Mortal Kombat 1 – Test, Fighting & Fighting, PC, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X

Mortal Kombat 1: Everything back to one

Mortal Kombat is back over four years after the last part and is giving the series a reboot.

The number suffix in Mortal Kombat 1, which is not necessarily common for game sequels, is intended to illustrate that the game is based on the story located before all other parts is. The universe was essentially reset by the sun god Liu Kang, which is why the name “Mortal Kombat 0” would have been appropriate. This marks the game’s second reboot since 2011, after the story of the first three games was told in an alternative timeline in the then Mortal Kombat.

So there are a lot of well-known faces waiting for you in a new look and with partly changed roles and backgrounds. Anyone who has been following the series for a long time can now get one fresh coat of paint on the characters and history; On the other hand, if you’re new to the MK universe, you’ll come just in time and don’t have to worry about missing relevant storylines.

Before I go into the story, I want to fight a few individual battles first, so to be on the safe side, let’s go into tutorial mode. The Control is quickly internalized: In addition to the usual jump kicks, deep punches and throws, I’m taught blocking in training, which works well in the game and is not unimportant. If you learn a few short key combinations for attacks, you’ll quickly get into the game; But even with uncoordinated button mashing, some good attacks can be achieved. In fact, after just a few matches on the middle of five difficulty levels, computer opponents no longer pose a big challenge for me, so I move up a gear.

In online mode, however, things are different: I’m regularly trashed and mocked by obvious Mortal Kombat veterans. Matchmaking appears to be at this point in Early Access not really important; However, when someone in 26th place stands in front of me, it doesn’t surprise me that I barely saw land and had to give up after what felt like 30 seconds. I hope that over time I will be more likely to be matched with opponents of my rank.

Support from the background


Cyrax supports Scorpion with an explosive cameo attack.

The special feature of the duels in Mortal Kombat 1 is that each fight is fought with an additional cameo character. So you fight two-on-two; Unlike a tag team, in which you can switch between both characters at any time, the cameo partner only becomes one at the push of a button summoned for individual attacks. This can give your main fighter the crucial split seconds to free himself from a precarious situation.


The very explicit X-Ray attacks sometimes don’t just break bones… However, that doesn’t always mean the end of the fight.

In addition, the cameo, which includes characters such as Frost, Sector or Goro, can be used for special grabbing and throwing attacks. If your life energy has shrunk to about a fifth, you will also be able to do so once per duel Fatal Blow available. With this very effective and bloody double attack, both fighters attack with a special attack. Visually, this results in X-Ray shots in which in very vivid X-ray close-ups Ribs are shown being shattered, kneecaps shattered and skulls pierced. A kind of fatality light.

Brilliant finishers for finger acrobats

And then there are the fatalities: those finisher animations at the end of a fight that are characterized by extremely explicit splatter brutality of morbid fantasy and are one of the trademarks of the Mortal Kombat series. Anyone who has never played a game in this series should not only be warned about the level of gore. The execution is also not a given: If you have won a duel, the request “Finish him/her” comes up. However, you can only do this if you are at the right distance from the enemy lying on the ground within a certain period of time the correct key combination entered. This is of course different for each character and is not displayed.

So if you don’t have an island talent for remembering Over 40 finisher moves (each character has two), only chance will help you here: The key combination always consists of three direction keys and an action button, for example down, left, down, circle on the PlayStation controller. If you’ve done everything right, you’ll have a scene “rewarded”, in which limbs are severed, skin is peeled off or even an entire skull and spine are kicked out of its shell of flesh. Not for the faint of heart!