Following on from the stress test for Mortal Kombat 1, we have been given another, very similar look at the game thanks to the pre-order beta that has recently wrapped.
Available to those who have pre-ordered the game on Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5, we have been given the chance to try out some of the Mortal Kombat 1 combatants in both the classic Towers mode as well as some online multiplayer.
This time around, Li Mei and Johnny Cage have been added to the beta, bringing the total up to six alongside Sub-Zero, Kenshi, Kitana and Liu Kang. The only new Kameo fighter added this time is Frost; Kano, Sonya and Jax are all still present.
On the subject of the Kameo fighters, many will be interested in how exactly they work. At almost any point, you can press the RB button to bring in your chosen Kameo fighter. If you are mid-combo, they can join that and keep it going, or can deliver a basic attack if not. However, if you are being attacked, these cannot be summoned to help alleviate the pressure. Likewise, they cannot be called in constantly. Each time you do there is a cooldown.
Kameo fighters don’t come with their own health bar and cannot be directly controlled. Those that were expecting something similar to Tekken Tag Tournament will be perhaps disappointed by this, but to be fair, the clue is in the name: Kameos are just cameos.
We also got a look at the same two levels from the stress test: Fengjian teahouse and Cage mansion, the latter of which reminds a lot of Dead Island 2 with the flamingo inflatable in the pool behind you.
What struck me instantly was how bloody good everything looks in Mortal Kombat 1. The character models, environments, and even the title screen with its gently blowing trees, almost lulling me into a false sense of security before the bloodshed unleashed.
Mortal Kombat 1 looks like a true current gen title, and how many times have we said that during the nearly three years we’ve had shiny Xbox Series X and S consoles? Not very many.
Whilst the Towers portion of the beta was fine, and it wouldn’t truly be a Mortal Kombat title without them, to really get a feel of the combat, I braved online. Thankfully, many a game could be found during the weekend’s testing.
Mortal Kombat 1 brings back a bit of a juggling aspect that hasn’t been in some of the more modern games. This feels a bit strange because it seems like most other fighting games have also adopted this over the past few years, and Mortal Kombat games have always done fine without it. Purely from a personal point of view, I have preferred the fact that Mortal Kombat didn’t go that way too.
Juggling isn’t exactly a newcomer strategy, but combine that with the story’s soft reboot and I am not sure who exactly Mortal Kombat 1 is being pitched at.
And whilst I myself was barely able to administer a decent air combo, many of my opponents did, so I was able to see how they worked. Likewise too, some of the new Fatality’s.
It always amuses me how creative these can be, and how they never get old. From what I have seen so far, Mortal Kombat 1 is keeping up with tradition in terms of the Fatality’s, making them as gruesome as possible. Johnny Cage’s Hollywood Walk of Pain is my favourite so far; rather than making his opponent imprint their handprint into the Hollywood Walk of Fame, he just smashes their head into it and leaves the front half of their skull in the pavement. Glorious stuff.
I’m not sure what kind of changes can be made between now and the full release of Mortal Kombat 1 on 19th September, but then again, I didn’t encounter any issues. The online portion worked perfectly with no dropped frames or anything to report. It would have been good to perhaps see something a bit more than two additional fighters from the stress test – as this beta was solely for those that had pre-ordered the game – because there is still a lot to discover.
I’m intrigued by the story being another reboot, because Mortal Kombat 11 just confused me, and of course I want to see what this iteration of Krypt looks like.
But hey, the full release is just around the corner, so there isn’t that long to wait. Whilst the pre-order beta may now be over, Mortal Kombat 1 is available to pre-order on the Xbox Store for Xbox Series consoles. Choose from either the standard edition priced at £64.99, or the Mortal Kombat 1 Premium Edition for £89.99. This latter option includes early access to the DLC fighters and the base game itself, plus 1250 Dragon Krystals to spend in-game.
Huge thanks go out to Warner Bros for giving us access to the latest Mortal Kombat 1 beta.
Mortal Kombat 1 will release on Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5 and PC come mid-September.