden is about to be killed by Shao Kahn, and just before he delivers the last blow, he [Raiden] sends a mental message to his earlier self, and the camera rewinds back to Mortal Kombat 1. The Raiden from Mortal Kombat 1 then gets the message and experiences a premonition. The game then spans Mortal Kombat 1, 2, and 3, retelling the story with an enlightened Raiden, who has changed the course of events. Eventually, everything you’ve seen happen before – Liu Kang winning, the guys turning into cybernetic ninjas, has been altered. You might see a cybernetic character who wasn’t before, and a different version of events.”
Raiden, about to be killed by Shao Kahn, Raiden casts a spell on his amulet, now shattered, to contact his past self with the message “he must win”.
During the events of the very first tournament, hosted by Shang Tsung, a past version of Raiden sees visions of the future courtesy of a now cracked amulet. Across the tournament’s battles, Raiden comes to the conclusion that Liu Kang is to win the tournament and save Earthrealm. He does so, but Raiden’s amulet cracks further, a sign that future events remain unchanged.
Disappointed with Outworld’s defeat, Shao Kahn orders Shang Tsung’s execution, but relents after the sorcerer suggests holding the second tournament in Outworld. Raiden actively attempts to change time again by substituting Kung Lao for Liu Kang as the champion of this tournament (in the original timeline, Liu Kang wins the Outworld contest). Shao Kahn kills him, but is mortally wounded by Liu Kang. Even after defeating Shao Kahn, Raiden’s amulet suffers further damage.
There are twenty-seven playable characters:
- Johnny Cage
- Kratos (PS3 exclusive)
- Kung Lao
- Liu Kang
- Noob Saibot
- Quan Chi
- Shang Tsung
- Cyber Sub-Zero
Kahn is healed by the sorcerer Quan Chi. At Quan Chi’s suggestion, he launches an invasion of Earth in an attempt to merge it with Outworld. Raiden and his band of warriors regroup in order to stop this threat. Raiden and Liu Kang attempt to consult the Elder Gods for help, leaving Nightwolf in charge. They return to find most of their allies murdered by Shao Kahn’s resurrected wife Sindel. The only survivors are Johnny Cage, Sonya Blade, and Nightwolf, who sacrifices himself to kill Sindel.
Raiden goes to the Netherrealm to ask Quan Chi for help, but Quan Chi is already allied with Shao Kahn. Through him, Raiden realizes that the message “he must win” refers to Kahn. If he is allowed to merge the realms, which is a violation of Mortal Kombat rules, the Elder Gods will punish him.
Liu Kang blames Raiden for his allies’ death and refuses to listen to his visions. As he attempts to attack an approaching Shao Kahn, Raiden electrocutes him in response. Overwhelmed with grief, Raiden surrenders to Shao Kahn in defeat. The Elder Gods intervene, possessing Raiden and using him as a vessel to condemn and punish Kahn. They inform Kahn that he has broken the sacred rules of Mortal Kombat, and that he invades realms illegally, thus giving Raiden the opportunity to finally kill Kahn. Raiden vows to rebuild Earthrealm and tend to the injured with Cage and Sonya. However, Quan Chi is shown to have a secret alliance with his master Shinnok, as they plan to use the chaos to conquer both Earthrealm and Outworld in the name of the Netherrealm. Shinnok informs Quan Chi that he was well aware of Shao Kahn’s intentions and with him out of the way, nothing can stop them.