Against all odds, Mortal Kombat 11 did quite well on the Nintendo Switch. Like many PS4 and Xbox One ports, there was always concern that Netherrealm Studio’s cinematic fighter wouldn’t cut it on Nintendo’s hybrid console. Still, with 60fps performance and all the features you could want, it proves to be a more than competent option for Switch owners.
Its direct sequel and semi-reboot, Mortal Kombat 1 aims to kick things up a few notches, boasting stunning visuals and an expanded battle system that allows you to summon additional ‘Cameo’ fighters to aid you in battle. After a gameplay reveal at Summer Game Fest, we got to play around with Netherrealm’s latest effort for about 30 minutes and were left completely blown away. And, honestly? That’s why we’re worried about the Switch version.
The version we played at Summer Game Fest ran on PS5. We’ve been asking and asking Netherrealm for information on how the Switch port is progressing, but the most the team can say right now is that development is “going well.”
The first thing that surprised us about Mortal Kombat 1 was how smooth the whole experience was. After choosing your fighter from the selection of Sub-Zero, Kitana, Lui Kang and Kenshi (with an additional four Kameo characters), there is a short transition screen during which your two selected characters will face off against each other before the environment around you loads. It’s seamless and makes the whole experience incredibly smooth. Additionally, of course, your characters will also interact with each other according to how they relate in the world of Mortal Kombat, adding a nice sense of narrative weight to the upcoming fight.
Gameplay is, as expected, very similar to Mortal Kombat 11, but this generation’s improved visuals make everything look infinitely more cinematic and bombastic. The blows fall with absurd heaviness and you can see individual drops of blood fly through the air before falling to the ground, illuminating the surroundings in crimson. Add to that stunning environments with beautiful sunsets and detailed settings and you have a fighting game that not only rivals the likes of Street Fighter 6but it can be even more beautiful.
Cameo fighters add an extra layer to the already incredibly deep combat mechanics, but you don’t have to worry because summoning them is very easy. Simply tap or hold ‘R1’ (which will probably translate as ‘R’ on the switch) and your Kameo character will jump into battle and perform one of their signature moves. You can link them to your main character’s moveset to pull off a smooth combo, or simply use your Kameo character to give yourself some breathing room if you get trapped in a corner.
Fatal Blows also makes a much-appreciated return, and what’s especially great is that you can enlist your Kameo character to help you out here as well. It makes the Fatal Blow sequences, which were already fantastically cinematic, that much more impressive.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Mortal Kombat without the iconic Fatalities, and we’re happy to say that these are just as gruesome as ever and just as easy to pull off. Lui Kang’s signature Fatality will be instantly recognizable to anyone who watched the debut trailer for Mortal Kombat 1, but the other characters’ sequences are just as memorable. If you’re not happy using your own character’s Fatality, you can bring up your Kameo character with a simple combination of Up, Gore and ‘R1’. Your own fighter will step aside with a smile as your Kameo character unleashes hell on your opponent.
Over the years, Netherrealm has proven itself to be one of the most prestigious fighting developers in the world, and if our 30-minute session with Mortal Kombat 1 is anything to go by, the studio just keeps going from strength to strength. With that in mind, our concerns about how the game will hold up on the Switch are undeniable. This is a significant step up from Mortal Kombat 11 in terms of visuals, presentation and depth, and since the previous game already made some pretty heavy compromises on Nintendo’s platform, we wonder how drastic the visual cuts will have to be on the Switch. the thing works with a stable piston. All we can do is hope that Netherrealm delivers something approaching the standard of its previous Switch version.
Mortal Kombat 1 is scheduled to launch on September 19th. How do you think it will hold up on the Switch? Are you looking forward to playing? Come here and let us know.