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Mortal Kombat 1

Developer: NetherRealm Studios Publisher: Warner Bros. Games
19 September 2023
Mortal Kombat 1 - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.08 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
88 Ratings /
#2,820 All-time
#97 for 2023
After winning over control of the Hourglass, Liu Kang assumes his role as Keeper of Time, forging his New Era. After eons of peace between the realms, ideologies grow, bringing in mounting tensions between the realms. When a mysterious adversary arrives, Liu Kang realizes that no only are the realms in danger, but his new timeline and all reality.
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They sort of trimmed the content availability way down and made everything less exciting both mechanically and aesthetically, even if I think I prefer Kameos to the meter management of 11. No Krypt, just a rotating store, a slot machine, and a battle pass-esque mini-campaign every two months to force you to keep playing, when there aren't enough entities in the base game to really bring you back on its own. But fuck all that; this is just a commentary on the story mode, and after an interesting but spotty and slow first act, it might be the single worst NRS story mode to date. All the promise of a rebooted saga, a fresh slate, and even some commentary on the nature of godhood and the responsibilities that brings, destiny vs. free will, are only briefly touched on in parts of the first act, which does have some neat character moments both dramatic and comedic (Johnny Cage is the first "MCU" character to actually work in a while), and even at its best it seems to think it's a lot smarter than it is, with a belabored script with tons of exposition that amounts to little, and everyone plotting schemes that are too easy for the audience to see through.

And so it proved as the story marched on, and when I saw the overall direction of the story coming, I just groaned. They made all the same mistakes of MK11, backpedalling on the excellent promise of the last game's ending for an overall shift in direction that is as convoluted as it is contradictory and nonsensical. Except it's even worse because it's essentially the same story as Aftermath, even playing into some multiverse shenanigans which are not only tiresome and played out, they completely nullify any stakes the story has. If the scope is endless, then nothing actually matters, and MK1 never attempts to ground itself, so the victory at the end just feels entirely hollow. And while every MK is full of deus ex machina, MK1 might be the worst at setting things up; the fantasy universe bullshit just seems to make up rules as it needs to. All of this only compounds the problems of the NRS formula that are still present: filler fights, worthless enemy cronies, backstories only briefly depicted to be cast back in the shadows when the current chapter is over, stowaway characters that seem to do nothing when they aren't on screen. About the only trend it bucks is a disappointing climax...sort of. There's this ten minute stretch just before the end which is so brains-off stupid it wraps back around to being genuinely hilarious camp, rather than just stupid in the sense that the writers don't know how a story is supposed to work, which it bounces right back into just before the final boss.

We pick on CinemaSins for good reason, but there is something to be said about "objective mistakes" taking you out of the experience, highlighting the flaws in its own design and, in this case, removing any tension or emotion from the story. If they ever covered this, their heads would explode as if Kano himself were lasering it off. Whether the rest of the package is as good as past games is a debate I refuse to engage with, as I still suck at fighting games. I am leaning towards this fighting system being more fully featured and flexible than the last but not by enough to cover its weaknesses of restrictive strings and weird balancing of the combo breakers. As usual. But if the story had any more promise, I'd be ranting about it in the future as much as I do now about Horizon: Forbidden West. Fuck off.
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Lowlander2 2023-09-15T17:55:21Z
2023-09-15T17:55:21Z
2.5
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Catalog

audiovisualcity Mortal Kombat 1 2024-06-13T13:13:13Z
2024-06-13T13:13:13Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
PizzapastaButcooler Mortal Kombat 1 2024-05-30T14:13:45Z
2024-05-30T14:13:45Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Lwaxxat Mortal Kombat 1 2024-05-20T00:01:02Z
2024-05-20T00:01:02Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Flipsz Mortal Kombat 1 2024-05-15T14:36:39Z
2024-05-15T14:36:39Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
BulletzLol Mortal Kombat 1 2024-05-08T16:57:20Z
2024-05-08T16:57:20Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
molegel Mortal Kombat 1 2024-05-03T07:15:07Z
2024-05-03T07:15:07Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
thormczeus Mortal Kombat 1 2024-05-02T13:25:20Z
2024-05-02T13:25:20Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
WeskerStar Mortal Kombat 1 2024-04-26T15:24:17Z
2024-04-26T15:24:17Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Lightfellow Mortal Kombat 1 2024-04-14T15:02:44Z
2024-04-14T15:02:44Z
2.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
anthinja Mortal Kombat 1 2024-04-11T15:50:07Z
2024-04-11T15:50:07Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
noexplanationreviews Mortal Kombat 1 2024-04-09T15:03:25Z
2024-04-09T15:03:25Z
1.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Vlad_Lis Mortal Kombat 1 2024-03-24T02:36:25Z
2024-03-24T02:36:25Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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  • Previous comments (11) Loading...
  • DomMazzetti 2023-09-18 23:43:44.329795+00
    The first one.
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  • bulletluckcharm 2023-09-21 21:58:01.203803+00
    now they gonna number all the sequels Mortal Kombat 1: 2, Mortal Kombat 1: 3, Mortal Kombat 1: 4, Mortal Kombat 1: 5, Mortal Kombat 1: 6, Mortal Kombat 1: 7, and so forth.
    reply
    • mellors 2023-09-22 18:55:59.864832+00
      Nah the 4th one will be called.: Mort4l Komb4t 1: F4tal1ty
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  • renegadexavier06 2023-09-27 07:15:25.719393+00
    Least confusing Square Enix title:
    reply
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  • Kerftminister 2023-10-22 22:29:22.219857+00
    Made the mistake of pre-ordering the Switch version. Absolutely unplayable. I can't even finish a freaking Tower without the game freezing or crashing. My worst video game buy of all time.
    reply
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  • SedrickWilhelm 2023-11-29 16:07:39.003362+00
    I'm very upset with how good the story was right until the final part.. Really wish they gave this game's great story the proper finale it had earned itself...
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  • renegadexavier06 2023-12-10 15:25:20.803642+00
    The Virgin Jack-O-Pose vs The Chad Omni-Man Cake
    reply
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  • D_ni 2023-12-18 00:53:06.53842+00
    i was soooo excited for the return of the ps2 era characters and storylines but they kinda fumbled the bag... the story is a rushed mess :( plus i'm kinda bored of the multiverses and timeline resets. commit to a storyline netherrealm! the gameplay is fun tho
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  • Theboombringer1 2024-01-09 22:20:15.421302+00
    I think they struck a pretty nice chord with the addition of kameos, I also appreciate how pretty much every character feels so complete. Having a comprehensive and maximalist approach to movelists is a nice trend I've been observing with this "new generation" of fighters like MK1 and SF6, hoping to see it continue.
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