The next entry of the Mortal Kombat series is just over the horizon with the upcoming release of Mortal Kombat 1. The new game from Netherrealm Studios will be both a sequel and reboot of the series that tries to mix up what we already know about the franchise, giving a new perspective on iconic characters and brutal combat. But with Mortal Kombat 1 set to be released on consoles in September 2023, players finally had a chance to get some hands-on time with the MK1 Online Stress Test. It’s only a peek at things to come, but the online stress test showed plenty for fans to get excited about.
Mortal Kombat 1 will be changing up the way we see many of the warriors we’ve come to know over the years in various ways, both in design and in combat. Within the online stress test of the game, we can see this firsthand with the small selection of fighters available to play with. Sub-Zero, Kenshi, Kitana, and Fire God Lui Kang are all playable fighters to use online and offline. On the other hand, the game lets you pick one of three Kameo fighters to assist you in matches. Sonya Blade, Kano, and Jax are all Kameo fighters in the stress test, but there will definitely be more in the final version of Mortal Kombat 1. Even with the small selection of fighters, there are a lot of differences in matchups between the pairings of fighters and Kameo fighters.
While there were only two stages to fight on, the visuals of the game look very good. Mortal Kombat 1 has a lot of colors that are vibrant throughout everything you see in and out of combat, making it one of the more colorful entries of the series. But the brutality and viciousness maintain its dominance on the series, with brutal special moves and finishers that are worthy of the series’ legacy. The best part of this is that you don’t have to wait long to get into matches between the menus and actual gameplay. Load screens are nearly nonexistent, with transitions between the fighter select and the beginning of the matchup appearing almost seamless.
Controlling your fighter and Kameo fighter is very similar to the previous Mortal Kombat game, with a few differences. One shoulder button is made for calling your Kameo fighter to help you, which can either execute an attack or help break you out of a combo you’re hit by. They’re great for following up with combos or setting up for a counterattack. Kameo fighters can only be called upon when their meter is filled, so you can’t use them constantly for everything. The meter fills up gradually over time, so you’ll have it available often during a matchup. Kameo fighters can also execute a special Fatality where they finish off an opponent, which adds some flair to what can happen at the end of a match. Each Kameo fighter has their own Fatality they can do, with the ones in the stress test being a massive amount of fan service to classic Mortal Kombat games.
The arcade ladder was the offline mode for the stress test, which lets you fight through four matches. You get to see every character on the roster for the stress test in action, as well as their Kameo fighter choices. Everyone has a great assortment of attacks, combos, and special moves that will look flashy and deal big damage. Depending on your own skill level and preferences, each fighter will have their own pros and cons.
Using Kameo fighters in a match at the right time will be key, especially when you need to shift the momentum of a match that isn’t going your way. No two characters will end up playing exactly the same, especially when they have different choices of Kameo fighter. Their move lists will be similar, but their tactics mid-match will definitely not.
The online quality of matches for the Mortal Kombat 1 Stress Test is hit or miss, depending on your own internet connection and matchups. Finding a match online doesn’t take long, but because the stress test is susceptible to issues, there are times when disconnections happen. Overall, the stability of matches online is pretty solid. You can accept or decline matches before entering combat, which can help if you find yourself paired with someone with a poor connection. There are no online lobbies in the stress test, but the final version of the game will allow many more options for online matchmaking.
Beyond that, there isn’t much else within the Mortal Kombat 1 stress test that hasn’t already been seen in various trailers and presentations of the game. Those looking for more details about the game’s story, other characters on the roster, and any other Mortal Kombat 1 secrets will have to patiently wait for the release. There’s still plenty to uncover and learn more about in this sequel reboot from Netherrealm Studios, but we’ll just have to wait a little while longer to see more. Mortal Kombat 1 releases on PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series consoles, and PC on September 19th, 2023.
Are you excited about the upcoming release of Mortal Kombat 1? Did you get to play in the online stress test for the game? Share with everyone your thoughts about the new Mortal Kombat game in the comment section down below!
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