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‘Mortal Kombat 1’ Is Shaping Up To Be A Bloody Klassic

The September 19 release date for NetherRealm’s Mortal Kombat 1 is rapidly approaching, and I’m eternally upset that it won’t be launching on September 18, also known as Mortal Monday. Also known as the correct way to bring a Mortal Kombat title to the masses. The only way, I reckon.

Honestly, I don’t understand why every Mortal Kombat title doesn’t release on a Mortal Monday, but I guess it’s not 1993 anymore, and sadly, it will never be again. That’s how time works, right?

Anyway, next Tuesday is the release date for the standard, peasant edition of Mortal Kombat 1, but if you’ve ponied up for either the Kollector or Premium editions of the game, you’re probably already doing Fatalities as I write this, because September 14 was the early access date for elite and privileged gamers.

Maybe desperate is a better word? But seriously, if you haven’t paid extra to play five days early, please don’t. We shouldn’t be supporting this sort of nonsense, and I felt the same way about Starfield’s launch. It just feels like the latest way for predatory publishers to milk money out of genuine fans and it sort of grosses me out. A modern twist on the old GameStop pre-order racket, or another weaponized version of the haves and have-nots. No sir, I don’t like it.

That said, the embargo for reviews seems to have vaporized, and now we’re getting some true hands-on impressions, and things seems quite good. Mitchell Saltzman (solid name, Mitch) at IGN has been playing recently, and he’s got high praise for Mortal Kombat 1’s brand new Kameo system, saying that it adds fresh layers of strategy to fights:

“So for example, let’s say I’m playing as Baraka, who notably does not have any overheads or lows in the middle of any of his combo strings. That would make him a character you can pretty safely just block low against once you block the first hit of a string. Unless… I add Scorpion as my Kameo character, who has an overhead as one of his moves. So now there’s a new, added layer to my offense that I can use to try and open up an opponent in a way that I wouldn’t have been able to before. Or I could pick Frost and use her in neutral to try and catch my opponent with a quick low hitting attack that freezes to start up a damaging combo.”

Saltzman also commends the six hour B-movie Story Mode, calling it “big, bombastic, well-acted, and ridiculous in all of the right ways.” Drawbacks to Mortal Kombat 1 so far, at least according to IGN, seem to center around the infamous Mortal Kombat control stiffness, something I loathe, and also the new Invasions Mode, which is apparently some throwaway kind of digital board game where players grind out experience and trinkets.

Saltzman continues:

“Beyond the cinematic story mode, the big new single-player mode for Mortal Kombat 1 is Invasions, which combines the themed environments and rewards of The Krypt, some light RPG elements from older Konquest modes, and the quick back-to-back gimmicky battles of the Towers of Time, packaged in the form of a virtual game board. It’s a mishmash of ideas that sound good on paper but, unfortunately, tries to be a few too many things all at once.”

While IGN’s review is still in progress, VG247 has given the game a 4 out of 5, and Bloody Disgusting (an appropriate outlet to cover virtual beheadings and ribcage obliterations, I’d wager) has given it a 4.5. It appears most of the major outlets haven’t yet delivered scored reviews, however.

From what I’ve gathered, review codes didn’t go out until a few days ago, so perhaps there wasn’t time to meet embargo. I’ve yet to receive a code just yet, but I’m hoping that will happen soon, and I’m also hoping the late review codes aren’t actually a sign that something is wrong with the game. Early impressions seem to disprove that theory, however, but we’ll have to wait and see.

I never got around to fully appreciating Mortal Kombat 11, but with the topsy-turvy universe rewrite that is Mortal Kombat 1, I’m extremely curious about what campy ridiculousness NetherRealm has in store for us this time around. I just hope The Pit makes a comeback!

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