Mortal Kombat is one of the oldest and most respected fighting game series in the world. Ever since its debut in 1992, Mortal Kombat has wowed and impressed fans all over the world with its tight gameplay, expansive story, and over-the-top violence. With each new entry in the series introducing new characters, special moves, and secrets, Mortal Kombat has never short-changed its fans when it comes to content.

In order to keep its core gameplay formula fresh, Mortal Kombat has introduced new mechanics with nearly every single entry to its name. Mortal Kombat 3 introduced running, Mortal Kombat 4 brought weapons into the fray, and Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance revealed The Krypt to players for the very first time. With the newly announced Mortal Kombat 1 slated for September 19th of this year, one of the biggest changes fans will receive is the addition of Kameos.

Mortal Kombat 1 Will Introduce Kameo’s For the First Time

Mortal Kombat 1 Kung Lao Kameo

Mortal Kombat has always been a strictly one-on-one fighting game series. While there have been the occasional two-on-one challenge battles in arcade modes, and two-on-two tag team modes, the focus of the series has always been on single opponent combat. Expanded combos, weapons, stances, interactive environments, and more have been implanted over the years to keep game play fresh, but the series has never utilized assist attacks as a core mechanic until now.

In fighting games “assists” are attacks that utilize a guest character to appear on screen and perform a unique attack before leaving the battlefield. The Marvel Vs. Capcom series is a famous example of implementing assist attacks in a major way; many high-end and advanced combos necessitate the precise execution of an assist attack to deal maximum damage to your opponent. Other titles such as Skullgirls, Dragonball Fighterz, and Persona 4: Arena have used assist attacks in a similar manner.

Mortal Kombat 1’s Kameo’s May Divide Long-time Fans

Mortal Kombat 1 Sonya Kameo

Incorporating assists into Mortal Kombat is important as it is the very first time assist attacks have been used in the series in this fashion. From what the game play trailers have shown fans, the assist characters seem to be legacy characters from Mortal Kombat’s past entries. Jax appears in his Mortal Kombat 3 outfit, Kano and Sub-Zero appear in their original Mortal Kombat outfits, with Kung Lao appearing in his Mortal Kombat II outfit. Each of the assist characters seem to perform two functions: a single attack during regular combat and an assisted attack during X-Ray’s. Kameo attacks are classic moves from their respective characters such as Sonya’s leg grapple and Kano’s Eye Beam. The X-Ray Kameo’s appear to be character specific attacks such as Kung Lao’s razor hat and Stryker’s flash stun.

It is unclear if the option exists to turn Kameo’s off during a battle, how frequently a Kameo can be used in a battle, and whether those respective characters are playable in the game. Longtime fans of Mortal Kombat will have such adjusting to do with the new Kameo attacks as it looks to completely change how a traditional fight will ensue now. Beyond the changes to the core game play, the Kameo’s also raise questions regarding Liu Kang’s time powers, how he changed the timeline, if those characters are their original timeline selves, and if this means the story will focus even more on time manipulation.

What characters are you most excited to see return in the newly revamped Mortal Kombat universe? Are there any specific legacy characters you’d love to see as Kameo’s? Or do you think the addition of assist attacks is straying too far from the formula that helped define Mortal Kombat over the years?

Mortal Kombat 1 is available September 19, 2023 on PC, PS5, Switch, and Xbox Series X/S.

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