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‘Mortal Kombat 1’: A Bloody Good Time

Effectively a franchise reset, “Mortal Kombat 1” wipes away old lore and establishes new origins for the characters.
(Courtesy of Warner Brothers)


Mortal Kombat” is my fighting game franchise of choice. I remember being 10 years old and playing “Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe” at my aunt’s house for hours and hours. I didn’t know any “kombos,” and still don’t really. The magic of the game for me is in the awesome characters and engaging game modes — everything from story mode to arcade towers that unlock special endings for every character.

The newest installment, “Mortal Kombat 1,” continues this tradition well. The story mode, invasion mode and the arcade towers all give reason to keep coming back.


Effectively a franchise reset, “Mortal Kombat 1” wipes away old lore and establishes new origins for the characters. This gave developers the opportunity to reestablish all of the classic characters, from Raiden no longer being a god, to Scorpion and Sub-Zero being brothers. This clean slate is such a fun way to respect the legacy of the previous games while creating something new for fans.

One of the coolest parts of the game is the inclusion of underrepresented characters from past installments. Instead of new characters, there is a healthy balance of known classic characters and less known 3D-era characters like Reiko, Li Mei and Nitara.

This game also introduces the idea of “Kameo Fighters.” After you pick your main character, you get to select a secondary character from a smaller roster. You can periodically summon this character throughout the match to do special attacks, or help pull you out of danger. These Kameos add lots of replay value to the game as there are many “kombinations” of “karacters” to select from.


These new things are cool. However, new doesn’t matter if it the game isn’t fun. Luckily, this isn’t an issue with “Mortal Kombat 1.”

The game is a great return to form after the mostly lacklusterMortal Kombat 11,” although this installment still has its issues. There are a couple bizarre design choices, like the inability to pin moves to the screen in training mode — something that has been a staple of Mortal Kombat games for years.

The Nintendo Switch version also seems to be basically unplayable. From terrible graphics to bad frame rate, it doesn’t make sense why they even bothered to develop it for the console. Creative director Ed Boon says they are working on fixing it, but charging close to $70 for a game that looks like it was made 10 years ago is ludicrous.

The PC port also has some issues, specifically with frame drops and lowering the frame rate for fatalities and brutalities. It is said they are also working on this problem. These issues seem to be a pattern with current AAA releases. Big studios release an unfinished product sooner than they should so they can start making money. Afterwards, they then start to worry about fixing the glaring issues.

Despite its problems across its various platforms, “Mortal Kombat 1” remains incredibly fun. It is a necessary divergence from the previous titles and a fresh start for the franchise.

Mortal Kombat 1 is available on PS5, XBOX Series X and S, PC and Switch.


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About the Contributor
Ethan Blume, Arts Writer
Ethan is a senior in college majoring in English and minoring in Animation Studies. He always loved student media, even back in high school. He spends his free time reading, playing board games and hanging out with his cat, Yoda.

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