Mortal Kombat X's Brutal Violence Aims to be Fantastical, Not Realistic
"Pulling the guy's organs out? That's not something that's realistic violence, right?"
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NetherRealm's upcoming fighting game Mortal Kombat X is unquestionably an incredibly brutal and violent game. Its fatalities are gruesome, depicting severed heads, ripped-out ribs, and other bloody affairs. But the violence is meant to be fantastical and not realistic, lead game designer John Edwards says.
"We like to keep everything a little on the tongue-in-cheek side," he told Polygon. "We don't try to get the gore to be too realistic. We always want people to do a fatality and at first you're just like, 'Wow, that's gross.'"
"But then you laugh about it after, because it's so ridiculous," Edwards added. "I mean, pulling the guy's organs out? That's not something that's realistic violence, right? It looks realistic, just graphically because of the power of the new consoles, but it's still very tongue-in-cheek and kind of fantastical."
Mortal Kombat X is the first game for a new generation of consoles, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Edwards mentions again how leveraging the power of these machines has led to breakthroughs in the game's gore system.
"We can punch holes in pretty much any part of the body that we want to," he said. "The tech has allowed us to do a bunch of crazy stuff that we've never been able to do before."
In regards to Mortal Kombat's trademark violence, series co-creator Ed Boon recently told GameSpot that NetherRealm works hard to ensure it doesn't go too far.
"Every game, we have these brainstorming meetings, and...somebody will suggest something and it's more of a gut feeling that, you know, that's a little too far," Boon said. "I think every single game, [there are] those discussions where, you know, everyone's trying to push the envelope, but there's always a line that you never want to cross."
You can read our full interview with Boon, which also touches on fan demands and more, here.
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