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Mortal Kombat 1 — Top Takeaways from MK1 Beta

We break down the biggest lessons learned from the most recent MK1 beta

The next iteration of the world’s favorite gory game, Mortal Kombat, was out in the wild for the first time over the weekend. The first pre-order beta for Mortal Kombat 1 got handed to the public which gave us a better feel of the game itself. So here’s a look at some of the key findings from the beta and how, if at all, it differed from the closed test in June.

Faster Characters Speed Up Gameplay

This round of the beta added Li Mei and Johnny Cage to the fray, joining Sub-Zero, Liu Kang and Kitana. Li Mei, in particular, seemed to move significantly faster than many of the other characters. Her punch dash special and air flip kicks gives her the ability to quickly move through the neutral state of the game. And because she’s faster, it causes her opponents to react just as fast. 

This is a welcome addition to MK1, because the speed of the game was a point of contention in the closed test. Also, MK1 has a version of wave dashing that also minimizes time in neutral.

Kameos Less Dynamic Than Originally Thought

One thing that actually slows this speed down is the assists. While the Kameos add a new layer of strategy to the game, they actually lock your character in place for a time. This means the ability to use Kameos to cover your progress or extend combos is much harder than other tag fighters. Assists like Frost freeze your opponents in place, so that allows for some combo expression, but the rest are a bit more complex. This is much different from how assists are thought of in tag fighters like Marvel vs. Capcom or the upcoming Project L

In those games, you have full control of your character while the assist is on screen. This lets you set up more 50/50 situations or create mix-ups that catch your opponent off guard. However, with Kameo’s having the ability to have multiple different attacks and the chance to break long combo strings most folks will still view them as a powerful tool.

Johnny Cage’s Fatal Blow is Wild

MK1 - Johnny Cage Fatal Blow Mechanics

Easily the craziest move (mechanically) from the MK1 beta is Johnny Cage’s fatal blow. These hail-mary moves are reserved for when you’re low health and need to turn the tides of a match. Most of them have to be comboed into or activated raw. Johnny Cage’s, however, functions a bit differently. When he triggers his Fatal Blow, Cage starts dancing a little jig. 

It is at this moment that his opponents CANNOT touch him. Not with an attack, not a throw, not a jump in, nothing. If you do, he unleashes his trademark uppercut. It’s a hilarious move that will take neophytes and aggressive players by surprise, but don’t expect veterans to fall for it often.