Mortal Kombat 1’s impressive rendering has us worried about a switch port.

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Image: Warner Bros. Games

Against all odds, Mortal Kombat 11 has come out pretty well on the Nintendo Switch. As with many of the PS4 and Xbox One ports, there was always the concern that Netherrealm Studios’ Cinematic Warrior wouldn’t cut it on Nintendo’s hybrid console. Still, with 60fps performance and all the content you could want, it proves to be a more than capable option for Switch owners.

Its direct sequel and semi-reboot, Mortal Kombat 1, aims to kick things up a notch, with stunning visuals and an expanded battle system that lets you summon more ‘Kameo’ fighters to aid you in battle. After the game was announced at Summer Game Fest, we were able to walk around hand-in-hand for 30 minutes with Netherrealm’s latest effort, and we came away pretty pumped. And really? Makes us worry about the Switch version.

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The version we played at Summer Game Fest runs on PS5. We’ve reached out to NetherRealm for information on how the Switch port is going, but all the team can say right now is that most of the development is “going well.”

The first thing that struck us about Mortal Kombat 1 was how slick the overall experience was. After choosing your fighter from Sub-Zero, Kitana, Louie Kang and Kenshi (along with four more cameo characters), there’s a short transition screen where the two chosen characters face each other before the environment around you. It will be loaded inside. It’s seamless and makes the whole experience incredibly smooth. Plus, of course, how your characters fit together in the world of Mortal Kombat and add a nice bit of narrative weight to the fight ahead.

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Gameplay is, predictably, very similar to Mortal Kombat 11, but the improved visuals of this next-gen make everything feel infinitely more cinematic and bombastic. It hits the ground with an absurd amount of weight and you can see each drop of blood fly through the air before landing on the ground, drenching the area in red. Add in stunning environments with beautiful sunsets and detailed cutscenes, and you have a fighting game that not only rivals Street Fighter 6’s friends, but can even. More beautiful.

Cameo fighters introduce an extra layer to the already incredibly deep combat mechanics, but you don’t have to worry about summoning them. so true Simply tap or hold ‘R1’ (which presumably translates to ‘R’ on the Switch) and your cameo character will jump into battle and perform one of his signature moves. You can combine these with your main character’s moveset to perform a slick combo, or simply use your cameo feature to give yourself some breathing room if you’re cornered.

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Deadly Blast also makes a much-appreciated return, and the best thing to do is rope in your cameo character to help you out here. It adds even more impact to the already incredibly cinematic Fatal Blow sequences.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Mortal Kombat without the iconic Deathstroke, and we’re happy to say that these are just as gruesome and easy to pull off as ever. Louie Kang’s signature lethality will be instantly recognizable to anyone who watched the first trailer for Mortal Kombat 1, but the other characters’ sequences are just as memorable. If you’re not satisfied with using your own character, you can bring up your Kamio character with a simple combination of Up, Up and ‘R1’. Your own warrior steps aside with a smile as your cameo character wreaks havoc on your opponent.

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Over the years, Netherrealm has proven to be one of the most popular fighting developers around, and if our 30-minute hands-on with Mortal Kombat 1 is anything to go by, the studio is going from strength to strength. With that in mind, we’re undeniably concerned about how the game will hold up on the Switch. It’s a step up from Mortal Kombat 11 in terms of visuals, presentation, and depth, and since the previous game made some pretty heavy compromises on the Nintendo platform, we wonder how severe the visual cuts must be on the Switch to keep this thing running at a steady clip. All we can do is hope that Netherrealm delivers something that rivals the level of the previous Switch version.

Fingers crossed.

Mortal Kombat 1 is scheduled to launch on September 19. How do you think it will hold up on Switch? Are you looking forward to playing it? Get here and let us know.



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