The Mortal Kombat 1 pre-order beta went live for Xbox and PS5 players on Friday, bringing with it multiple new characters for players to try as well as some returning stalwarts. The most popular of them so far seems to be Johnny Cage, who is winning over fans with big celebrity energy, big combos, and surprise sunglasses finishers.
Over on the Mortal Kombat subreddit, one of the top posts has the plaintive title, “This win cost me 500$.” It shows Li Mei on the verge of finishing off Johnny, only for his sunglasses to flip through the air and hit her square in the face.
“He’s tons of fun in the beta, I tried everyone but I didn’t expect Johnny to click so well,” the player wrote.
Another thread title gushes, “The quips, the mesmerising fatal, the phone. Johnny is top tier!” It features match highlights of Cage launching a powerful attack on Sub-Zero to chants of “Johnny, Johnny, Johnny,” at one point smashing him into the camera.
“As a Johnny main since Mk1…the first one lol, Cage is SO f*ckin good in this game,” one player wrote. “I miss the fireball, but everything else about him is golden. Hes [sic] fast, he pressures, the new shadow effects are so cool looking, hes [sic] perfect, every minute detail, perfect.”
A Mortal Kombat favorite returns
Johnny Cage has been a series stalwarts since the original Mortal Kombat, where he was modeled after then-superstar action hero Jean-Claude Van Damme. His complicated biography includes being killed by the forces of Shao Khan and revived multiple times, at one point filming a movie titled “The Death of Johnny Cage.”
In Mortal Kombat 1, which features a rebooted universe courtesy of Liu Kang, Cage is in possession of a sacred sword when he’s recruited by the newly-minted Fire God.
Cage joins Kenshi, Kitana, Liu Kang, and Sub-Zero as well as Li Mei, who was revealed during San Diego Comic-Con. The pre-order beta also includes Kameo versions of Sony, Blade, Kano, and Jax.
Since the beta went live on Friday, fans have been having plenty of fun experimenting with Johnny Cage. Noted fighting game player Sonicfox discovered a 24 hit combo for Cage shortly after the beta went live.
Sonicfox just found a 24 hits combo in less than an hour of MK1 beta
Mortal Kombat 1 is gonna be 🔥🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/X2Ss4kKNks
— Hermann (@hermannphili) August 18, 2023
Other fans have been enjoying Johnny Cage’s typically gruesome fatalities, which include ripping an opponent’s face off and take a selife amid thousands of likes.
— 🐉Mortal_Kombat_Addict | Fatalities Daily (@MK_habit_addict) August 18, 2023
But mostly fans just seem to like his overall personality, which is a perfect mix of Hollywood arrogance and social media influencer flash.
Johnny Cage is CRAZY with hype lmfao pic.twitter.com/Kkjlv5ZS5m
— STB | Kompetitor (@TheKompetitor) August 18, 2023
NetherRealm Studios has been steadily rolling out new characters since Mortal Kombat 1 was first announced earlier this year. There will be 24 Mortal Kombat 1 characters in all at launch, with six more being added via DLC, including Peacemaker and Homelander.
The Mortal Kombat 1 pre-order beta is slated to run from August 18 to August 21. It’ll end Monday at 8am PT. It’s available to those who pre-order the game. Mortal Kombat 1 is slated to release September 14 on Xbox, PS5, Switch, and PC.
Kat Bailey is IGN’s News Director as well as co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Have a tip? Send her a DM at @the_katbot.