Mortal Kombat 11

XBA Review: Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath

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Mortal Kombat 11's story wrapped up on a fairly neat cliffhanger, leaving Liu Kang, with his newly acquired Fire God status and Raiden contemplating the total resetting of history – the exciting possibility of starting anew putting all of that convoluted death, resurrection, revenants, and other dramatic occurrences behind them. But in Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath – a superb expansion, boasting a rather hefty chunk of narrative – we discover that Liu Kang and Raiden have both overlooked one key detail. End boss Kronika's crown is required to carry out all of that time-bending stuff. Back to square one it is, then.

Opening with the intervention of duplicitous series villain Shang Tsung (played with scenery-chewing brilliance by Cary-Horoyuki Tagawa), who's brought along Nightwolf and Fujin, events are set in motion during Aftermath that alter the timeline of Mortal Kombat 11's main narrative, putting the cat amongst the pigeons with all sorts of double-crossing and unforeseen twists. As Shang Tsung does his level best to help the good guys in their quest to obtain Kronika's crown, everyone's waiting for the sneering sorcerer's seemingly inevitable betrayal, and, as such, the potentially dangerous, uneasy alliance (a deadly alliance, you might say) you forge with him is also a fragile, precarious one, fraught with constant suspicion.

Across six new chapters, you'll get to see the story coda from both good and evil perspectives, as Shao Kahn strives to regain his seat of power from Kitana and Kotal Kahn, and inevitably things don't unfold in quite the way that you'd expect. A fair few fighters from MK11's roster get a look-in during the new story chapters, too, the majority of which are the DLC characters added with the game's Kombat Pack – namely Sindel, Shang Tsung, and Nightwolf. Brand new additions Fujin and Sheeva also have a pivotal role to play, broadening the scope of the epic narrative a bit.

Aftermath offers more than a few hours of new story to play through, however; the God of Wind, and brother to Raiden, Fujin is joined by four-armed half-human, half-dragon Shokan warrior Sheeva, and guest character RoboCop. All three newcomers are suitably distinctive, worthwhile additions to the roster, Fujin's sword and crossbow making him something of an all-rounder, effective at range and close quarters. Sheeva, meanwhile, is a relatively slow but powerful grappler, able to toss opponents around like ragdolls when she's not stomping them into the ground.

For many – mostly anyone who grew up in the '80s, like I did – RoboCop is an especially curious guest character choice, who initially seems somewhat out of place in NetherRealm's brutal and bloody universe. That is until you remind yourself of just how violent the 1987 Paul Verhoeven movie was, then the presence of OCP's finest cyborg policeman makes perfect sense. Pair him with Arnie's T-800 Terminator, and you can orchestrate the robot smackdown of your dreams – it's almost worth the asking price for that alone. Almost.

As a fighter, the cop formerly known as Alex Murphy (portrayed in the game by original actor Peter Weller) hits hard with an arsenal of weaponry including his Auto-9 pistol, a flamethrower and that big, explosive rifle thing the bad guys use when they go on a rampage in the movie. You know the one. The inclusion of RoboCop – like Spawn, Joker, and Terminator before him – further demonstrates just how adept NetherRealm is in getting its guest characters right, and how the studio is able to make them feel at home amid a rogue's gallery of well-established kombatants.

Aftermath's new chunk of narrative might be enjoyable while it lasts, and the introduction of Fujin, Sheeva, and RoboCop feels like a genuinely welcome bonus, but, given the sum of its parts, this is an expansion that is perhaps a little on the pricey side. While there's no denying there's a lot of content stuffed into Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath (and the story is a relentlessly entertaining way to spend 3-4 hours), whether it has adequate replay value is debatable, especially given the lack of new achievements (which is criminal). So while this is certainly something you'd most certainly buy for a dollar without hesitation, parting with forty of 'em seems a tad much, unless you're truly, desperately (blood)thirsty for more. But for total newbies, Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath is utterly essential.


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Game Info


US April 23, 2019

HDD Space Required : 38.96 GB
Price: $59.99USD
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