It was a pleasant surprise to see the story-focused DLC Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath announced by NetherRealm Studios and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, especially since the series has only dabbled in additional characters and skins in the past. Of course, there are some new characters included too, but the fact that we can continue the story of the base game and see what happened following Liu Kang’s triumph over Kronika did get me excited – especially when you consider that NetherRealm Studios really are the masters of story-telling in the genre.
Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath takes place directly after the events of Mortal Kombat 11, with Liu Kang now embracing his role as a god and having to shape his own timeline. However, before he can begin, he’s visited by the Shang Tsung, Night Wolf and Fujin who bring him a warning that without Kronika’s (now destroyed) crown, he will cause untold destruction across all of the realms. Thus, a new time-travelling escapade begins where you’ll re-visit previous events and encounter some familiar faces as you look to restore Kronika’s crown and finally realise Liu Kang’s vision for the realms… well… as long as Shang Tsung doesn’t have any villainous tricks up his sleeve to foil your plans along the way, that is…
One of my favourite things about Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath’s new story content is how it utilises the DLC characters that have hit the game, with familiar faces such as Sindel, Night Hawk, Fujin, and Shang Tsung all having pivotal roles in the new tale. I’m a big fan of seeing additional characters come to fighting games post-launch, but it’s always been a bit of a shame when they haven’t had any role to play in the main narrative. Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath changes that, and having it implemented by masters of the craft in NetherRealm Studios is certainly a treat.
The story content lasts around two-to-three hours, so there’s a decent amount of action to get stuck into. It maintains the same quality that we’ve already seen in the base game too, with brilliant fighting sequences interweaved between some cinematic (and often bloody violent) interactions. It easily stands out as the highlight of Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath and it shows that (Raiden’s) lightning can certainly strike twice as far as quality storytelling is concerned.
Of course, having three new faces enter the battle is a real treat too, with returning favourites Sheeva and Fujin joined by special guest character Robocop. That’s right: you can re-live the 16-bit battle of ‘Robocop versus Terminator’ in Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath and it can really make for an epic showdown.
I’m particularly fond of being able to play as the Shokan representative Sheeva, especially since my all-time favourite Mortal Kombat character Goro isn’t available in the game. She brings an assortment of her moves that’ll be familiar to players that have used her in previous games, including her teleporting ground-slam which is a SUPER satisfying way to cause havoc with rival players. Her fatalities are particularly brutal too – she certainly puts those extra arms to very good use in a spine-busting fashion…
Fujin hasn’t shown his face in the Mortal Kombat series as a playable character since Mortal Kombat Armageddon, but the fact that he’s Raiden’s brother does mean that he’s quite popular throughout the community. Thankfully, he feels particularly fun to use in Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath, with his wind abilities making him one of the most agile and unique characters in the entire game. It can take some time to get used to flowing some of his more sophisticated combos together, but once you figure out his moves you’ll be dashing through the air and unleashing some pain with ease.
Then we have Robocop, who feels like an odd character on the surface (especially with no new Robocop movie released as of late) but actually fits in quite well with the action-packed battling. He’s even represented by Peter Weller, who played him in the original movies – it’s a detail that fans of the franchise will particularly appreciate and just goes to show the effort that NetherRealm Studios have put into making the character feel authentic. Gameplay-wise, he’s more of a slow-paced but powerful character with some hefty tech and weapon-based moves, so he certainly feels like a change of pace when compared to the other new characters included in Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath.
Basically, all three characters are great additions that bring some unique flair to the game. They’ve got some pretty spectacular fatalities to unleash upon foes and their inclusion offers a deep dive into the game’s lore (and pop culture) to give fans of the series some enjoyable new faces to play as.
Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath brings some pretty epic additions for players to sink their teeth into, though NetherRealm Studios have also treated players with a free update that brings additional stages, stage fatalities and friendships to the game. Those latter two are a real treat, with the stage fatalities a fan-favourite that were sadly missing from the base game and the friendships a super jolly (and unexpectedly happy) way to end a battle in one of gaming’s most violent franchises. Just don’t get TOO excited when you see Kitana’s friendship finisher – it’s been confirmed that Mileena is NOT coming back to the game, no matter how much fans plead with Ed Boon for her to make a return.
Despite having some great content on offer, I can’t help but to find that the £34.99 price tag for Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath is a little bit pricey, especially since the base game has been available for close to half of that price quite recently. There’s no doubting that a lot of effort has been put into crafting a fine story and each of the three new characters add their own unique battling style to the experience, but I just think that launching at a slightly cheaper price might have made Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath a little bit more appealing to the average gamer.
Still, there’s no denying the quality of the content on offer here, so you won’t really feel like you’ve been ripped off if you purchase Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath – it just might be worth waiting for the it to go on sale if you’re not in a massive rush to play through all of the new content.
Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath is a brilliant addition to what is already a spectacular game, with the new story content proving a treat to play through and the three additional characters all adding something uniquely enjoyable to the experience. It’s just a shame that it’s so pricey, with the £34.99 price tag proving quite hefty, especially since the base game can be picked up for much cheaper.
Still, there’s no doubting the quality of the content in Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath and it certainly makes for a VERY good reason to re-visit NetherRealm Studio’s dazzling fighter once again. Here’s hoping that the team will continue to support the game in the future, and who knows, maybe we’ll see more top-notch content coming to Mortal Kombat 11 in the future…
Developer: NetherRealm Studios
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Platform(s): PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC