During my time with Mortal Kombat X at this year's E3, Scorpion slammed Sub-Zero so hard onto the ground the frozen one's neck snapped. I know this because X features the returning X-ray camera that gleefully displays what's going on inside the human body anytime something truly awful happens.
Sub-Zero then nipped up to his feet and punched Scorpion in the face.
It was utterly stupid.
It's also the reason Mortal Kombat remains exceptionally entertaining. The latest entry is so violent, the needle almost comes full circle - that is to say, it's humorous rather than all-out barbaric. How NetherRealm made that possible given human beings are constantly plunging various spikes into organs I'll never know, but that's exactly what Ed Boon and co. have achieved.
Ultimately it's the list of new fighters that are important at this stage, a list that includes the daughter of Johnny Cage – Cassie – some sort of bug lady, known as D'Vorah, the all-new Kotal Kahn and the team of Feera and Torr. This list will naturally be eked out before release, and the final list of fight strategies is also expanding somewhat thanks to its characters having different styles to choose from.
Using the ever-popular Scorpion as an example, he can assume 'hellfire', 'ninjutsu' and 'inferno', each of which changes the way the deadman plays. The former allows Scorps to summon fire, a handy weapon for both damaging an opponent and relying on long-rage attacks. Inferno is similar but instead of burning flames, demons are on-hand to help out. The final piece of the puzzle is a Scorpion we're all much more used to, even though you do have to pick your style before each fight.
Just how radical these different stances will be is impossible to determine until there's a full roster list at our disposal and a chance to test it out with each character. If it becomes a matter of techniques and individuals blending in to one another it'll be pointless: as with Scorpion, tailoring it so it's unique to a fighter – and plays as such – is imperative.
As it stands, though (potential is still very much the word of the day), X could very well feel like a familiar yet fresh instalment of a long running franchise.
Naturally fatalities return, too, and – as I'm sure you've already figured out – are so outrageously ludicrous, they'll make you laugh out loud. At one point Scorpion sliced off Sub-Zero's face as the camera zoomed in just in time to see the skin slowly slide to the ground. All that remained was Sub-Zero's tongue, which joyfully twitched and jolted for a few seconds afterwards. I half expected John Travolta to pop up at the side of the screen…
To sum up how progress is looking, MK X follows in much the same vein as its predecessor from 2011, implementing a few necessary touches to ensure it justifies coming back for the, can you believe it, tenth time. I'm glad it is, too. Few fighting games offer the accessibility this does, and while many like to claim otherwise, it does have depth – if you want to learn and master its mechanics, there's an entertaining curve in place.
It's dumb, stupid, ridiculous, preposterous, inane, daft and laughable. But by the looks of things, it's also pretty good.