Warner Bros Games and NetherRealm Studios have revealed the latest game in the Mortal Kombat franchise, simply titled Mortal Kombat 1.
The description on the official Mortal Kombat website states:
“It’s In Our Blood
Discover a reborn Mortal Kombat Universe created by the Fire God Liu Kang. Mortal Kombat 1 ushers in a new era of the iconic franchise with a new fighting system, game modes, and fatalities!
Immersive Story Campaign
Fight through a brand new story featuring your favorite Mortal Kombat characters like you’ve never seen them before.
Choose from a unique roster of Kameo fighting partners to assist you in battle.”
The website also indicates that Shang Tsung is available as a preorder exclusive.
On their official YouTube announce trailer, NetherRealm indicates that pre-orders go live on May 19 at 10 AM PT. Shang Tsung will be a pre-order bonus for all platforms.
However, PlayStation and Xbox players in particular will get beta access this coming August.
As NetherRealm had heavily hinted at the end of Mortal Kombat 11 Aftermath, this game is a second reboot of the timeline, based on Liu Kang defeating Shang Tsung and erasing from existence. Liu Kang, who at this point had become a fire god, also earned the Crown of Souls, and also received Kronika’s powers. Liu Kang decides to use those powers to go back and find Earth’s very first champion in the Mortal Kombat tournament, the Great Kung Lao, to train him himself.
The trailer shows several of Mortal Kombat’s characters facing up to the narration of Liu Kang. Immediately recognizable are Sub-Zero and Scorpion, Mileena and Kitana, Kung Lao, It seems that Liu has completely taken Raiden’s place as the narrator and seeming overseer of the Mortal Kombat tournament.
We then see the sudden, seemingly unexpected appearance of Shang Tsung, who proceeds to nerf every other revealed fighter, at least until Liu Kang gets his hands on him.
The most interesting part of the trailer is suggested by Liu’s monologues. It seems that in this fighting game’s storyline, you will have choices to fight for peace instead of war.
NetherRealm has played with the ideas of good/bad choices in previous games before, as far back as making you choose between Fatalities and Friendships in Mortal Kombat 2. This, however, seems to hint at multiple outcomes and branching paths for Mortal Kombat 1’s story campaign.
It would be a great expansion of what NetherRealm has been doing with the Mortal Kombat and Injustice games, as NetherRealm seems to want to take their franchise to a visual novel direction.
Mortal Kombat 1 will be released on September 19, 2023, on the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch, and Windows, via Steam and Epic Games Store. You can watch the announcement trailer below.