There’s nothing like a good decapitation to get the ole’ blood flowing…literally.
After weeks of rumors and anticipation leading up to the June 2nd reveal, we were finally given confirmation that the next entry into the Mortal Kombat franchise is in-fact going to happen. Not a Special Forces spin-off. Not another MK vs. DC game. An honest to goodness sequel to the smash reboot from 2011. Dubbed “X” (as this is the tenth entry in the official franchise counting Ultimate MK3), the next Mortal Kombat game will hit our next-gen consoles sometime in 2015. While that seems like a lifetime for a hardcore MK fan like me, we’ll have to just baby step our way through the media blitz that the game will no doubt enjoy in the coming months.
So what is the “official” word on the game from the execs at Warner Brothers and Ed Boon’s NetherRealm Studios?
Fans have been keeping a sharp eye on any hints or clues they could piece together in order to uncover what lie ahead for the franchise. A recent slip of the tongue by actor Kiefer Sutherland (who admitted to doing voice over work for a Mortal Kombat project) was the first spark that set this brush fire of rumors ablaze. Then, we slowly began to see subtle references come from series co-creator Ed Boon himself. He started with cryptic riddles that seemingly pointed to some type of a countdown (we now know this was the June 2nd trailer reveal). Then, an empty black and white circle appeared as his new avatar. Later, it would be filled in with a redesigned dragon symbol (a staple of the franchise since its beginning).
We’ll, all the speculation can finally end. With the reveal trailer also came an official press release touting several coveted details that shed new light on what we can expect. “Mortal Kombat X combines cinematic presentation with all new gameplay…that launches players into a persistent online contest where every fight matters in a global battle for supremacy. For the first time, Mortal Kombat X gives players the ability to choose from multiple variations of each character impacting both strategy and fighting style. Players step into an original story showcasing some of the game’s most prolific characters including Scorpion and Sub-Zero, while introducing new challengers that represent the forces of good and evil and tie the tale together.” It reads.
So this begs the question, does this new info completely blow all our pre-conceived notions of what this game would be right out of the water?
Many (myself included) assumed that, after seeing how the studio handled the retelling of the original trilogy in the last game, we’d simply follow that same path right into an alternate timeline of the events depicted in Mortal Kombat 4. However, based on what we see in the trailer (how is Sub-Zero now alive and in human form again?), it appears they might be changing things up. The press release refers to an “original story,” suggesting they might break from the regular continuity of the previous games. However, the concept of selecting “multiple variations” of characters also adds an interesting twist. Are we looking at a DC-esque take on a Mortal Kombat multiverse here? Could that be how they craft an original tale while simultaneously continuing on with the storyline already set in motion?
One thing is for sure: the reveal trailer points to a return to many classic themes from the franchise’s past. In the footage (which can be viewed above), both fan favorites Scorpion and Sub-Zero sport designs that harken back to a more traditional look from their early arcade days. In addition to a new permutation of the “X-Ray” mechanic from last game, the environmental weapons and limb-breaking moves of Mortal Kombat 4 (which were on my wish list) seem to be making a return. Just another observation that hints this may be more of a sequel rather than a completely original title. The cut scenes showcase a nice level of next-gen polish that we’ve never seen from the franchise before, while keeping a familiar MK feel to the overall presentation. It seems all the stars have aligned, as it’s apparently off to a fantastic start.
Luckily for us, E3 is just around the corner. It’s an absolute certainty that WB and NetherRealm will show up at the convention with even more MKX goodies on display. So far, we’ve only seen two familiar faces from the regular roster (with the press release promising us additional “new” characters). With the alternate reality gimmick the series has going, it would be no real stretch to introduce different fighters now (especially since a good portion of the originals didn’t survive the last game’s climax).
All I know is that it’s one hell of a fun time to be a Mortal Kombat fan. This might be premature, but I’ll go ahead and throw this out there: MKX could end up being one of the best fighters of this generation.