Mortal Kombat 1 Beta Hands-on Impressions

Moral Kombat 1 is the highly anticipated sequel to Mortal Kombat 11, and the story takes place after the event of MK11 DLC Aftermath. Luckily, I had the privilege of participating in the pre-order beta, which included a 4-day online stress test leading up to the official release on September 14, 2023. This initial impression focuses on the available gameplay options, character mechanics, and overall experience during the beta phase.

Only two gameplay options are available to players: the Classic Tower and Versus Online. However, it’s worth noting that the absence of a tutorial or practice mode was a missed opportunity, particularly for newcomers or those unfamiliar with the series’ mechanics. The classic tower mode is a valuable platform for learning the new gameplay mechanics, while online versus play offers a chance to put those skills to the test against other players. 

The Mortal Kombat 1 pre-order beta offered a taste of what’s to come in the full game, showcasing exciting character mechanics and a variety of gameplay options. While the absence of a tutorial or practice mode might hinder new players’ ability to grasp the game’s mechanics quickly, the classic tower mode serves as a valuable training ground. Online versus play adds an extra layer of excitement and challenge, although it could benefit from providing more support for newcomers to the franchise. As the game approaches its official release, there’s hope that any issues identified during the beta phase will be addressed, ensuring that Mortal Kombat 1 delivers an engaging and accessible experience for all players.

With the story picking up after the events of Mortal Kombat 11’s DLC Aftermath, Mortal Kombat 1 introduces new character mechanics that contribute to the evolving gameplay experience. They add depth and variety to each character’s move set. Players must familiarize themselves with these mechanics to fully capitalize on their characters’ potential.

There are only six available playable characters and four Kameos in the beta. Sub-Zero, Li Mei, Johnny Cage, Kensi, Liu Kang, and Kitana are the six playable characters. As for the Kameos, there’s Sonya Blade, Kano, Frost, and Jax.                     

Klassic Tower:

Without a tutorial or practice mode, the classic tower mode becomes an essential training ground for players to refine their skills. This mode offers a series of increasingly challenging battles, allowing players to experiment with their chosen character’s abilities, combos, and mechanics. It provides a structured environment for players to gain confidence before venturing into the more competitive online versus mode.

Online Versus Play:

The online versus mode was a centerpiece of the pre-order beta, allowing players to test their skills against other participants. Engaging in matches against real opponents provides a dynamic and unpredictable experience distinct from battling AI-controlled characters. However, newcomers might find the learning curve steep without a tutorial, potentially leading to frustrating early experiences against more experienced players.

Mortal Kombat  1 maintains some mechanics from MK11, like the Fatal Blow trigger, which adds a strategic element to battles. The new Kameo mechanics, where you can choose a second character to assist you, block, grab, attack, and extend your combos, add depth and variety to gameplay. Each Kameo character is unique, providing different play styles and combo possibilities, making it enjoyable to experiment with various combinations.

The gameplay in Mortal Kombat 1 feels slightly slower compared to MK11, emphasizing combo execution and Kameo fighters. New players may need time to adapt to the game’s mechanics, but those familiar with MK11 will find a solid foundation with added features and character play styles. The difference is not as big as MK9 to MKX, where they overhaul all the gameplay mechanics.

One notable concern is the restriction of movement when using a Kameo character, which differs from MK11 and Injustice 2, where players have more control over their main character. This aspect might need improvement. It’s great to hear that NetherReal Studios tends to listen to feedback from their fans, which suggests that some of the issues from me or players may be addressed in future patches or updates.

Overall, the gameplay leaves me ecstatic with the new mechanics added. I am thrilled about this game and can’t wait to get my hands on it. I’m excited about the new rebooted/new timeline story they are having and seeing where they would take the franchise in the future. Since MK9, all Mortal Kombat entries have been consistently good, and I have no doubts that MK1 will be a great addition to the franchise and fans will love it.