Reptile goes invisible, dodges a razor-sharp hat (don’t ask) thrown by Kung Lao and spews corrosive acid onto his adversary’s head. Kung Lao stumbles back, and Reptile doesn’t waste a second: he jumps forward, grabs the monk’s jaw and breaks it. Then he grabs Lao’s eyes, forcing his thumbs into the sockets as they pop with a sickening squelch. Inexplicably, Lao isn’t dead, so Reptile throws acid onto his face and rips his skull open like a coconut. Don’t let that gratuitously violent intro fool you: Mortal Kombat X is actually a very technical game, and making Reptile into the killing machine depicted above took some practice.


This isn’t the rock-paper-scissors gameplay of old-school Mortal Kombat. After training itself up with Injustice: Gods Among Us, NetherRealm is ready to go head-to-head with the professional fighters. We spoke to the studio’s marketing game manager Brian Goodman about what we can expect from their latest game.
“We want the presentation to be big and movie-like we just want you to think you’re playing a movie”
IT’S EASY FOR NEW PLAYERS TO GET INTO…
“We’re All About creating features that appeal to new gamers. In the last few games, we’ve really taken steps to supply more single-player content it’s an easy road into the game, it’s more forgiving, and you don’t have to be incredibly skilled at the game to get a lot of enjoyment out of it. We’ve always tried to make the game as accessible as possible whilst still delivering a very deep and technical, core fighting game. But our [development ethic] has a dual focus: of making sure we’re taking care of casual fans as much as we’re taking care of players that aren’t used to the franchise. That’s the hardest part about working on the game getting new people interested.”

…BUT THERE’S ENOUGH DEPTH THERE FOR VETERANS
“…But We’re taking care of our core, too, and our core are the proper fighters. There are definitely some characters that we feel only some of the real hardcore fighters are really going to master. One of Kung Lao’s variations, for example, is a very very tricky fighter that uses his hat as a trap…similar with Raiden, where the ‘Lord Of Storms’ version can set up traps to mess with the opponent. It’s not like casual players wont be able to use it or anything, but we just think only those guys with a serious level of skill can really make those variations go and use them to their maximum potential.”

ITS VARIATIONS FEATURE PLAYS WITH HOW WE USE CHARACTERS IN FIGHTING GAMES
“At Their Core, we want each character to feel the same. Someone like Ferra & Tor is a bit different because that’s a new character and we’ve yet to establish howit feels in the public’s mind. One of the opportunities we have with variations is that you can maintain the core of a character, but really employ a whole new strategy and fight style to them. That’s where this feature becomes so important we can make a character like Ferra & Tor play like more of a zoning character in one variation, but when it’s just Tor and Ferra’s on the sidelines, you’ve got to get in real close and keep the pressure up.”

IT’S BUILT AROUND A CINEMATIC STORY MODE
“I’m Not Sure why [Story modes] haven’t really picked up on it though…Y’know, our Story Mode is a huge feature, it’s very popular and it allows us to create within a space we’re comfortable with. Even with Injustice and its fighting mechanics and such, we aim to be cinematic in everything we do. We want the presentation to be big and movie-like we just want you to think you’re playing a movie. The Story stuff comes naturally to us. Injustice was a great experiment for us in terms of learning how to serve our fans, and provide a ton of content and a ton of opportunities for our players to enjoy the game in a variety of different ways.”