Game Reviews

Mortal Kombat 1 review

A classic kameo

₹ 4,499

After the events of the first game, Lui Kang, a Fire God now, is tasked with protecting Earthrealm from the unforeseen mischief of evildoers. The only way to keep the other realms in check is to bash their champions to a pulp and claim victory in the Mortal Kombat tournament. Ah, nothing is ever fixed over a hot cuppa here, right? Thank god (Lui Kang)!

As such, Mortal Kombat 1 wastes no time in letting your fists do the talking. The story mode is oddly simple but intriguing. It’s got a varied cast of characters that each get their moment to shine. Essentially, it’s also a soft reboot of the Mortal Kombat universe mixed with a reimagination of the characters and their powers. Baraka is not from a different race but is plagued by a disease, Reptile gets a nice backstory and a lot of screentime, Sub-Zero and Scorpion are brothers and did we mention Lui Kang is a God? Yes! The characters are beautifully reimagined here and even the tales of how they snowballed into cracking ribs, gutting insides, protecting realms and a little bit of otherworldly politics.
Mortal Kombat also doesn’t take itself too seriously. The story is always light and digestible with Johnny Cage’s gobby personality and well-acted theatrics. The Indiana Jones-inspired opening for Cage was easily our favourite and you’ll notice a lot of inspiration and creative freedom taken from movies and pop culture here. And yes, more multiverse madness.

Improvements come to the combat as well. While the bone-breaking bits still remain the most satisfying thing about Mortal Kombat, NetherRealm Studios has taken the buddy system from Injustice 2 and added it here. The Kameo fighter system is a buddy system which allows you to break enemy combos or chain your own combos. The list of Kameo fighters includes Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Sonya Blade, Kano, Goro, Kung Lao, Stryker, Jackson “Jax” Briggs, Cyrax, Sektor, Frost, Darrius, Sareena, Motaro, and Shujinko. Some of these fighters are not part of the main roster which includes Liu Kang, Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Raiden, Kung Lao, Kitana, Mileena, Johnny Cage, Kenshi, Smoke, Rain, Li Mei, Tanya, Baraka, Geras, Reptile, Ashrah, Havik, General Shao, Sindel, Nitara, Reiko, and Shang Tsung at launch. Many of these characters are returning to the Mortal Kombat game after many years and that nostalgia will eventually grip the best MK players to grab a copy.

The Kameo system brings a fresh tactical layer to the Mortal Kombat game. You can get unique throws, offensive and support moves, which can help start a deadly combo or finish one. Kameo moves can also help you break through the enemy defence or help you break the enemy combo. You have a rechargeable metre next to the health bar which is refilled automatically so you don’t have to be too judicious in using it. In fact, Mortal Kombat 1’s combat forces more aggression and rewards you with properly timed combos. You can also break out of long or spam combos with the Kameo moves. Punch, kick, grapples and the three bars for special moves are all designed to offer more aggression this time or easily break out of enemy aggression as well.

To unlock cosmetics, there’s a new mode called Invasions which brings a top-down map for you to move your character from one fight to another and each battle will have unique modifiers to keep it challenging. Rewards come in hot and you can easily experiment with Kameo builds. Although you will only be able to unlock cosmetics if you grind enough in the game so buckle up. It got grindy after a few hours so we went back to online multiplayer.
Here’s where you’ll be put against players from across the world and the latency is fairly good. The game servers in India are also not as bad as Street Fighter 6 but you will experience some ping issues.
The training mode in Mortal Kombat 1 deserves a special mention. It’s by far our favourite. If you’re new to the series, the game will handhold you through every move set and combo of the game. However, we still wish to have the ability to pin some move controls on the screen so it’s easier to remember and practice in multiplayer mode with real people.


From fantastic graphics quality to richer lore and deeper combat strategy, Mortal Kombat 1 is probably the best place to either mash buttons with friends or get serious about it and take it to multiplayer.
Gruesome finishers, fun combos and the Kameo system make Mortal Kombat 1 one of the best in the series, and the story is a really good appetizer for the multiplayer ahead.

Stuff Says

Easy to get into and tough to master, Mortal Kombat is as fun as it is gruesome.
Good stuff
Bad stuff
  1. Great graphics

  1. Nicely reimagined characters

  1. The Kameo system is good

  1. Grindy for cosmetics

  1. Very combo-focused for newcomers