There are a ton of reasons to pick up Mortal Kombat X. It has a humongous roster and its interesting fighting style system keeps matches feeling fresh. It has crazy loose combo mechanics allowing you to hammer in your combos as fast as possible. It has a great single-player mode, a very useful training mode, and a ton of interesting online modes. Aside from some netcode and input issues, it has just about everything a fighting game fan can ask for.
But, aside from all that, it’s also an incredible trailblazer for social rights. You heard me. Perhaps the most progressive game that we have seen in years is also a game where you can pull someone’s ribcage out from their back and use it to string them up as a puppet using their arteries.
Early on in the development of Mortal Kombat X, the team commented on how they were trying to make their female characters look more like actual women. They wanted to avoid making them look like sex objects and instead wanted to give them proportions more like actual strong female martial artists. They even made Mileena, a character who is quite literally a sex monster, into a non-objectified character, who still retains her sexy identity. MKX also features three female special ops agents, one of which is black and a brawler that fires shotgun blasts and missiles out of wrist mounted robot guns. That is badass!
Now they have taken diversity one step further with Kung Jin, a gay character. In a flashback, Jin is seen talking about how he is afraid that the Shaolin monks won’t accept him. Why? Well it’s heavily alluded to that he is gay. Raiden consoles him by saying “They care about only what is in your heart; not whom your heart desires.”
Of course, people picked up on this and started reporting that Kung Jin was gay. A couple fans said that this wasn’t the case, because the G word was never used, but cinematic director Dominic Cianciolo confirmed this plot point via twitter saying “I see people are picking up on the subtle exposition contained in Kung Jin’s flashback. Glad we have observant fans!”
And I’d like to point out that this is a character that uses a magic staff to cave in your skull, fling you into the air, fire two arrows into your eyeballs, then use those arrows as handles to smash you into the ground and break your neck with your own body weight.
Who says that social progressivism can’t be gorily awesome?
The game handles these topics with incredible writing. None of these characters are stereotypes. None of these characters make their gender, their sexuality, or their race the core element of their being. However, at the same time these aspects of their personality are not hidden. They are focused on as much as any other character’s race, gender, or sexuality is focused on, which is to say not all that much, but enough to show that the roster is diverse. After all, this game isn’t really about people holding hands in a diversity rainbow. It’s about pulling your enemies out of their own mouth and strangling them with it… in a diversity rainbow.
What do you think about Mortal Kombat’s descision to diversify their roster? Let us know in the komments.
Former Contributing Writer