What is the Mortal Kombat 1 release date? Mortal Kombat 1 is the next installment in NetherRealm’s series and has been teased almost infinitely on various channels. Finally, though, the announcement has landed and we’ve scoured the corners of the internet to bring you all of the latest trailers, news, and gameplay.
The fighting game is a reboot of sorts that sees new mechanics such as the Kameo system, and a story that features familiar characters. And that’s before we get into the fact that Jean-Claude Van Damme is involved in Mortal Kombat 1. Intrigued? We were too, so we put all of the information in one handy hub for you to peruse.
Mortal Kombat 1 release date
The Mortal Kombat 1 release date is September 19, 2023, on PC via Steam and the Epic Games store, as well as on Xbox Series, PlayStation 5, and Switch consoles. This release date was given at the end of the announcement trailer.
For those who pre-order the Premium or Kollector’s Edition, the game will be available early, from Thursday, September 14, 2023. The new Mortal Kombat game was originally revealed in a February earnings call which led to multiple rumors and speculation, but it’s finally become official. The announcement came on May 18, 2023, much to our delight.
Mortal Kombat 1 story
Mortal Kombat 1 follows from the Fire God Liu Kang ending of Mortal Kombat 11 Aftermath, where he not only becomes an all-powerful god in place of Raiden but gains control over time itself with the help of Kronika’s crown. In the game’s final moments, he banishes Shang Tsung to the sands of time and restarts the entire timeline for all of the realms. We then see Fire God Liu Kang visit young Kung Lao, his chosen warrior.
This timeline reset seems more permanent than the flashback Raiden sends to his past self at the end of Mortal Kombat Armageddon. With no god powers, Raiden is shown in the trailer as a mortal. Therefore, it’s unlikely that the roster will feature some characters born due to the timeline change. In the trailer, we see the return of Shang Tsung, though this one seems to be the sorcerer from the new timeline rather than it being the previous one avoiding his sandy fate.
Who is returning to Mortal Kombat 1?
We now know most of the returning Mortal Kombat 1 characters, such as Johnny Cage and Shang Tsung, who comprise the 24-strong main roster. While most characters are part of the many gameplay trailers shown since the initial reveal, two were known beforehand.
Johnny Cage was revealed because he’s getting the Jean Claude Van Damme costume variant and the preorder bonus character Shang Tsung. Kameo characters so far seem based on the previous timeline’s appearances, of which there are 16 in total.
So what does this mean for other characters? For example, if you’re a fan of Cassie Cage, she likely won’t appear as a main character as the timeline reset negates Sonja Blade and Johnny Cage becoming a couple. However, the classic characters such as Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Kitana, Mileena, and the majority of the cast from the original Mortal Kombat games are likely to appear in some way as playable characters. That doesn’t mean the likes of Cassie won’t appear at all, but we reckon she only stands a chance to be one of the new Kameo characters.
Another thing to consider is if Fire God Liu Kang’s timeline changes some major events leading up to the original Mortal Kombat game. In fact, the only other person who seems aware of Liu Kang’s inheritance of the Keeper of Time mantle is Geras, who now serves him.
While the Lin Kuei and Shirai Ryu, Sub-Zero and Scorpion’s clans, are usually at odds with each other, it seems that Scorpion is in his human form in the reveal trailer. This suggests that not only did he never perish during a Lin Kuei attack but that this Sub-Zero is, in fact, Bi-Han rather than his brother Kuai Liang. This means that Scorpion is still alive, and the NetherRealm sorcerer Quan Chi never revived him as his minion. In turn, Bi-Han never became Noob Saibot after being murdered by the specter Scorpion during the first Mortal Kombat tournament.
In recent trailers, we’ve seen some evidence of these altered relationships. Scorpion and Sub-Zero’s clans are united in the defense of Earthrealm, but may have sights on loftier goals beyond that. None of this timeline’s ninjas are cyborgs, indicating they’re already a force to be reckoned with.
Kitana, meanwhile, seems to think the world of her sister Mileena in this universe. However, it seems Mileena is a regular Outworlder rather than a genetic experiment in this timeline, but she is afflicted with a disease called ‘Tarkat’. This turns Outworlders into Tarkatans like Baraka, eventually crumbling their minds and turning them into monsters. Rarely seen characters such as Tanya and Li Mei are now connected to the Outworld royal family, though Li Mei is now an outcast after letting Mileena and Kitana’s father die.
While their father has now perished, Mileena and Kitana’s mother, Sindel, still lives. In this timeline, she is not the resurrected and corrupted wife of Shao Kahn, but rather the benevolent ruler of Outworld. Shao Khan, meanwhile, isn’t even a Khan here. Known in the trailers as General Shao, he acts as the queen’s champion.
Johnny Cage is another enigma in that his film career is so successful he managed to tick off Kenshi by buying his sword to display in his beachside penthouse apartment. Fire God Liu Kang seems to have his hands full with EarthRealm’s defense. However, most intriguingly, there are hints that other universes exist. For example, one fighter dialogue exchange hints at a reality where Kano controls everything.
Some characters we’ve not seen much of in recent years return with all-new backstories. Reptile is now an outcast that joins Earthrealm because his people shunned him for his transformation powers. Ashrah is a former demon from the Netherrealm who casts aside the evil in her soul, while Havik is now a megalomaniac Chaosrealmer seeking to conquer other realms to spare his own.
Mortal Kombat 1 trailers
In May 2023, NetherRealm began teasing Mortal Kombat 1 via a series of videos showing a clock ticking down. We speculated that this might mean a complete reset of the Mortal Kombat timeline, and it turns out we couldn’t have been closer to the truth.
Another clock followed this first video, a slightly similar one, except it ends with the clock shattering, furthering the speculation that the timeline would begin again.
After what felt like an eternity of waiting, on May 18, 2023, NetherRealm finally put the official announcement trailer out into the world. The franchise has been around for 30 years now, and resetting the clock back for Mortal Kombat 1 feels like a commemorative event. Beware, this one gets pretty gory.
Mortal Kombat 1 pre-orders and special editions
NetherRealm has also confirmed, via its website, that the game will cost $69.99 at launch. A Premium Edition, with multiple bonus skins, including one which gives Johnny Cage a Jean-Claude Van Damme skin, will also be available for $109.99. Finally, the Kollector’s Edition will be $249.99 and includes a 16.5-inch Liu Kang figurine, exclusive art prints, and an in-game character skin. For the eager among us who will be pre-ordering the game, we’ll be treated to an exclusive playable character in the form of Shang Tsung.
That’s everything we know so far on the Mortal Kombat 1 release date, but if you can’t wait until it lands on your doorstep, why not check out our recommendations for other upcoming PC games to while away the hours? We also highly recommend checking out the Mortal Kombat 1 system requirements to see if you need to upgrade your processor or graphics card.
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