Mortal Kombat 1: 4 things that make it better than MK11 & 2 things that make it worse
Key takeaways: Mortal Kombat 1 improves visual representation compared to MK11 with a better color scheme, fresh and vibrant environments, and impr...
Mortal Kombat 1 improves visual representation compared to MK11 with a better color scheme, fresh and vibrant environments, and impressive redesigns.
The stages in Mortal Kombat 1 are described as incredibly well-done, with fantastic lighting, detailed backgrounds, and subtle movements that bring them to life.
The game does not have certain quality-of-life features present in MK11 and other fighting games, such as the ability to save combos or special attacks, select skins in the fight menu, and view the full gallery of skins and equipment.
Mortal Kombat 1 marks a fresh start for the franchise. It features a complete story reboot and a comprehensive overhaul of the gameplay while ensuring the game doesn't lose its typical Mortal Kombat essence. Mortal Kombat 11 was a highly acclaimed game with incredible graphics, some of the best character designs gamers have ever seen, and a solid storyline. Additionally, it offered amazing post-release additional content.
It remains to be seen if Mortal Kombat 1 will live up to its predecessor in terms of post-release support, but in its current form, it has already made a variety of improvements over MK11, although it still lags behind in some aspects.
7 Better – Visuals
MK11 had incredible graphics and amazingly good designs. Many fans believe it to be the best-looking fighting game of all time, and that claim certainly holds merit. However, where MK11 falls short is in its color scheme. At times, everything appears gray and monotonous, which slightly hampers the overall experience.
MK1 has improved upon the impressive graphics of MK11 with some adjustments. The color scheme is much, much better, giving the game a fresh and vibrant feel, and the environments stand out much more. Additionally, some of the redesigns from the 3D era are breathtaking.
6 Better – Stages
The stages in MK11 were pretty good, but nothing to write home about. The stages in MK1, on the other hand, are incredibly well-done. The lighting is fantastic, and the environments and backgrounds are detailed and impressive. The subtle movements in the landscape are incredibly well-executed. The Wu Shi Academy with its Sakura trees sometimes feels like something out of Ghost of Tsushima or Sekiro.
Similarly, the darker stages like the Flesh Pits are disgusting and horrifying. The Shokan Camp showcases the mistreatment inflicted on the Shokan, with blood and burning corpses scattered everywhere.
5 Worse - Quality of Life
At times, MK1 can feel rushed or unfinished due to the evident lack of quality-of-life features. What makes it even more disappointing is that most of these features exist in MK11 or even in other fighting games. The most significant absence is the inability in MK1 to buffer strings or special moves on the screen, which is a highly frustrating change.
Furthermore, players cannot select their skins in the fight menu, the complete gallery of skins and equipment is not viewable, and players also cannot see where and how to unlock certain items. Lastly, players are unable to enter the practice mode or any other mode while waiting for an online match.
4 Better – Story Mode
That is a difficult thing to evaluate because MK11 had a great story, and the additional story DLCs through the Aftermath expansion made it even better. However, when considering just the base storyline, MK1 takes a slight lead. The entire story reboot was executed really well. They remained true to the characters while also developing new relationships, such as the bromance between Kenshi and Johnny Cage.
The twist in the last chapters of the game was also exciting. And the final chapter as a whole was completely unexpected and surprising.
3 Worse – Gear System
MK11 had a very extensive equipment system, as it built upon the foundations of Injustice 2 and allowed players to fully customize their characters. There were some complaints that it was somewhat tedious and grind-heavy. These complaints were well-founded and also apply to MK1.
Unfortunately, the equipment system in MK1 offers fewer customization options but is equally tedious to navigate. Hopefully, since the game has just been released, there will be improvements on how specific equipment pieces and skins can be obtained. A return to the previous system could also work well. It remains to be seen how Netherrealm Studios will address this weakness, but fingers are crossed.
2 Better – Core Gameplay
This is likely the most important factor, and it is safe to say that it was handled exceptionally despite the complete overhaul of the core gameplay. MK1 has definitely surpassed most other games in the series with the addition of cameos and the new, more creative combo system.
The cameo system is not just a gimmick but a comprehensive overhaul of the core gameplay of a Mortal Kombat game, and it has been brilliantly executed. Even in the limited days since the game was released, players have developed incredibly action-packed combos.
1 Overall – Mortal Kombat 1
Overall, it can be said that Mortal Kombat 1 represents a significant improvement over the previous game, even if it's by a narrow margin. The changes in core gameplay and the impressive visuals make it one of the best fighting games out there.
Unfortunately, there are many minor features and quality of life aspects where there are deficiencies, and hopefully, these will be addressed in future updates. As it stands now, Mortal Kombat 1 has the potential to be one of the best fighting games of the last ten years, but it remains to be seen whether it will fulfill its potential.
Mortal Kombat 1 is scheduled to be released on September 19th for PS5, Xbox X, PC, and Nintendo Switch.