By Daion Walker
Mortal Kombat 1 is Netherrealm Studios’ newest video game installment in the MK universe. Mortal Kombat 1 is a reboot, delivering revolutionary new gameplay, storytelling, and brutality following the release of 2018’s Mortal Kombat 11. With the Mortal Kombat Franchise having over 31 years of rich lore spanning across various forms of media including video games and cinema, the question arises: How does Mortal Kombat 1 compare to its predecessors? Slight disclaimer, in this review I will be going in-depth about the rich history and lore behind Mortal Kombat, those who aren’t familiar with Mortal Kombat’s history may want to catch up on lore before continuing. Now, it has begun.
Mortal Kombat 1 takes place eons after the events of Mortal Kombat 11. Fire God Lui Kang resets the timeline leading to the beginning of a new epoch in the Mortal Kombat timeline. With the timeline being reset we get new takes on familiar characters. Beloved characters such as Mileena, Kenshi, and Queen Sindel all are rewritten in ways that are complex yet complementary to their previous timeline counterparts. As each chapter progresses culminating in a grand story about the conflict between peace and war between the realms, it’s up to Fire God Lui Kang and the defenders of Earthrealm to stop it.
Mortal Kombat 1’s story is amazing, boldly taking fresh new spins on classic characters in ways we’ve never seen before! Being a reboot, MK1 creates a story that is pleasing to loyal fans while giving leeway for new fans to enjoy story mode as well.
The Mortal Kombat Franchise is most notably known for its gorey and over-the-top brutal gameplay and Mortal Kombat 1 delivers just that. While playing dramatically different from previous installments, Netherrealm ensures kombatants have their own unique gameplay and fight style, maintaining the familiar Mortal Kombat style with a refreshing new Kombat style. Characters are now able to do far more damage with MK1’s new air combo system, fatal blows are back and more brutal than ever. Oh, and did I mention, for the first time in Mortal Kombat history, there is a Tag Team System?
For the first time ever, Mortal Kombat 1 introduces Kameo fighters. Kameo fighters are a secondary roster of characters that can be summoned at any point in time during a match. Each kameo fighter has their own unique skill set, fatality, and weapons making for limitless variation of combos for each kombatant and their partnered kameo. Kameos also allowed Netherrealm to bring back cult classic characters such as Shinjiko, Darrius, and Motaro! Characters have low chances of making it to the main roster yet still have a big enough audience to make an appearance in the game and story mode.
Mortal Kombat is not shy from adding additional gameplay modes outside of story mode to keep players interested and continuing to come back to the game. MK1 introduces a new fighting mode Invasions. Invasions in an RPG-style game add new quests and challenges to the traditional Mk1 gameplay. Invasions mode allows players to choose their own fighter and kameo to battle through various battles unlocking new special gear and items across different mesas/maps. Unfortunately, Invasions is where Mk1 begins to fall short. While the game mode is new, the fights and challenges feel repetitive and after a while get boring. It takes players what feels like light years to level up and the final bosses are unnecessarily overpowered causing frustration for many MK1 players alike.
So does Mortal Kombat 1 live up to its previous entries? The simple answer is yes! Mortal Kombat 1 is a fresh new take on Mortal Kombat revitalizing the franchise in ways never done before. Mortal Kombat One being a reboot allows both old and new players to enjoy the game with fresh new takes on old characters. The innovative Kameo system opens the doors to limitless possibilities, allowing players to mix and match their favorite characters and Kameo fighters to learn new combos and fighting strings in ways never seen before. While Mortal Kombat 1 may fall short in variety when it comes to game mode variations, it does not stop the joy that comes from performing fatalities and winning matches with your favorite characters! Mortal Kombat One is now available to play on gaming platforms Playstation, Xbox, PC, and Nintendo Switch.