How is "realism" a good enough excuse to not satisfy fans?

Mortal Kombat 11 Jade

The apparent female censorship in Mortal Kombat 11 has been brushed off as realistic, but how is this an acceptable excuse to not satisfy fans?

Mortal Kombat 11 has been a hot topic of late because of its apparent female censorship done for – massive air quotes – “realism”. NetherRealm pretending that they wanted their gorefest fighting game to be “respectful” and “mature” is ridiculous for obvious reasons.

As if you don't already know, fans of Mortal Kombat are hugely upset with the cosmetics for the female kombatants in the series' eleventh installment. 

The issue is that the females are clothed from head to toe with pretty much zero skin showing, while the men are hunks unafraid to show off their sculpted muscles and legs. 

Unfortunately for the diehard fans, they were knowingly left disappointed by NetherRealm because “realism” was purposefully put before entertainment and fanservice. This resulted in a Mortal Kombat where the men are captivating and badass while the women are simply boring.

Why is Mortal Kombat trying to be realistic?

Mortal Kombat 11 Cassie Cage

Speaking with Polygon, Mortal Kombat 11’s art director, Steve Beran, said that NetherRealm was trying to be “mature” and “respectful” with the presentation of their female kombatants.

“You’re not going to wear a bikini to a fight,” Beran explained. “You’re not going to be showing so much skin. I think it’s just what the game is about: you’re going in to fight for your life, and you’re not going to be wearing such scantily clad items.”

“I’m sure that will disappoint some fans,” continued Beran. “We don’t have bathing suit fighters, and I think that’s fine. If people are disappointed, I don’t regret making that change.”

This is just absurd. One, in a fight people don’t survive bullets to the head or any of the game’s other goretastic attacks, and two, male and female athletes in real-life aren’t covered head-to-toe in clothes and heavy gear (just look at the UFC, boxing, and MMA).

Mortal Kombat is a fighting game series that includes time travel, gravity-defying attacks, and cool but absurd fatalities, meaning “realism” should never enter any discussion about the series. Especially when some of the men are noticeably bare with their six packs showing and their d**ks covered only by loincloths.

And the men are the interesting ones to look at. Shao Khan is badass, Baraka is a freak, Johnny Cage is Johnny Cage, and putting a shirt on Liu Kang would be stupid. Meanwhile, the women are boring because they’re not allowed to embrace the over-the-top spectacle that Mortal Kombat is supposed to be. It’s impossible to make Cassie Cage appear interesting when her unlockable costumes make her look like a freelancer from Anthem, Kitana is visually a massive step backwards from Mortal Kombat 10, and Sonya Blade is further ruined by Ronda Rousey’s voice.

NetherRealm didn’t have to give the women backbreaking bosoms or have them wearing thongs, but variety would have spared the costumes from all appearing to be scared of the female body. Plus, with Mortal Kombat 11 again featuring a tale about time travel, it would have made sense for the women from the past to be in more revealing garments than the present female kombatants. This would have added more attractive costumes for people to grind for as well because right now grinding is pointless as the kosmetics are simply the same but in different colours.

If NetherRealm were strongly against scantily clad costumes not being in the base game for women only, why didn’t they just sell some tastefully revealing garments as DLC? This would’ve pleased the hardcore fans who will actually stay with the game for longer than a week, and it wouldn’t have jeopardised the studio's “realistic” vision.

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