Mortal Kombat 1 got an extended gameplay trailer at the Summer Game Fest, held early Friday, and it looks absurdly violent in all the right ways. The game serves as a reboot — the beginning of a new timeline in the universe, forged by the Fire God Liu Kang, following his ascension into godhood at the end of Mortal Kombat 11. While recognisable characters return, they all bear new looks and origin stories, with Scorpion and Sub-Zero now being reborn as brothers. The MK franchise creator Ed Boon also dropped by on-stage to describe the new Kameo Fighter system. Mortal Kombat 1 releases September 19 across PC, PS5, Xbox Series S/X, and Nintendo Switch.
The gameplay trailer largely serves as a visual showcase for all the gore and brutal Fatalities we can expect from Mortal Kombat 1. The arenas look immersive as well, shifting from a rustic Asian restaurant, shrines, and even an expensive villa that looks reminiscent of the one from Dead Island 2. The Fatalities are over the top as usual — we see skulls getting stabbed by icicles, hearts getting ripped out, and bolts of electricity burning a hole through an opponent’s torso. Amidst the bloodshed, the fighters would often call upon allies to exert short bursts of damage, mid-combo, before dipping out of the arena again. These are the new Kameo fighters, which creator Boon described in further detail.
Once you pick your main fighter from amongst the default roster, Mortal Kombat 1 reveals a second roster which includes a completely different set of fighters, which as the name suggests, appear as a tag-team partner cameo via a single button press, and unload a chain of attacks. However, there is some variety in it depending on what movement button you press simultaneously. For instance, summoning a Kameo while holding the down button will have them perform a different move, compared to any other inputs. These characters can be called in whenever you want, albeit there is a meter that limits players from spamming it indefinitely. A full list of Kameo fighters wasn’t revealed but at first glance, it seems like Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Sonya Blade, Jax, and Kano will be available at launch.
“Some of the characters are going to be available as Kameos as well as the main roster fighters. So you can play Sub-Zero with Sub-Zero,” Boon explained during the presentation. “But a lot of our Kameo fighters are kind of, like, nods back to our first game, so you’ll notice Sonya and Kano and Jax are in their older costumes.” Additionally, professional martial artist and actor Jean-Claude Van Damme — best known for Bloodsport (1988) — is playing Johnny Cage in Mortal Kombat 1, available as a skin in the Kombat Pack add-on, included with the Premium and Kollector’s Edition.
Mortal Kombat 1 releases September 19 on PC, PS5, Xbox Series S/X, and Nintendo Switch. Pre-ordering the game grants access to the powerful sorcerer Shang Tsung, alongside beta access in August, exclusively for PS5 and Xbox Series S/X players.