Mortal Kombat and Kombat Pack 1: Exploring the New Sequel

Fighting games have a long, unique and beautiful history. Tournaments like EVO have left behind an incredible legacy, and some breathtaking matches in games like Street Fighter, Tekken etc.

One of the franchises that has maintained its relevancy and managed to introduce millions of casual gamers to the genre of fighting games is Mortal Kombat, and with the latest installation already having a Beta version, as well as the Kombat kast and release date, things are looking good for the fans.

 Blow we will briefly talk about the mechanics and potential plot points for Mortal Kombat 1, and review the freshly revealed Kombat pack that introduces six unique guest characters.

The Mechanics and the MK 11 Comparisons

Fighting games will continue to thrive as since inception, they have deviated from the path of RNG that so many other genres utilize. The excitement and thrill of the RNG systems transcend the borders of video games, and extends to other entertainment industries.

Industries such as sports betting, casinos, and crypto gambling implemented RNG technologies, which are a tested and well-established method, always drawing in a huge amount of people. They’re essentially what allow slot games to be as fair as possible – via randomly generated rewards.

The concept of RNG lies in generating a sequence of arbitrary numbers, ensuring the arbitrary nature of game outcomes, so naturally, their biggest and most successful use reveals itself in the gambling industry.

Fighting games, on the other hand, eliminate the RNG element. While there is some luck involved in the matches, typically the better and more skilled player will always win, making the victory rewarding, and loss a lesson and encouragement to get better.

Before we talk about MK1, we need to mention how the previous installation, despite its massive success in sales, faced a decent amount of criticism from the longtime fans of the series. To sum up briefly, this was because Netherrealm studios prioritized the steady and slow-paced gameplay, with less combo potential, but easier opportunities to get started as a new a fan.

 Fighting games are quite difficult to learn, so this was an understandable move from the marketing perspective, but the contrast in pace and even skill level from MKX to MK11 is quite evident. For many fans, nothing compares to the flashiness and combo potential that the former offered.

 Despite the fact that MK11 is still a well-received game overall, some have tried to draw comparisons from the gameplay footage and stress tests, and claimed that the mechanics look a bit too similar. While on the first glance this may be true, people might be missing key differences.

 The biggest and most obvious is the Kameo mechanic, which summons an assist fighter for a singular special move. The kameos can be used as combo-extenders on offense, as well as possessing defensive capabilities through zoning. They appear in animations for forward throws, fatal blows and even fatalities. It is worth mentioning that this mechanic, in a much lesser form was present in MK11, but only in niche modes, and never in actual online matches.

 Aside from Kameo fighters, there are significant changes in the frame data, specifically regarding down ones while poking. This may not seem like that big a deal, but poking was widely considered to be excessively powerful in MK11, with opponents often times crouching and relying heavily on down fours and ones.

 The down one frame data was changed to be minus nine on block, which may sound concerning at first, but really is not since it doesn’t in any way mean that it is now punishable on block. Firstly, because of the windups and animations, you would need an 8-frame attack to punish the minus nine and eight frame attacks, are typically only going to be pokes that do 1%, and especially considering the pushback.

 Other changes include the return to the classic meterburn bar, with no defensive energy, return to classic combo breakers as opposed to air escapes, which is a welcome change, increased airtime and way higher ceiling for combos and many more quality of life changes. I think it is safe to say that even with the information currently available, this game already sets itself apart from the predecessor.

MK1 and the Timeline in the Story

 Obviously not that much is known about the story since all the trailers focused heavily on mechanics, but there are things worth mentioning. After the events of the MK11 aftermath, we have official confirmation that Fire God Liu Kang’s ending was the canonical one, and the universe is reset and reshaped, supposedly to the timeline of the original MK1 from the nineties.

 We saw some returning characters like obviously Liu Kang, Scorpion and Sub-Zero, Johnny Cage and more, with the main antagonist likely being the Sorcerer Shang Tsung, as in the spirit of the original MK1.

Interestingly we also saw Edenia, a realm that we heard much about yet never seen through the 3 previous Netherrealm games. It appears to be still at peace, and not yet conquered by the most famous MK boss Shao Kahn. Fans are excited to see Kitana and interestingly Mileena as well, in the home realm.

Kombat Pack 1

 Moving on to the Kombat Pack 1, like mentioned it includes six characters, some from previous MK games, and some completely new guest characters. Previous games are known to have their Kombat Packs stick to some sort of a theme, like in MKX the guests were from the classic horror movies like Predator, Alien, Texas chainsaw massacre, and Friday the 13th.

In MK11, we had classic 80s and 90s action heroes, like the Terminator, Rambo and Robocop etc. The theme for the guests this time happens to be “Superhero”, but with somewhat of an asterisk.

 For those who have seen the popular TV show Boys, know what I am talking about, as the first guest character is the Homelander. Move set wise, there is ton of potential since he is a “Superman knockoff”, with many similar abilities like heat vision for zoning, flight, super-strength and durability and more. Fans are hoping to see the actor Anthony Star to voice Homelander, as he is often praised for his performance in the Boys, and deservedly so.

 Next, for guest characters is Omni-man, another character somewhat similar to Superman in abilities, but unlike Homelander, much more experienced and well trained, supposedly a tradeoff for the lack of Heat vision, super hearing and all the extra stuff.

Fans are expecting a brutal, rush down type of character with great combo potential. Seeing his interactions with other combatants will be extremely interesting for many.

 The final guest character is Peacemaker, from James Gunn’s Suicide Squad. Unlike the former two, this one lacks superpowers, and has to rely on combat skill, as well as weapons to survive. Peacemaker often uses guns, so the expectations might be more of zoning character, but with still decent rush down potential considering the hand-to-hand prowess.

 The pack also includes three returning MK characters. We have the classic well-established ones like Quan Chi and Ermac, and the new relatively new addition first introduced in MKX, not present in MK11, and returning now, Takeda. While Ermac and Quan Chi need no introduction, fans are also excited to see Takeda return, as he was the favorite of the MKX’s “Kombat Kids” as fans refer to it.