Mortal Kombat 1: Review


This game was reviewed on Playstation 5.

Reviewed by: Ke'Juan Valentine

As a lifelong aficionado of fighting games, I was thrilled to delve into Mortal Kombat 1 (MK1) for the PlayStation 5, a game that not only encapsulates nostalgia but also introduces innovative elements to keep players engaged. I have been playing fighting games ever since I was a child, and even though I probably should not have been playing it in hindsight, Mortal Kombat was not an exception. As I got older, I got more into the Mortal Kombat series, from Mortal Kombat 9, Mortal Kombat X, up to Mortal Kombat 11. So, of course, I could not wait to get my hands onto Mortal Kombat 1 when it was released. So how does this new game in the franchise compare to its previous entries? Let's find out.

Mortal Kombat 1 boasts impeccable graphics that breathe life into the game's notorious gore and fatalities, making them simultaneously thrilling and unsettling. The character models and stage designs are meticulously crafted, bearing an uncanny resemblance to real life while paying homage to the iconic stages, backgrounds, and character motifs from the franchise's storied history. The sound design complements the visuals perfectly, with each punch, kick, bone-cracking move, and fatality resonating with a visceral, meaty sound that enhances the game's brutal aesthetic.

The gameplay in Mortal Kombat 1 is a significant improvement over its predecessor, Mortal Kombat 11. A comprehensive tutorial system guides players through the moves and combos of each character, including the infamous fatalities. The introduction of the Kameo system adds an extra layer of strategy and excitement to the battles, allowing players to fight alongside a partner and execute cohesive and dynamic combos. With the addition of long and air combos, the gameplay becomes even more intense and engaging. The new "Invasions" game mode offers a unique RPG board game experience where players can level up and strengthen their fighters while navigating through increasingly challenging enemies.

Without spoiling the narrative of Mortal Kombat 11, Mortal Kombat 1 presents a refreshed timeline where the familiar characters from the franchise undergo significant transformations in their roles and relationships. The storyline is captivating, with Liu Kang resetting the timeline to the era of "Mortal Kombat 1" and encountering a series of unexpected and intriguing changes in the characters and the overarching narrative. In this timeline, things are a bit different from what we remember back in the past. Shao Kahn is not a Kahn anymore, being reduced to being simply a war general (He's still a jerk, though.) Sindel, once an evil queen, is now a fair and balanced ruler who cares about the people of her realm, Outworld. Mileena is not a crazed, psychotic lunatic bent on ruling Outworld and taking over Kitana's life, but a lovely and blood-related sister to Kitana with the goal to becoming the next Queen of Outworld. Things seem to be going well... except for a familiar villain from Mortal Kombat 11 trying to alter this new timeline and making Shang Tsung, a man who has been stripped of his powers by Liu Kang, powerful again. Now Liu Kang is tasked with finding this villain and stop them before they can breaking the timeline some more and cause chaos.

The character development is commendable, with each character, including my personal favorite Mileena, being portrayed with depth and nuance. I do enjoy how every character was portrayed and how each got developed into the characters we know from the past.

Overall, I absolutely adored this game. Mortal Kombat 1 for PlayStation 5 is a stellar game that deserves a 9 out of 10 rating. While its graphic content may not appeal to everyone, those who can stomach the gore will find a game that is rich in story, impressive in its graphics and sound design, and enhanced in its gameplay. Whether you are a seasoned fan of the franchise or a newcomer, MK1 offers an engaging and enjoyable gaming experience that is both nostalgic and refreshingly new.

Reviewed by: Ke'Juan Valentine