It has begun! Mortal Kombat X was finally revealed in an updating frenzy that kicked off a massive Mortal Monday! If you haven't seen it by now, you're going to want to check out the MKX launch trailer before we continue!

The 1 minute 57 second clip is all CG fury, featuring no actual gameplay, but littered with allusions to past and present playstyles that we're very interested in! It wasn't the all-out reveal of the last game, which gave us much more in its first outing. In the scheme of things, that might mean the most decisive step forward from the last decade of Mortal Kombat! If you're up for getting dirty, stick with us as we break down the epic trailer into minute, fastidious detail that raises as many questions as it does answers!

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Mortal Kombat x Mortal Kombat
In the build to the big launch - there was a lot of concern about what that X meant, and whether or not we could see another crossover in the vein of MKvsDC. Mortal Kombat X seems to have eliminated any total franchise overlap, but that doesn't eliminate the possibility of worlds colliding. The new Dragon Logo shatters at the end of the trailer to create a stylized X -- and with the press release revealing a new engine featuring multiple playable versions of characters -- we're wondering if this new plot won't involve parallel universes. We see this as a cake-and-eat-it-too scenario for the gamemakers who killed off a majority of their icons in the last game.

The mortality of fighters is on our minds in more ways than one! Sure, there were those extensive deaths to fan-favourites in Mortal Kombat (2011) -- but what about the next game? Sub-Zero suffers a decapitation fatality by the end of the trailer. Hardly an indication of his status in-game, but a wanton attitude to life and death that begs the question: Could that parallel universe be the easy solution to restoring characters and having another bloodbath? We'll be watching this space very closely!

What's it all Four?
Most pre-launch speculation has hinged on the 2011 cliff hanger for a rebooted Mortal Kombat 4 do-over. We've got very little to confirm or deny that right now, but the absence of anything MK4 certainly makes us wonder. The press release calls Mortal Kombat X an "original story" that promises to feature many of the memorable fighting cast and "new" characters, as well.

Choose Your Destiny
We didn't get any characters or story beats from Mortal Kombat 4 - but fans of the original "3D" installment will recognize some MK4-style grapple attacks! This may or may not mean much to the story, but it does raise questions about the multiple playable versions of characters announced in the press release! Could this be an indication of an Ultra Street Fighter IV-style incorporation of previous games' play styles? Or could we even be looking at he return of counter-attack breakers? The video also starts the action with the kind of kombat running introduced in MK3 and continued into MK4.

Weapon of Choice
The MK4 references continue with a certain amount of emphasis on weaponry in the trailer. Weapons were integrated as compliment to standard gameplay and combos in the last game, but the trailer shows a real-time conceit for weapons that is much more reminiscent of MK4's attempts and the weapon styles of Deadly Alliance & Deception. Sub-Zero wields his kori blade on and off throughout the match. Look closely and just like MK4 & MKDA -- the ice sword is planted in the snow from the very beginning of the trailer. Which brings us to another note...

Live at the Improv
Deadly Alliance and its sequels featured arena-specific weapons that could be acquired mid-battle to deal extra drama. You have to go back to Mortal Kombat 4 for a more environmental focus on weaponry, however -- something explored further in NetherRealm's last fighter: Injustice: Gods Among Us! During the trailer, Sub-Zero improvises a weapon when he's sent hurtling into a tree and snaps off a branch for an improvised ice club! A nice choreographed moment in a sizzle trailer -- or a sign of things to come?

Learn to Mind Your Surroundings
Kombat gets positively acrobatic when Sub-Zero takes advantage of an overhanging tree branch to up his revs! This kind of stage interaction feels very reminiscent of the naturalistic flourishes employed in Injustice. Mortal Kombat as a series may be notorious for constantly introducing and reinventing new gameplay elements, but Injustice was arguably the biggest departure from the established principles of MK. This time in 2012 the developers were insisting their new DC Comics fighter was a complete departure from the better known franchise, but time has told that's not really true. There can be much speculation about how much of the lessons learned in Injustice will carry over to MK -- especially when there are multiple versions of characters available!

Cinematic Super Stylin'
Speaking of tricks learnt from Injustice -- the press release for MKX talks up the cinematic quality of the new fighting engine. That's certainly the focus of this CG trailer, which clearly takes some license with the reality of the fighting mechanics it incorporates. The question of how cinematic the moves will get - particularly with those variant playstyles to utilize - should be interesting. Much of the over-the-top action featured in Injustice's super-moves could just as easily be utilized by the iconic Mortal Kombat fighters, if they were so inclined. Moves like X-Rays already played with the virtual camera in the last game, much as "Test Your Might" did in MKvsDC.

Game of Bones
Speaking of which: The X-Ray gimmick introduced in 2011 looks set to return in some updated fashion. The trailer shows the same bone snapping internal view as the deadly charge move, sans the black & white obscuring of a traditional scan. In a game where internal organs and fluids are on show for all, we're not sure this will make a big difference. Realistic, high impact violence like this led to an R18+ classification after the previous game was originally banned in Australia. The system down under - lacking the halfway of MA15+ - has arguably normalized the top end adult rating. Could Warner Brothers be looking to push the boundaries of violence with new abandon? The press release calls this one "the most brutal Kombat experience ever".

Location, Location, Location
One of the absolute triumphs of the previous game was its arenas! A variety of classic stages were reinvented with a level of depth and activity that dared the player to take his eye off the fight! It's probably not a good idea to take the launch trailer too literally, but if this is any indication of the quality of the brand new stages we might be seeing - color us intrigued! This one errs on the side of simplicity, but has some interesting details, ala; stone archways. It's obviously a more Lin Kuei friendly forest, with its liberal coating of snow. Whether it's the literal outskirts of their land - we shall see!

The Whole World in His Hands
As noted: We don't know where in the world this particular forest stage is. We're not sure it really matters. What does matter is the big talk of an all new online esxperience. Improved net code to sustain better connections between players is a must, but the press release is making it sound like there's much more going on in the way of social experience. They're talking "global battle for supremacy" which makes us think some sort of regional stat building. If there are parallel universe or realms in play, we could be seeing an analagous meta-game and that excites us. Of course, they could just be talking about better international servers, as well.

Who's Next?
The last game's launch trailer revealed 7 playable characters and 2 in cut scenes. We only got the two mascots this time, leaving us asking the promotional tagline - Who's next? E3 is right around the corner and Mortal Kombat X is going to be there. We hope to get a glimpse of at least a few more characters, returning, continuing, or otherwise.

Ol' Blue Eyes
The conceit of glowing or stylized eyes is a well known trope of fantasy fiction. It's equal parts looks cool and the of that the eyes being a window to the soul. What do Sub-Zero's icey blue eyes tell us about him? At the end of the last game, Bi-Han was Noob Saibot and Kuai Liang was a Lin Kuei cyborg phantom starting his afterlife in the Netherrealm. At the end of the trailer - Sub-Zero's eyes fade out. Is that the extinguishing life of a powerful cryomancer -- or has the power been severed to a new look Cyber Sub?... [Can a human head be encased in that much... leather?]

Damage Control
Mortal Kombat's development into a "3D" rendered fighter has brought with it a variety of evolving improvements. Realistic, real-time damage to characters has been a consistent interest from game to game. 2002's Deadly Alliance began a tradition of beaten and bruised kombatants, evolving into increasingly complex layers of understructure in Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe and most prominently in Mortal Kombat (2011). In the MKX launch trailer, Sub-Zero sustains repeated damage that exposes his face and blood in ways that would be reminiscent of the last game, but a step closer to realism.

Love or hate it, the Warner Brothers machine is completely behind Mortal Kombat as a franchise and that means cross-promotion. Just as Depeche Mode featured with a song for Injustice: Gods Among Us -- the launch trailer of Mortal Kombat X has given us an unofficial anthem for this game, too. Reportedly "inspired by the intense combat of Scorpion and Sub-Zero as they battle for the ultimate win" -- the song is by Rostrum/Atlantic recording artist Wiz Khalifa. Our verdict: The track lends some nice drama to the trailer, with the added hook of contemporary appeal.

Snoop Lion (nee Dogg) may have found his way into Tekken, but it's no time to start panicking about the sanctity of MK just yet! The series is no stranger to accompanying tie-in tracks. Belgian duo The Immortals most famously created Techno Syndrome (Theme to Mortal Kombat), released on their "Mortal Kombat: The Album" concept record in 1994. Skrillex garnered similar mainstream recognition with his song Reptile from the 2011 album Songs Inspired by the Warriors.

Mortal Kombat X will be on the floor at this year's E3 (June 10-12). Mortal Kombat Online will be covering all the developments, probably in a slightly less speculative fashion. Got your own theories & thoughts? Register to share them in the Mortal Kombat X forum! Help support the site by liking & sharing stories via @MK_Online & Facebook.