Mortal Kombat 1 was just recently announced, and with the new gameplay reveal trailer out it’s safe to say the game looks incredible. Mortal Kombat 1 has been all about change, and be it to the story, the timeline, or the overall gameplay loop of a Mortal Kombat game, developers have been promising fans something new and fresh.


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Mortal Kombat 11 was a critical and commercial hit, but by the end of its lifecycle, the game and the overall formula carrying over from Mortal Kombat X were getting a little stale. This new game, in most of the pre-release content, so far seems to be a vibrant step in the right direction. The game is loaded with changes and tweaks and here are some of the biggest ones discovered over the last few weeks.

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5 Sub Zero and Scorpion Are Brothers

MK1 Scorpion and SubZero

The rivalry between Scorpion and Sub-Zero has been one of the most iconic rivalries in fighting game history, with iconic moves to go along with it. It has been a staple of the franchise for decades now. The last few games have seen how Scorpion and Sub-Zero can find common ground and work together. In fact, in Mortal Kombat 11, they were pretty close to being considered allies and friends.

Mortal Kombat 1 with its timeline reset has taken this up a notch—Scorpion and Sub-Zero are now brothers. Both characters are seemingly part of the Lin Kuei clan as well. Another major change that players should be prepared for is the fact that Sub-Zero isn’t the honorable and stoic Kuai Lang players have been used to for a while. In fact, it’s his older brother Bi-Han, who in the original timeline later became Noob Saibot. So this in itself is a massive change many fans were not expecting.

4 Empress Mileena

MK1 Mileena and Kitana

This was already slightly hinted at during the original Mortal Kombat 1 reveal trailer, but the new gameplay reveals have confirmed that Mileena is the ruling royal in this new timeline—not Kitana. This is a big change, and it is going to be very interesting to see how her character develops as a leader. Moreover, it seems Mileena’s facial scars and teeth are developing as the story progresses. What the cause of them is not clear as of right now, but this is also a clever change as it can add some depth to Mileena’s character and her potential descent into the character players are familiar with.

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The relationship dynamics between Mileena and Kitana will also be very fun to watch. Their combat dialogue already shows that Mileena is a little distrusting, or even jealous of her sister. Kitana, on the other hand, seems to be completely loyal as seen through her dialogue with Sub-Zero.

3 Combo Variety

MK 1 Gameplay

While it may be too soon to see how far this goes, it is pretty apparent from gameplay reveals as well as how both Mortal Kombat pros and YouTubers alike have been raving about it, that this game has tons of combo variety. Mortal Kombat 1 from the outset seems to have tons of different combo routes, combo extensions, and Kameo extensions, and players who got their hands on the reveal were already perfecting combos going up to 50% in damage.

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While at its core Mortal Kombat 1 seems to be a footsie and neutral heavy fighting game just like MK11, it has already shown that it has tons of potential to have fun, unique, and difficult-to-execute combos, which is exactly what hardcore fans want.

2 Kenshi Is Back

Kenshi MK1

The fan-favorite blind swordsman Kenshi is back, and he’s not blind. Kenshi’s return in the recent reveals shows a younger version, seemingly fighting against underworld forces for his family legacy and to protect people. This Kenshi has his eyesight but does have the same spiritual or puppet-master-like powers fans can expect. Additionally, certain costumes of Kenshi do feature him wearing his signature red blindfold, so there is a strong chance players get to see him turn blind in this game.

Different press releases and tweets from Ed Boon seem to indicate this game will show a lot more love to 3D-Era Mortal Kombat characters like Kenshi, which is a big plus. Stryker has already been teased as a Kameo and fans are eager to see who comes next.

1 Kameos

MK1 Stryker Kameo

Kameos are the big feature being introduced in this game. They are essentially similar to assists in other fighting games such as Dragon Ball FighterZ and Smash Bros. Recent reveals have shown that Kameos are going to be an integral part of Mortal Kombat 1’s gameplay loop, and they’re not just some random feature. Not only are the Kameo characters such as Jax and Sonya with the player character in intros and outros, but they also form a part of fatal blows and fatalities as well.

Beyond that, Kameos are integral to how the combat operates. They can be used to extend combos, cover unsafe strings, throw projectiles, aid in grabs, and a lot more. They seem to have their own timing windows and difficulty curve, and different Kameos can completely change how a certain character operates. The addition of Kameos, and how they will develop is one of the most exciting new features in Mortal Kombat 1 and even adds characters that might not be seen otherwise.

Mortal Kombat 1 is set to release on September 19, 2023.

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