Fighting games in general often tend to go overboard in the costume department. If it’s not a characters draped in ridiculous clothing, it’s often the exact opposite. Overtly sexual, revealing costumes accompany wildly unrealistic body proportions in most titles, which serve to attract a certain demographic by sacrificing any inch of realism. Mortal Kombat has been guilty of this in the past, but that’s changing in their upcoming sequel.
During the live Twitch stream that revealed the three combat variations for both Reptile and Kitana, Mortal Kombat X production manager Spiro Anagnostakos explained NetherRealm’s approach to realistic female character design.
“The mantra for this game has always been realism; heading towards a more realistic look. So the same thing applies to the proportions where we try to bring things back in per se to where they should be.”
When another developer chimed in to ask whether this means female characters will look “more like women do”, Anagnostakos exclaimed “exactly!”
That doesn’t mean Mortal Kombat X is suddenly going to have female characters wrapped up as if they were trapped in a blizzard. Kitana’s design, as an example, still features a somewhat toned down, revealing costume, but one that looks a lot more like something a martial arts fighter would wear – although I can’t really say the same for her alternate costume.
Her features are also far more realistic, and not as exaggerated as past designs. Take a look at some of the designs from Mortal Kombat 9 as a comparison.
I like this approach from NeatherRealm, which balances stylised sexual design with far more believable character features. Yes, the female costumes are still revealing, but now it doesn’t feel that different to a shirtless Lui Kang or Quan Chi. The design looks just right, and NetherRealm can be proud of that.
Last Updated: February 13, 2015