Before the release of NetherRealm Studios’ triumphantly successful Mortal Kombat X, the company took a break from the Mortal Kombat to create Injustice: Gods Among Us, a gripping, gritty fighting game set in the DC Universe. Although Injustice plays similarly to Mortal Kombat 9, NetherRealm’s previous title, the developer loaded Injustice with some neat new tricks, including the ability to use environmental objects as weapons. That feature returned in Mortal Kombat X as Stage Brutalities.
In each of Mortal Kombat X’s locations, players have the option to end a fight by executing one of two different Stage Brutalities. Most Mortal Kombat X fans are familiar with the concept, as Stage Fatalities – such as uppercutting an enemy onto a bed of spikes – existed in the series’ earlier iterations, but the new Brutalities let players kill each other with in-level props as well. Now, in a ridiculous twist, a new Stage Brutality in the Outerworld Market battleground lets players use an old woman to violently finish off opponents.
Added in Mortal Kombat’s latest patch, the new move (dubbed the “Blanche Brutality” by fans) is a particularly odd way to eliminate an enemy. In one version of the Brutality, fighters explode when they’re hit by the frail old crone. The other version is even sillier, and is worth discovering on your own. To use the elderly lady for a Stage Brutality, players need to wait until the final round of the match, strike an opponent with both the brazer and barrel background objects, and then throw Blanche from mid-range.
Ludicrous, blatant violence has become the Mortal Kombat series’ calling card, and NetherRealm Studios has admirably extended that savage absurdity to its characters’ personalities, too. For example, movie star Johnny Cage not only gets paid to blow people up on the big screen, but he’s also a participant in a literally cut-throat fighting tournament. NetherRealm’s been able to push things even further by adding other gruesome pop culture icons as characters in their DLC packs, including Friday the 13‘s Jason Voorhees, who players can try for free this weekend.
Although some players may not be able to stomach Mortal Kombat X’s unrestrained bloodshed, most mature gamers understand the context and intentions of NetherRealm Studios’ brutal ballet, as Mortal Kombat X became the best selling game of April. While booming sales aren’t always indicative of exceptional quality, in this case, they do speak to NetherRealm’s meticulous craftsmanship.
Mortal Kombat X is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PCs worldwide.