Fighting fans and horror fans everywhere rejoiced last year when Mortal Kombat X developer NetherRealm Studios announced that they would be bringing classic horror icons Jason and Predator in as Kombatants, and now they’re showing off Leatherface as apart of the recently announced Kombat Pack 2. The strange thing is, they’re all a surprising snooze-fest.
Okay, I know what everyone is thinking, how can our favorite baddies from some of the most beloved classics in the horror genre be boring in a game that has made its name on gratuitous acts of violence?
I’ll tell you.
It’s not because we’ve grown up playing Mortal Kombat, and it’s not because today’s youth are desensitized to graphic material (even though they kind of are). It’s because we’ve seen all of this before. Not in the KMFDM MORTAL KOMBAT! FINISH HIM! sort of way, but in the if you’re a horror fan you’re very used to seeing Leetherface split somebody with a chainsaw sort of way. Take a look at Leatherface’s preview of MKX blood spilling below.
Entertaining? Yes. Violent? For sure. Predictable? Most definitely.
Now take a look at his film counterpart
It’s amazing that NetherRealm nailed so much of what made Texas Chainsaw Massacre the classic that it is today. It shows the team has a great love for all things horror but it won’t make me grimace the every time I get hit with an X-Ray Attack because I’ve seen real people get hammered, split in half, and treated like a piece of cured meat.
Now take a look at one of the other characters on offer in Kombat Pack 2, Triborg.
The latter feels fresh and cringe-worthy while the former feels like deja vu, and why not? Anyone that’s seen Texas Chainsaw Massacre or any of it’s sequels and reboots would know that the other player’s death is about to come at the hands of a piece of equipment that is used by the Tennessee Logging Company. The Xenomorph is next and I can only hope that they’ll do something like having it crawl out of a magically exposed vent in the side of the stage instead of ripping the player in half like Bishop at the end of Aliens, but if not then at least we can live out our Alien Vs Predator fantasies.
Don’t get me wrong, I love that these characters are getting their turn in the interactive spotlight, but just like most of the plots in American slasher films they must abide by the rules set down by the previous entries on their pop culture resumes and that makes them very predictable.