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Ed Boon: Mortal Kombat 1's single player mode is like a board game that's so big it covers a few city blocks

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • September 7, 2023 at 7:21 p.m. PDT • Comments: 7

Mortal Kombat co-creator Ed Boon and his teams are always coming up with new approaches and twists on the tried and true MK formula, and that's as true as ever when it comes to the upcoming Mortal Kombat 1.

The NetherRealm Studios crew is rebooting the franchise's story once again, but this time they're telling it through Invasions Mode, a single player experience unlike anything Mortal Kombat has seen to date. Ed Boon offered some exciting details on Invasions and more in a recent interview with PlayStationAccess.

"At it's core, Mortal Kombat is two characters fighting against each other. That can be [explored] in a number of ways as friends on a couch can fight each other, you can play online against strangers," Boon notes. "At the end of the day some people are just intimidated by going online and just getting their butt beaten. At some point we need a more casual experience for the player not to feel so much pressure.

"Invasions is where we really want players to have a friendly, less pressure situation where we can on board them into the game, get them a bunch of rewards, see a cool story play out."

What exactly is Invasions and what makes it different than previous single player modes? For starters, Invasions is primarily experienced in a kind of bird's eye view format as players send their avatar about on what feels very much like a game board.

We see a top down look at Johnny Cage's massive movie star mansion, for instance, where a mini Johnny must progress across a series of spaces. He can only pass each of these spaces by completing challenges (usually special fights) such as a showdown with Baraka in order to get through the front door.

"Invasion Mode is our new and additional single player experience," he says. "You can imagine Invasion Mode as a board game that's as big as a few city blocks like in New York. The player is kind of advancing through each of the different nodes, each one contains a challenge or a prize or treasure chest or a tower that'll come up during a fight.

The player progresses through it going through all of these mesas, basically, each one is a gigantic board. That is the main place in this game to get rewards, to get currency, and get all of the hidden features that're in this game."

This latest twist on the single player adventure does smack a bit of Mortal Kombat Deception's Konquest Mode, which saw players control Shujinko in more of a sandbox style, explorative experience. That said, Invasions seems to be much more corralled as players are restricted to much more obvious paths (though we don't imagine for a second that there won't be more than a few hidden paths and secrets to find).

You can hear all of what Boon has to say on Invasions as well as the new approach to certain character dynamics, visual designs, and how the latest technology has leveled up what NRS can put on screen at any given time.

Mortal Kombat 1 is scheduled to launch for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, and PC (Steam and Epic Games Store) on Sept. 19, 2023.

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