How Mortal Kombat 1 Reinvents The Franchise For A New Generation

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Discover a reborn universe created by the Fire God Liu Kang and witness a new era of the iconic fighting franchise. Out now on PS5, Xbox Series X|S, Switch and PC. Get it here.

Mortal Kombat 1 is nearly here, and series fans have a lot of reason to be excited about this brand-new entry. After hitting a fever pitch in Mortal Kombat 11, it only makes sense that the team at NetherRealm have gone full rebootality on this new game and approached everything from story to gameplay and features with a fresh vision, ready to kick off a whole new generation of Mortal Kombat.

There’s a lot to look forward to when Mortal Kombat 1 hits on September 19th (or if you’re lucky enough to have picked up one of the Premium Editions you’re likely already playing), so here’s a quick refresher on what’s new and exciting:

A Realm Reborn

Mortal Kombat 1 takes the world and story of Mortal Kombat back to the drawing (blood) board, with the Fire God Liu Kang having recreated the universe in his own image.

Despite what was intended to be a new era of peace, Liu Kang finds himself in need of an army in order to combat a familiar threat from the past, and so assembles a new collection of warriors from across the realms – familiar names and faces now given new histories, comraderies and rivalries that will make or beak Liu Kang’s efforts to protect the world once again.

With the stage set for a brand-new story mode filled with slickly-produced cutscenes and fresh takes on these well-established worlds and characters, Mortal Kombat fans have a lot to look forward to here.


A Fresh Roster Of Kombatants

With a new realm comes new citizens, and Mortal Kombat 1’s roster of fighters reimagines both series staples and some exciting returning fighters to offer up a fresh-feeling call sheet of carnage.

Mortal Kombat 1’s main roster is a crowd-pleasing collection of series greats, from Johnny Cage to Kitana, Raiden and of course Sub-Zero and Scorpion. There are some stand-out reappearances here as well including the vampire Nitara, who’s voiced by none other than Megan Fox.

That star-studded quality also continues into the selection of characters coming as part of the game’s very first Kombat Pack, which pairs up Mortal Kombat greats like Ermac and Quan Chi with some visiting superheroes in the forms of The Boys’ Homelander, Invincible’s Omni-Man and DC’s Peacemaker. Picking up the game’s Premium Edition will not only get you access to these, but a very special Johnny Cage skin featuring the voice and likeness of 90s action idol, Jean-Claude Van Damme.


Kameos Make An Appearance

One of the major new features on offer in Mortal Kombat 1 is the introduction of the Kameo system which, as the name suggests, brings in an even greater roster of characters from Mortal Kombat history like Kano, Sonya Blade or Goro to join in on the action for a fleeting role in fights.

Kameo fighters are ready and waiting in the wings to help you lay the smack down in fights, with players able to pair up their favourite playable fighter and favourite Kameo fighter to take into combat. They’re not tag team partners looking to replace you in a fight, but they’ll jump in whenever you need at the press of an input to perform a variety of special attacks and even set up or extend your combos, making them an absolutely invaluable part of your strategy.

Kameo fighters also come with their own gruesome fatalities, so your choice of assist can even score you a gruesome new finisher to inflict upon your enemies.


Invasion of the Body Smashers

Of the newly-added features to get around in Mortal Kombat 1, a big one is the new Invasion mode, which takes some of the series’ previous fan-favourite ideas like the Krypt and cranks the dial up to 11 with a huge new board game-like style of play that’s set to evolve over time.

Invasion sees players exploring a diorama-esque map while fighting enemies, levelling up, scoring loot and earning credits, and it even features the return of some familiar gameplay and mini-games from Mortal Kombat history like classic Arcade Towers and Test Your Might games.

Invasion will also offer seasonal content that’s updated regularly to cycle in new challenges and introduce new realms for players to explore with new bosses to face off against.

mk1 invasion

Beautiful Brutality, Gorgeous Gore

Of course, with a new generation of Mortal Kombat – and one that’s mostly targeting a new generation of hardware, no less – comes a shiny new look ready to be made bloodier.

Taking full advantage of the power of current hardware on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S, the game offers a lush visual suite with gorgeously-rendered backgrounds, highly detailed characters and incredible animations that almost seem to strike a balance between cutting-edge and the photorealistic rotoscoping of the original Mortal Kombat.

More importantly though, it’s packed with the series trademark gore and excruciatingly-detailed damage models that see bones break, skin tear and dissolve, entrails litter the combat arena and lots of heads come off. With every new level of visual excellence the world achieves, we also give the folks at NetherRealm an excuse to go absolutely off the rails on gore, and Mortal Kombat 1 is the product of their blood, sweat, and more blood.

Mortal Kombat 1 is out now on PS5, Xbox Series X|S and PC. Get it here.