As good as they are, NeatherRealm Studios’ fighters always make a little sad. With a pretty consistent release schedule it always feels like they have a shorter shelf life than other fighting games. You have your fun and it’s on to the next one. So for Mortal Kombat 11, it’s great to see NeatherRealm expanding the story and continuing to add new content with the Aftermath expansion.
Clocking in around 3-4 hours of gameplay, Aftermath’s story takes place moments after the end of the main Mortal Kombat 11 story. Kronika has been defeated, her plan put to an end, and everything’s back to normal again, right? Wrong.
Enter Fujin, Nightwolf and Shang Tsung with the bad news that time is still broken and will need fixing quickly. You essentially have a time heist on your hands, with the unlikely allies travelling back into the past to retrieve Kronika’s crown for timey-wimey shenanigans.
It’s just another day in the Mortal Kombat lore office. It’s mad, it makes little to no sense, but it’s fun and lets you switch off and appreciate the martial arts, silly characters and over-the-top performances. All good stuff. The show is stolen by Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, reprising his role as Shang Tsung from the Mortal Kombat movie in video game form. He is fantastic and every scene he’s in is brilliant.
The story gameplay takes you on a tour of most of the new features in the update with a soiree through the various new levels and time spent with the new characters.
Fujin, who hasn’t been seen since Mortal Kombat: Armageddon is back, sent me into a spin… no pun intended. He feels really good to handle with a lot of fun tools at his disposal. A quick down, up motion on the D-pad makes you walk on air above your opponent and with a button tap, lets you either fly forward or backwards with a punch, or perform a dive kick instead. Fujin can be all over the place and he’s great for confusing opponents. Being the Wind God, he naturally has a lot of tornado-based tools at his disposal as well.
Sheeva also returns to the series, playable and feeling great. She hits hard and has her signature teleport stomp that everyone loves to hate. When she’s not doing that, she can grab you Hulk style and fling you about.
While he’s not part of the Aftermath story, the final addition to the roster is Robocop, face captured and voiced by Peter Weller himself. As cameos go, Robocop is a great fit for Mortal Kombat, considering the brutal violence from the original films. He has a bevy of weapons at his disposal, including his signature pistol, a huge assault rifle, rockets, the lot. It makes him an effective zoner, but he doesn’t really stand out from that group. After playing all the new characters, he was the least exciting to go back to. He just feels a little basic. The fact that you can have him fight with The Terminator is a saving grace, however.
Alongside the paid expansion, there’s some content that’s free for everyone. This comes in the form of a bunch of new stages, as well as Friendships for each character. Friendships have been absent since MK Trilogy and return in this new update to provide a little light heartedness among the bloody viscera. It’s a bit of a mixed bag with some being great and quite a few being a little bit meh.
Scorpion’s is brilliant, because he looks like he’s actually going to tear your head off with his spear but instead, hooks in a giant teddy for a nice little cuddle. It’s very sweet. Raiden’s is similarly excellent with him teaming up with kid Raiden and doing an awesome dance routine. Joker of course steals the show here with little things showing that he really doesn’t want to be friendly, but you know Batman is just out of shot, keeping an eye on him with the Joker side-eyeing every few seconds to check that he’s there.
Weighing in at a hefty £34.99, Aftermath feels a bit pricey, despite how good the content is. The Friendships, the new stages and the balance update are all free downloads, so what you’re really paying for is a very short campaign and three extra characters. It’s going to be a very hard sell to casual fans of the series. The package which includes the base game definitely feels like the better deal weighing in around £49.99, but those that own it already might feel a little hard done by.
Still, die hard fans of MK should definitely consider picking Aftermath up. The campaign is short but sweet and the new characters are fun to experiment with. It really just depends on your wallet.
Catch our verdict on the original game in our Mortal Kombat 11 Review.