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John Wick should be a Mortal Kombat 11 guest DLC character, here's why he fits the bill perfectly

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • February 5, 2021 at 7:15 p.m. PST • Comments: 25

Those who have been following Mortal Kombat progression and watching recent action blockbusters already know that John Wick isn't exactly a hard sell for a guest addition to the roster of Mortal Kombat 11.

Series co-creator Ed Boon himself has even listed Wick as one of three characters he'd like to see make guest appearances in Mortal Kombat during an interview with Meu Playstation, and so we figured a speculative exploration into the particulars of Wick as an MK11 character was in order.

Fitting the themes

Mortal Kombat 11's DLC development has very much been following along a classic action hero theme with a sprinkling of dark comics thanks to Spawn and Joker. Terminator, Robocop, and Rambo are unmistakable icons of the film genre, clearly following in similar thematic footsteps to MKX's classic horror slashers.

We'd be remiss not to bring up the Ash Williams rumors, a character that would somewhat bridge the horror of MKX and the action of MK11. There's never been official evidence that tells us he was supposed to be part of the game, but alleged leaks paired with that curious chainsaw sound effect at the end of the Shang Tsung gameplay trailer leads me to put my money on the theory that Williams was ultimately replaced by Joker.

John Wick might not be as old as the classics, but he's seen a meteoric rise in popularity over the last seven years and has already eclipsed similar figures. The all but interchangeable Jason Statham, Vin Diesel, or Dwayne Johnson cookie cutter heroes just don't seem to have the same kind of charisma needed for a DLC kombatant to really make waves.

Wick, on the other hand, has it all. Swagger, over the top violence that nearly bleeds into the realm of comedy, and a story fresh in audience's minds rife with Easter egg references to pick from. NetherRealm has been all about swag, near-comedic violence, and Easter eggs, especially in more recent work.

Fighting style: Not just another gun character

The use of guns is becoming more and more prevalent with this particular brand of guests joining up on a roster with Erron Black, but Wick is by no means a long range fighter in the films. Yes, he takes out a few baddies from a distance, but so often he's using his guns while engaging in hand to hand combat and judo-like rolling interactions.

NRS could design Wick without a single long range projectile and still make him work just fine. Maybe he's a mid range and grappling type character who's more about holds into close up head shots than he is about trying to zone from far out.

You'd be wrong to design this character without some heavy gun usage built right into his bread and butter sequences, but it doesn't at all mean he needs to fight or be at particular advantage from far away.

In re-watching the fight scenes from the three films, he resorts to using his surroundings quite a bit (for example, fighting in a horse stable and setting up baddies to get kicked by horses and then tying them up and dragging them). The game's intractable backgrounds almost lend themselves directly to Wick as a result, but they're obviously not tailor-made for him... if they were, they'd all be giant panes of glass since those are clearly his favorite objects to throw and be thrown through.

Wick does have a ton of various weapons he's used in the movies. His handguns are a must, but he could also have a few attacks that involve shotguns, assault rifles, and even the old school firearm he quickly assembles in Parabellum. Toss in a garrote, an array of knives, his belt, a machete, maybe a hatchet, and a pencil (non-negotiable there) and you're good. NRS certainly has plenty of various weapons to choose from, and could flesh out most all of his special attacks with these.

There's also opportunity to switch things up as perhaps he might call in Sofia's Belgian Malinois for a kind of assist attack we've seen plenty of times in NRS titles. For as much of an established identity that this character technically has, he truly feels like an inviting blank canvas with plenty of various paint supplies when it comes to a marriage with MK.

Intros, Fatalities, Friendship, X-Ray, and the like

A huge draw for these guest characters comes in the way NRS pays so much homage to the source material. Mortal Kombat has plenty of highlight opportunities through its various cinematic interactions, both during and surrounding fights.

The beautiful thing here is that, when it comes to the melding of these properties, Wick's arsenal can be applied to the Mortal Kombat framework in a ton of various ways and they'd all work out. You might want to save the pencil for a Fatality, but you have specials, Brutalities, an X-Ray to flesh out, and it's fairly hard to go wrong here.

One of his intro or outro animations might see him come crashing through one of those panes of glass on his way out of a previous fight and seamlessly into the next. NRS might also pay homage to the vintage 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 and have him pull up pr take off in it, perhaps with a dog in the passenger seat.

The Mustang could just as easily be used in a Fatality as there are more than a few bumps, crashes, and usage of cars as deadly weapons in the films. Speaking of mustangs, perhaps a kill move involving the aforementioned horse could provide for a nice departure from the use of more traditional weapons in his arsenal.

X-Ray attacks tend to showcase a handful of a given fighter's abilities, so here we might see a combo of sick holds to break bones, a few shots from various types of guns, and maybe a nice knife to the eye (to call back to one of the harder moments to watch in the third film... and that's saying something) for a strong finish.

The best John Wick Friendship I could come up with sees him offer his opponent a ride in his Mach 1. They'd peel out and take off for a bunch of donuts and fun-filled high speed maneuvers. An alternate might see him offer his opponent a few Continental coins so we can get a nod to the films' awesome underground society, but the former really seems to fit the bill best.

Closing thoughts

John Wick isn't a classic (yet) in the way MK11 guests like Arnold and Stallone are, but he's damn close to the style NRS is currently aiming for and is all but a surefire big money maker in terms of DLC characters.

Keanu Reeves is a very familiar face, not only to the general public, but also to gaming thanks to his recent appearance in Cyberpunk 2077 as well as the John Wick Fortnite campaign.

There may be some red tape when it comes to making deals with studios and such, but already we've seen NRS get the rights and execute very strongly with other major (even larger) properties. What's more, the owners have already proven they're open to playing ball via that Fortnite crossover.

The fact that Boon directly named the character as a hopeful gives the whole concept even more credence. Interestingly enough, he cited Neo (another Reeves character) as one of the others, though perhaps he and John Constantine (one of my personal hopefuls for a while now) might make for better future Injustice additions.

The pieces line up so perfectly and the money seems to be there for the taking, but what do you think? Is there an argument against Wick for MK11? Sound off in the comments with your thoughts and reactions.

Banner image credit to modder Ouji-chama.

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