There's no question that times have been better for Mortal Kombat. Having fallen from the once mighty heights of arcade-style fighters to near obscurity in the wake of major titles like Street Fighter and Marvel Vs. Capcom, the franchise is looking to reclaim its blood-soaked spot atop the podium with the upcoming reboot.
The game looks set to do that and more, now that more playable characters may been leaked as well as one character who makes any appearance a memorable one: God of War protagonist, Kratos.
The January issue of Official PlayStation Magazine drops the bomb, revealing to owners of the PS3 that they will have the ability to once again step into the boots of the god-killing Greek for the first time on their console since God of War 3. Fans need not worry that the developers of MK will be sullying the man's reputation with a simple re-skinning. The playable version of Kratos will have a special set of combat moves, fatalities, and even a God of War-themed fighting stage.
Since Kratos will be unavailable for the story mode of the game, it's obvious that the character's inclusion is more of a bonus to fans than an addition to the franchise. So we shouldn't jump to the conclusion that this is what the director of the GoW series meant when talking about the future of the franchise. There's no denying that fans have grown attached to the painted brute, so MK developers at NetherRealm Studios are obviously doing their best to attract as many players as possible.
Now the debate and excitement can begin over what, if any, Xbox 360-exclusive characters will be announced next. There are plenty to choose from: Master Chief, Marcus Fenix, Sam Fisher, perhaps even fan-favorite John Marston. We'll have to wait and see.
While the announcement of Kratos was supported by the studio, the potential leaking of ten more as-yet-unannounced fighters was not. Due to an error on the Official Mortal Kombat web server, one fan was able to browse through a number of sound files that turned out to be both fighter introductions, and hints at the return of a few classic game features.
*Spoiler Alert* The announcement introductions referenced ten fighters all together: Ermac, Goro, Kabal, Noob Saibot, Quan Chi, Shang Tsung, Sindel, Smoke, Stryker, and a less-robotic Sektor. In addition to the characters, announcer audio files also hint at the return of Brutalities and the 'Test Your Might' game mode.
At this point, it's unclear whether these sound files are going to be used for any of the finished game. The inclusion of a non-robotic voice for Sektor may hint at the raw or leftover nature of the files, but we'' have to wait for some sort of announcement to be sure. Don't get your hopes up just yet, but several original fighters have already been revealed to be returning, so fans can expect a few more classic characters to be announced. Hopefully, the dedication to story that the team has shown thus far is something that they'll be continuing with more characters in the series, to truly advance the game from its hack-and-slash roots.
Given our optimisim for the game, these leaks are likely to add to the excitement of fans who have sorely missed their old friends who first welcomed them into the fighting game genre. Things are only looking better and better for the return of Mortal Kombat, since early looks at the game seem to contain a good deal of reverence for the original, while bringing new levels of insane fighting to a combat engine that at times paled in comparison to its opponents.
Unfortunately for NetherRealm, the game's opponents haven't stopped gaining momentum either. Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 is seeing more and more fighters being announced every day, so fans of the fighting genre and observers alike are all set to see how this fight plays out.
Fortunately, they won't have to wait long, as Mortal Kombat is set to be released on the PS3 and Xbox 360 in the first half of next year.