Mortal Kombat 1 Has a Fun Foundation, But Feels Slow Right Now


Mortal Kombat 1 is heralded as a fresh reboot of the beloved Mortal Kombat video game series, building upon the events of Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath. This approach is evident in the significant changes made to the core of the game itself. While Mortal Kombat 1 maintains elements familiar to long-time fans, it also introduces notable deviations from the NetherRealm Studios' previous iterations of the franchise.

Recently, Mortal Kombat 1 provided fans with an opportunity to test the game through an Online Stress Test held over the weekend. After spending several hours engaging in both online and offline matches during the test, it became apparent that Mortal Kombat 1 offers a wealth of depth to explore. The game presents numerous options and strategies, making it impossible to fully grasp the potential of the four available characters (and three Kameo Fighters). Undoubtedly, the game establishes a solid and enjoyable foundation, but the current hurdle lies in adjusting to the movement speed, which requires some acclimation.

(Photo: WB Games)

How Does Mortal Kombat 1 Play? 

During the Online Stress Test for Mortal Kombat 1, players were given the chance to explore two gameplay options: the offline Klassic Tower, which offered a few matches, and the online Kasual Match mode for competitive play. The roster consisted of four available characters: Sub-Zero, Kenshi, Kitana, and Liu Kang, along with three selectable Kameo Fighters: Kano, Sonya Blade, and Jax. The Kameo Fighters function similarly to the Konsumables in Mortal Kombat 11, briefly appearing upon triggering a directional input for potential attacks.

While Sonya Blade provided excellent combo extension options, Kano appeared to excel among the three Kameo Fighters with his versatile attacks, including a Superman-like laser beam that swiftly crosses the screen. These Kameo Fighters can also be strategically employed to break combo chains, adding an intriguing element to gameplay. Discovering the best synergy between a specific fighter and the Kameo Fighters will undoubtedly be a major draw when Mortal Kombat 1 releases in the upcoming fall. This new addition to the franchise builds upon the previous experimentation with Konsumables and introduces an exciting era of Kombat.

The same can be said for each of the fighters introduced thus far. Although all four are returning characters, they feel distinct and offer fresh gameplay experiences. Liu Kang, for instance, with his Fire God abilities, has become a faster and more explosive fighter than ever before. Sub-Zero, on the other hand, boasts a wider array of aerial options compared to previous iterations. The removal of move variations tied to specific styles or weapons allows for greater freedom, and each character is equipped with a plethora of enjoyable options for stringing together combos.

(Photo: WB Games)

Mortal Kombat 1 embraces a heavily combo-centric gameplay style, where moves are designed to seamlessly chain into one another, providing players with numerous options to open up their opponents and initiate exciting combos. The game brims with potential for exploration and experimentation, promising an enjoyable experience in the full release. However, the current challenge lies in the pace of the game. Mortal Kombat 1 adopts a deliberate tempo, with dashes covering less distance and overall movement speed feeling slower compared to Mortal Kombat 11. This adjustment might prove significant for players familiar with the previous installment.

The deliberate speed lends itself well to executing combo chains, enhancing the satisfaction of connecting moves. However, it may pose challenges when characters with more projectile-heavy abilities join the fray. While the slower pace doesn't detract from the experience, it introduces a different rhythm that contributes to an already substantial learning curve, especially when factoring in the Kameo Fighter options. Presently, Kameos activate slightly slower, requiring the player's character to be in a specific position, and there's a brief delay before they exit the screen, allowing for movement once again.

Kameo Fighters add depth to Fatal Blows, throws, and combos, even coming with their unique Fatalities. However, the speed of their implementation will be an intriguing aspect to observe when Mortal Kombat 1 becomes available. Despite the adjustment period, the game offers a visually stunning experience, and the satisfaction derived from intense battles remains undeniable.

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