Mortal Kombat 1's Single-Player Modes Should Offer More Depth Than Ever

Mortal Kombat 1's new Invasions mode should keep fans hooked for a long time.

At this point, I'm very much sold on everything that NetherRealm Studios is doing with Mortal Kombat 1 at a mechanical level. The new Kameo system, extensive roster, and gorgeous environments already have me more excited than ever before to dive into a Mortal Kombat game at release. Despite having no need to really be enticed further, NetherRealm still found a way to amp up my excitement that much more for MK1 after allowing me to go hands-on with the title's solo components. 

During a recent preview event for Mortal Kombat 1, I was able to get a look at the two single-player aspects of the title that NetherRealm hasn't touched on too much just yet. The first of these two offerings, of course, is the Story Mode, which is now starting over from the beginning thanks to the timeline reboot. Story Mode in Mortal Kombat games have always been greatly enjoyable to me and MK1 looks like it should be no different. 

(Photo: NetherRealm Studios)

Although my time with Mortal Kombat 1's narrative wasn't expansive, I already love everything that NetherRealm is doing. Chapter 1 of MK1 centers around Kung Lao and Raiden as they're quickly introduced to the Lin Kuei brothers Scorpion and Sub-Zero. The battles in this chapter are relatively straightforward (Kung Lao is Chapter 1's playable character), but it's the new context and dynamics involved with these characters that I enjoyed the most. Despite having only seen a glimpse of this new Mortal Kombat universe, I'm already keen on NetherRealm's decision to reboot the timeline in the manner that it has chosen. 

Perhaps the most interesting thing from my time with Mortal Kombat 1's story involves its villains. Without saying too much, MK1 features a cold open that teases the villains that should prove to be the primary baddies throughout the course of the game. Again, although these characters that are shown are familiar, it's the way in which they've been reimagined that has me greatly excited to see how they'll end up clashing with the protagonists this time around. 

(Photo: NetherRealm Studios)

Outside of this storytelling game mode, Mortal Kombat 1 will introduce a single-player aspect that NetherRealm is calling Invasions. In a general sense, Invasions is an RPG-style take on Mortal Kombat that will allow players to level up characters and compete in various challenges. Invasions is laid out like an expansive board game where players will run to different points on a certain map and then take part in a fight that often features specific modifiers. Every character present on Mortal Kombat 1's roster will be playable in this mode and can also be leveled up over time as XP is earned upon completing each challenge. Additionally, Invasions will also contain returning mini-games like Test Your Might to go along with new events that should help the mode from feeling monotonous over time. 

The most unique thing about Invasions is that the manner in which the mode ships with Mortal Kombat 1 won't be how it is in perpetuity. Instead, NetherRealm will be updating Invasions with different seasons which will tell different stories and introduce new challenges roughly every two months. With this in mind, even if you're not someone who engages in the multiplayer or competitive scene for Mortal Kombat 1, Invasions will ensure that there's almost always something new to sink your time into. Personally speaking, I see myself playing MK1 much longer when compared to past entries purely because of this mode. 

(Photo: NetherRealm Studios)

Across all fronts, Mortal Kombat 1 just continues to look like it's going to be stellar. NetherRealm hasn't released a disappointing fighting game in a very, very long time, and MK1 seems like it won't end up breaking this streak for the studio. Whether you're looking to take part in fights online or are simply trying to play by yourself, Mortal Kombat 1 is shaping up to offer more variety and depth than any other game in the history of the series. If you're a longtime Mortal Kombat fan like myself, MK1 feels like it's going to be a must-play amidst a busy fall season of releases. 

Mortal Kombat 1 is poised to launch in a little under a month on September 19 and will be coming to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Stay tuned to our coverage here on in the coming weeks as we'll have a ton more to share with you about the game leading up to its arrival. 

*Travel accommodations to this Mortal Kombat 1 event were provided by WB Games.