When Mortal Kombat X's announcement talked of characters having variants which play differently, I quietly hoped the man-puncher's lightning-charged "thunder god" Raiden might get one with actual thunder powers. Perhaps he could clap loudly to stun opponents, set off car alarms to distract them, or scare dogs into panicking and biting people.
A new trailer introducing the variant system with Raiden as the example shows that while his three new flavours might all taste quite different, none make opponents blithely ignore him because they've counted five seconds between the flash and clap and are quite confident he's a mile away.
No, instead his variants all offer different flashy powers. One gives him moves useful for punching out longer combos, while another grants new teleportation moves to bounce around more, and the third is able to drape lightning traps in mid-air to control space. Presumably we'll soon receive a deluge (this word references weather because thunder) of videos showing other fighters' variants.
This is hardly a new idea for fighting games or even the Mortal Kombat series, mind. But the MK reboot pared the series down, cutting out a load of characters, backstory cruft, and ways to punch faces, so it's interesting that NetherRealm are now reintroducing a little.
And mercy me, if Raiden's fatality isn't the most absurd display of violence you'll see today!