After a bit of teasing, NetherRealm has unveiled the next Mortal Kombat with an appropriately gruesome trailer that sees naughty Shang Tsung getting a spanking. Mortal Kombat 1, as you might expect from the name, is a reboot, but because of timeline shenanigans it's also a sequel.
Right, time to untangle some Mortal Kombat lore!
Mortal Kombat 11 saw the roster of eclectic warriors fighting to control or restore history after the titan Kronika fiddled with the timeline to erase the thunder god Raiden from existence. A time storm also brought young versions of Raiden and others into the present, including good boy Liu Kang. After a lot of brutal fights, the undead Liu Kang from the present absorbed the soul of his younger version, and then merged with past Raiden to become Fire God Liu Kang, and then defeated Kronika. Not at all confusing.
Before the new god could restore the timeline, charismatic villain Shang Tsung threw a spanner in the works as he attempted to create his own timeline. Cheeky! In the canon ending of the Aftermath DLC, Liu Kang finally defeats Shang Tsung and starts his "new era". This seems to be where Mortal Kombat 1 picks things up.
Narrating the trailer, Liu Kang reveals that he's made a blank canvas where people can choose how to live their lives, "whether to live in quiet serenity or bloody strife". In this timeline, will Scorpion and Sub-Zero be pals or hated rivals? Will Mileena and Katana learn to get along? Before we get an answer, Shang Tsung once again reappears and promptly starts murdering everyone, before getting brutally slain himself by Liu Kang. Classic Mortal Kombat.
We'll have to wait for more details about the storyline and the roster, but not too long. Mortal Kombat 1 is coming on September 19. The official site does tease a bit more information, though. Expect a "new fighting system, game modes and fatalities" as well as mechanics like Kameo fighting partners, where you can pick from a "unique" roster of helpful characters who will assist you in fights.
Mortal Kombat has long been my favourite fighting series, and I'm pleased to see MK1 seems as unhinged as ever. And stupidly violent. With launch not far away, I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot more of it soon.