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Mortal Kombat 1’s network test shows promise on Xbox Series X and Series S

With only a few months between its announcement and 19th September release date, Mortal Kombat 1 feels like a masterclass in how to reveal a new game. This past weekend only reinforced that fact with the release of the game’s first network stress test, giving gamers around the world the chance to try out the latest in Mortal Kombat. I joined the test on Series X and Series S and have some thoughts on how MK1 is shaping up, from early resolution and performance numbers to more subjective impressions of the graphics and technology that power the game.

What makes this release particularly interesting is developer NetherRealm’s decision to move to Unreal Engine 4 – rather than sticking with their own UE3-derived tech or jumping to the more advanced Unreal Engine 5.

When you first boot the game, you’re greeted by a gorgeous native 4K background with crisp menu elements, with two modes (an offline four fight ladder and an online mode) and seven characters available for the stress test. Sub-Zero, Liu Kang, Kenshi and Kitana are the four main options, with three Kameo characters: Kano, Sonya Blade and the cigar chomping Jax.

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