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Mortal Kombat 1 completely reinvents series’ lore and gameplay

Mortal Kombat 1 completely reinvents series’ lore and gameplay

A massive change

Words by Robert Collins

Just as the game’s title suggests, Mortal Kombat 1 will see the second series reboot for the long-running fighting game franchise, and the first since 2011’s Mortal Kombat.

But this twelfth mainline entry is also a continuation of sorts of the events of Mortal Kombat 11—or more specifically those depicted in the Aftermath expansion. Let's take a look at the story so far.

Take a look at Mortal Kombat 1 in action below, if you can stomach it!

Upon destroying Shang Tsung, Fire God Liu Kang uses Kronika’s hourglass to reset the timeline once again and remake the universe. The result is, without spoiling anything, a kompletely reimagined take on the MK mythos. But Liu Kang finds that peace and harmony do not come that easily in the Mortal Kombat universe, and konflict quickly begins anew.

Kombat redefined

Just as it reinvents the series' lore, Mortal Kombat 1 will mark an evolution of the bloody fighter’s established gameplay. Perhaps the most exciting feature coming to the game is the inclusion of Kameo characters. While this isn’t an entirely new mechanic as Mortal Kombat 11 featured tag assists, here in Mortal Kombat 1 this feature appears to be a much more elaborated and integral part of the experience with Kameo Kombos and Kameo Fatalities now part of the mix.

And speaking of the latter, Fatality Blows are back albeit with a gruesome twist in which the selected Kameo character joins in the gory fun for double the punishment. When these are pulled off they are presented with bone-crunching X-ray effects like those from MK11—only now they are powered by truly next-gen graphics for shudder-inducing effect.

Air Kombat (from MK: Armageddon and Shaolin Monks) also makes a more polished return. In Mortal Kombat 1 there are true airborne combos and special attacks rather than merely jumping versions of standard attacks.

Modes galore

Mortal Kombat 11 /
Warner Bros.

Along with the aforementioned Story Mode, online multiplayer will of course be present. Though details on this aspect have yet to be fleshed out at this point, it appears that crossplay is expected to return.

New to Mortal Kombat 1 will be “Invasion Mode.” This new single player mode will have a seasonal structure with rotating rewards and challenges, and is fairly similar to the Krypt mode in MK11. Players traverse a board game-style map filled with enemy encounters and unlockables in the form of in-game kurrency, concept art and skins. It’s like Mario Party but with a lot more blood and guts. In Invasion Mode characters can also be leveled up and outfitted with better equipment, so there will definitely be a role-playing element here.


With the new game modes, Kameo assist fighters, an exciting character roster, the most hair-raising fatalities ever conceived and an intriguingly reimagined universe, Mortal Kombat 1 looks like it could become the definitive Mortal Kombat experience for both veterans and noobs alike.

Oh, and the game is drop-dead gorgeous to boot—never before has all that spine-cracking, face-splitting, offal-spewing mayhem looked so gorgeously gory. We’ll finally get out bloodstained hands on Mortal Kombat 1 come September 19 (or for those with early access, September 14) on Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, Switch and PC.

Featured Image Credit: Warner Bros

Topics: Mortal Kombat, Warner Bros