Netherrealm’s Mortal Kombat 11 is finally here — a bit sooner than anyone expected. Thanks to dataminers and a premature retail release, we have some idea of what kinds of fighters will be added to the roster of the game in the future — and whoo boy, if this isn’t a 90s fanservice parade, I don’t know what is.
Several of the fighters are Mortal Kombat regulars, so it’s no surprise to see them. The more interesting additions are the guest fighters. According to the leaks, we’ll be getting the Terminator, Spawn, Ash Williams from The Evil Dead, and the Joker. The list could still be a phony, though we’ve heard rumors about Spawn’s inclusion before now. If we take it on faith, this game is looking like a 90s kid’s dream.
The guest fighters have been a staple of the rosters in both Mortal Kombat and Injustice games since 2011’s Mortal Kombat 9. The addition of God of War’s Kratos to that game was interesting enough, but not that unusual given his… proclivities. But the addition of Freddy Krueger really set the tone for the sort of additions to come in the next game. Suddenly all those 80s and 90s characters we’d always wanted to see in a fight to the death seemed like possible additions to the roster.
In MKX, we realized that potential with the addition of the Xenomorph, Jason Vorhees, Leatherface, and the Predator. It was a horror movie fanservice bonanza, and, as a fan, I had to wonder — where do we go from there? Apparently we’re going fully into 90s cult classic territory.
Given that Mortal Kombat is the quintessential 90s-era franchise that’s adapted to fit the modern times, the guest characters hearken to the early days, the pop culture atmosphere that birthed it in the first place, in a way the actual in-game characters no longer can. Those of us who were there at the time may have grown up — and, given its focus on parenthood and setting a better course for the future in its story, MK has grown up with us. But it’s still fun to relive those days, and nothing brings back the childhood nostalgia like the Terminator or Ash and his boomstick.
It’s also nice to know early what we might expect from the roster. One of the disappointments of MKX was the amount of fighters who appeared in the game but weren’t playable. Rain, Baraka, Sindel, Li Mei, Frost… at a certain point it felt like we were being teased. Joker’s inclusion also marks the first time an Injustice character has crossed into the MK universe, and not the other way around. Even if this list doesn’t turn out to be 100 percent accurate, the addition of Sheeva and Shang Tsung sounds right.
I may have been a little exasperated with MK11‘s time travel shenanigans, but the game so far is more fun than I ever expected it to be. And when (if) these characters are added to the roster, I fully intend to main Spawn.
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