On September 14th NetherRealm Studios will release a new mainline installment of their historic Mortal Kombat fighting franchise. After thirty years, the series is set to see another reboot when Mortal Kombat 1 releases on consoles and PC. With that, anyone who pre-orders the game physically or digitally, you are entitled to the closed beta. The Mortal Kombat 1 beta will go live on Friday, August 18th at 8 AM PT / 11 AM ET / 3 PM UTC. It will end on Monday, August 21 at 11 AM ET / 10 AM CDT / 8 AM PT.
We have been playing the game for some time now, and I must say that the Mortal Kombat 1 reboot comes from the story elements alone. MK1 is very much Mortal Kombat 11 again at its foundation and within the design of the engine. Although the team has made two radical changes that turn the game upside down so you do not notice.
The New Kameo Fighters for Mortal Kombat 1
The first of the changes comes in the form of “Kameo Fighters.” This is how NetherRealm is describing their assist characters. You now must pick an assist fighter with each match. The team has promised a nice mix of fun and retro characters to choose from here.
While seemingly one small change, the assist fighters do change the game significantly. It moves a lot faster and reminds me of Marvel vs Capcom. You hit the R1 button to have an assist character attack your opponent. Something I found interesting was calling Jax in. Jax’s ground pound does damage to any character in range (including yourself). Alternatively, if I grabbed my opponent before calling in Jax, he would do a devastating backbreaker. So there are ways to augment how you use the Kameo Fighter.
With Mortal Kombat 1, your competitive success is not going to be measured by how well you learn the moves. Mastering the game will be about how well can you learn to chain moves. Do not get me wrong, MK1 is an incredibly welcoming game for people that just want the story. Likewise for people that are intimidated by fighting games. Even on the higher difficulty levels, you will be able to enjoy MK1 without having to quit your job and dedicate yourself to competing. Learning a handful of moves will be enough for you to master the game offline. Learning how to chain all of the moves is where you hit that next level.
A Worthy Reboot?
The second change NeatherRealm brought to Mortal Kombat 1 was a spiritual redesign of each fighter. At their core, in the engine level of the game, the returning fighters will feel remarkably similar to how they do in MK11. While Liu Kang, is still Liu Kang from Mortal Kombat 11, he plays the role of the new Raiden in MK1. So along with his typical moveset there are a few God-like elements to his combat. There are a ton of other cannon changes like, Noob Saibot is now Sub-Zero, and his brother Kuai Liang (Sub-Zero) is now Scorpion. These changes ensure you need to forget everything you know.
Subsequently, Mortal Kombat 1 is more of the same with these two changes aside. It is an incredibly welcoming fighting game that allows for a natural progression into learning chains. After playing MK11 and its three story expansions, I feel confident the story is going to be remarkable yet again. There is a lot to look forward to from this klassic fighting game this fall.