Mortal Mishandling: NetherRealm Fumbles Several Mortal Kombat X Character Reveals
Liu Kang, Jax, Predator. All three appear to be making a surprise appearance in Mortal Kombat X. We didn’t figure this out through some obscure rumor or anonymous source; we found this out because NetherRealm accidentally told us.
It started with Predator, when an Xbox Store advertisement told everyone that Mortal Kombat X‘s DLC offering, The Kombat Pack, would include the invisible Arnold Schwarzenegger antagonist. Predator would be officially revealed by NetherRealm a day later in a trailer for the Kombat Pack, and he was the premiere offering, appearing at the end of the trailer in epic fashion. It’s a shame we already knew about it.
Now, once again because of the Kombat Pack, two other character reveals have been spoiled by NetherRealm’s own doing. The description of the Kombat Pack, released by NetherRealm, include alternate skins for both Liu Kang and Jax, and you can’t have a character skin without a character. While Jax was almost a shoo-in, given that his daughter is already in the game, Liu Kang was a big question mark, and NetherRealm worked very hard to keep it that way.
Case in point: NetherRealm’s YouTube page has released 22 different videos, and not one of them even hints at Liu Kang’s appearance. The story trailer released didn’t even look Liu Kang’s direction, figuratively speaking, and every single Kombat Kast has been tight-lipped on the subject of the perennial Mortal Kombat protagonist. It’s clear that NetherRealm wanted Liu Kang’s status to be a mystery so his reveal could be extra special, whether it was pre-release or in-game.
Instead, what we have is “here’s new skin for Liu Kang … oh, by the way, Liu Kang is in the game!” Riveting stuff. It’s one thing to have a leak – that’s perfectly understandable – but to mistime announcements in a way that takes all the steam out of future announcements is a colossal mishandling.
Then there’s the issue of Tremor. Of all the characters revealed in the Kombat Pack, Tremor is the only Mortal Kombat X character people didn’t necessarily see coming, and he’s the one people were most excited about. Mortal Kombat creator Ed Boon has fielded several questions on Twitter about Tremor’s potential appearance in Mortal Kombat X, and there is even a change.org petition to get Tremor in the game, with more than 5,000 signatures. While a mere drop in the bucket, in terms of inevitable sales of Mortal Kombat X, I didn’t see any petitions for Predator or Tanya.
So the question becomes, “why not lead with Tremor?”
All this being said, Mortal Kombat X looks to be fantastic, with an engaging story mode and enjoyably brutal gameplay and, yes, a great variety of playable characters. But you have to wonder how it’s possible that a game that’s been hyped up for almost a year could have botched this many key reveals.