Mortal Kombat 1: Veterans and Newcomers Welcome

 One of the world’s best-selling fighting games hit shelves again on September 19th with the release of Mortal Kombat 1. This game is the third restart of the series (Mortal Kombat 1992, Mortal Kombat 9, and Mortal Kombat 1) and in-game universe. As with many reboots, there have been many changes: in story, characters, and gameplay, and I can happily say most of it is for the better. 

As to be expected with any Mortal Kombat game it has sold extremely well and cemented the series as the world best selling fighting game (80 million copies sold). As of September 20th, it sits at 75% positive reviews on Steam. Polished mechanics, superb graphics, and clean gameplay are some of the many reasons Mortal Kombat 1 is sitting at 8/10 for both IGN and GameSpot. However, even with all the stellar scores held by this soft reboot, there are some extreme issues with some versions of the game.

 Firstly, every major gaming outlet has brought up the abysmal state of the Nintendo Switch edition, while the game on every other console has been praised for refined realistic graphics on Switch it truly looks like a free-to-play mobile game. The complaints for this edition aren’t just skin-deep performance issues such as long load times and game-breaking bugs are rampant. These reasons made this edition of the game essentially a different game and earned a score of 3/10 from IGN.

 Apart from that very unfortunate dark spot on the game’s reputation it overall has very little wrong with it except…microtransactions. Yes, the dread of all modern gamers. For those who have been long-time fans of the Mortal Kombat it should come as no surprise Warner Bros has tried to stuff as many ways for them to make an extra buck in their newest title. For starters, the game was sold in three different formats Standard, Premium, and Kollectors. The Standard Edition came with the base game for $70, nothing else. The Premium Edition sold for $110 and along with having the base game gave the owner 5-day early access to the game, early access to Kombat Pack 1 (Paid DLC that includes new characters), and 1250 Dragon Krystals(A premium currency players pay for to buy in-game cosmetics). Lastly, the Kollectors Editions

comes in at a staggering $250; it includes the Premium Edition of the game as well as sculpture, art prints, and steel game case. Surprisingly, the absurd pricing for the game was the crux of the issue for most gamers; instead, it was the addition of the Kombat Pack and premium currency. Many saw the inclusion and sale of extra content before the game was released as predatory. The addition of Dragon Krystals and an in-game shop was icing on the cake for many people practices like these have become commonplace and expected in most free-to-play games, but having some cosmetics only obtainable by buying them in a game that already cost $70 has had some fans lose faith in the IP. The silver lining I guess is even with a weekly shop rotating cosmetics the game still offers plenty of things to work towards and earn by playing the game.

To start, let me say while I have dabbled in Mortal Kombat X and played a decent amount of Mortal Kombat 11 I am by no means a big fan of the series. I have much preferred my time with fighting games such as Guilty Gear Strive and Street Fighter 6, but things have mostly changed as of the newest release in the Mortal Kombat series. I can attribute my struggle to stick with the older titles due to a few things. It mainly came down to not enjoying the world and characters, and the configurable move sets found in those two titles. Being a newcomer to the genre picking a character and then being bombarded with different equippable movesets made it very hard to learn and stick to one fighter. I’m glad to say Netherrealm Studios got rid of this and instead stuck with the traditional single moves per character. Fighting game veterans don’t fret though, because replacing configurable moves is the Kameo system. This allows players to choose a secondary fighter who can use assist moves during the match. This new addition to the Mortal Kombat franchise helps lower the entry skill barrier while the possible combos allow lots of choice and a high skill ceiling.

The biggest surprise for me so far is the story mode as most fans know the Mortal Kombat stories are just glorified cutscenes broken up with the occasional fight. Normally this would be a downside, but the writing and graphics make it very enjoyable. While the story is nothing new as it follows the main group of protagonists competing in the Mortal Kombat tournament only to have to stop a sinister plot to cause war between the realms, mostly good voice acting and a few good comedic notes make the 6-hour playtime worth it. In addition, completing story missions unlocks plenty of cosmetics and once you finish it you even unlock a new character to use.

The other single-player content includes the classic Towers, a game mode where the player faces increasingly difficult opponents until they reach the top, and the new Invasion mode. For Towers not much has changed since previous titles so you already know the deal, but Invasion on the other hand is a mix between The Krypt, from Mortal Kombat 11, and World Tour, from Street Fighter 6. In simple terms, the player finds themselves on a grid map with different spaces, kind of like a board game, each space is an individual fight, tower, or minigame. The levels normally have special modifiers to spice up the gameplay. Invasion also has a slight RPG element where your chosen character can level up and increase different stats. Otherwise, there isn’t much else it can serve as a break from normal gameplay and is one of the best ways to unlock cosmetics for your favorite characters, but you will find yourself getting bored of it a few hours in. Regardless it is extra content and so far the developers are planning on adding new maps every season so I won’t knock it too much.

I won’t spend too much time on the multiplayer aspect of the game as its formatting is almost identical to past entries. This isn’t great however as it can make it a pain to play against friends online due to an unintuitive invite system. The classic versus itself has great performance due to the rollback netcode this helps it avoid the plight of horrendous connection between players that many of Mortal Kombat 1’s contemporaries struggle with. While this isn’t important to most, the balance of the game seems to be exceptional with every fighter and Kameo seeming to not tip the scales too much. So far Mortal Kombat 1 is my favorite game in the series and might even usurp Guilty Gear Strive for the title of my favorite fighting game.

Mortal Kombat 1 epitomizes everything great in the classic series rewarding gameplay, clean graphics, and visceral gore and blood truly elevate this title. I truly believe the game is a must-buy for all fighting game enjoyers and is a great introduction to the series for newcomers unless your preferred console is Nintendo Switch.  

Leave a Comment
Donate to PPHS Now

Your donation will support the student journalists of Purdue Polytechnic High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

About the Contributor
Carter Killilea, Journalist
Carter Killilea is a writer for PPHS Now in the class of 2025. Carter puts most of his energy into extracurriculars like football, volleyball, and robotics.Otherwise Carter is passionate about nature and the preservation of the ecosystem. Currently, Carter's post highschool interests lie in engineering and science, but regardless of his path, he hopes to succeed. Lastly, Carter has a strong disdain for poetry, speeches, taxes, and government.
Donate to PPHS Now

Comments (0)

All PPHS Now Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *