It’s a good time to be a fan of fighting games. Button mashers and combo enthusiasts alike already had “Street Fighter 6” to look forward to this summer but now things are about to get a lot bloodier this fall. Though it was already hinted at by WB Games, it’s now official that another installment in the brutally infamous “Mortal Kombat” series will be hitting all the major consoles this fall. Even though the last entry was “Mortal Kombat 11,” it’s not going to be “MK 12” you’re playing however, it’s “Mortal Kombat 1.”
Those of you keeping up on your “MK” lore may remember that this isn’t the first time the series has reset itself in terms of names and timelines. You may recall that following the events of “Mortal Kombat Armageddon” the story sent itself back into the past with a timeline reset for the ninth game, just titled “Mortal Kombat” (2011). Because this series can’t help trying to one-up itself time and time again, 2023 will now bring us ANOTHER game with the timeline reset, except this one will at least have a “1” in the name to differentiate itself from the previous titles.
Spoilers if you haven’t finished the story mode of “Mortal Kombat 11” but some serious stuff went down with Liu Kang basically becoming a god after defeating the master of time itself, Kronika. The martial arts master has now used his newfound mastery of all to recreate the universe. So Liu Kang’s a god, Raiden is apparently a mortal, Sub-Zero and Scorpion are on amicable terms, Shang Tsung is still up to no good, and the gore factor is on another level of excessively…excessive. Which if you’re a fan of that is more of an expectation than a critique of the series.
The cinematic reveal trailer doesn’t give us anything in terms of gameplay but it does show us that series creator Ed Boon and his team at NetherRealm Studios are continuing their trend of telling stories in this world with beautiful character models and animation. This is a trend we’ve seen in both the recent MK games and their sister series, “Injustice.” And actually, for some it came as a surprise that we received a new MK game instead of a new fighter in the dark DC Universe as they were alternating releases for a few years now. But let’s face it, WB Games knows where the bread is buttered, and it’s all about the “Mortal Kombat.”
The confirmed roster at the moment includes Liu Kang, Raiden, Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Kitana, Millena, Kung Lao, Shang Tsung (as a pre-order bonus) and Johnny Cage. Cage is unseen in the trailer but has been confirmed thanks a unique DLC option which can equip him with a Jean-Claude Van Damme skin. There will obviously be more characters where this came from, and if past games are any indication, there will be some random ones from action films or horror movies that you wouldn’t have expected.
As for gameplay details, one nugget of information has been dropped regarding Kameo Fighters. These characters are set to pop into the mix somehow as partner fighters. Our best guess so far is they may end up being similar to the assist characters that were used in other fighting games like “Marvel vs. Capcom.” We’ll just have to continue to wait for more updates from NetherRealm leading up to the release of “Mortal Kombat 1” on September 19th, 2023.