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When Mortal Kombat 11's Kotal Kahn drinks your blood his tattoos glow

Oh, and he can turn into a big cat.

Kotal Kahn, while not as famous as Mortal Kombat's big bad guy Shao Kahn, has his fans - he's the current Emperor of Outworld after all - and for his Mortal Kombat 11 incarnation he's got a few cool twists, too.

Developer NetherRealm recently held a deep dive on the character, showing off his new moves as well as some nice new abilities.

Watch on YouTube

Perhaps the most eye-catching new ability is Kotal's cat transformation. Here, he can turn into a jaguar and tear out his opponent's jugular. This move can be done from across the screen, which makes it useful for closing in. Kotal also has a jaguar air attack, which is good for punishing projectiles and faking jump-ins.

Kotal's discus move from Mortal Kombat X returns, but it's a lot faster now. And, when it's powered up, Kotal will perform an Olympic-style spin and throw (the spin can hit, too, if it's close enough).

My favourite Mortal Kombat 11 Kotal attack, however, is a command grab that sees the friendly neighbourhood tyrant stab his hapless opponent in the gut, lift them into the air and above his head, then drink their blood. Yum.

What's cool about this command grab is it gives Kotal a damage buff. There's a visual tell for this, too: Kotal's tattoos glow when he has the buff. It stacks up to three times, each successful command grab making his tattoos glow brighter.

Get the third stack and Kotal will do huge damage and his tattoos will shine bright like the sun, which is apt for a character who has a sundial move that brings sunshine into even the deepest, darkest Mortal Kombat arena.

All in all, Kotal works similarly to how he did in Mortal Kombat X: he's a slow but high-damage grappler with great range, a command grab and of course the totems he was known for in the last game (although now he can stack totems up to three times). I have a soft-spot for brawlers in fighting games, and I'm looking forward to giving Kotal a spin when Mortal Kombat 11 comes out in April.

All that's left is to check out his blood sacrifice Fatality, which, well, this is Mortal Kombat, so it's not really safe for work.

Watch on YouTube