Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath
Developer: NetherRealm Studios
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive
Age Rating: PEGI 18
Release Date: 26/05/2020
Price: £37.49 (Full Game Bundle) or £26.24 (DLC Only)
A code was provided for review purposes.
“Get Over Here!”
Yep, we’ve all said it. Followed by a thrust of our hands forwards and then back towards our chest, imitating the infamous Scorpion setting in his ranged stinger from this critically acclaimed franchise. Mortal Kombat 11 has found its place with casual beat-em-up gamers and pro players alike since its launch in April 2019, and with 13 months of optimisations and updates, we finally welcome the first major DLC for this franchise, ‘Aftermath’ to the fold. Our very own Craig Green already covered the main game back last year, the link to the review can be found here. We won’t be retracing these steps today and will just be focusing on the additions found as part of this pricey DLC.
Time For A Story
Those who have already played Mortal Kombat 11 will know it includes a bonkers, cinematic, gore-fest of a story that takes the player on a journey through time. In the first part of the story shared in the main game we see Kronika The Keeper of Time on a journey of revenge. She attempts to rewrite time and the events of history to erase Raiden from existence and protect her son. The story weaves its way across time and realm leading to an intervention at the end of Part 1 of the story, where protagonist Liu Kang seemingly defeats Kronika and can now restore the timeline back to its original destiny. However all is not as it may seem, with Part 2 of the story in Aftermath picking up where this left off.
This second part of the story takes place across 5 chapters so a fair bit shorter than the first story, but its delivery is just the same as the original game. It blends a cinematic cheese fest of a story interspersed with fighting along the way. This allows the player to represent Protagonist and Antagonist, and seemingly encourages you to pick your alliances as you go. The story is visually gorgeous with engaging voice work and immersive music hooking you in. Even though the script is of course a cringey affair, with over the top character interplay. This review is spoiler free, so I’ll just say the end is a satisfying climax to the series, and darkly gory at every turn, so much so I feel almost desensitised to it all.
Give The Man A Hand
Aftermath includes 3 additional characters, Fujin, Sheeva and Robocop, however if you buy the Aftermath Kollection this also includes The Terminator and Joker, who otherwise were available to purchase seperately. Here are my thoughts playing as each character.
An absolute hoot to play as! This version of Joker is very similar to the Mark Hamill voiced character from the Batman Arkham games, which by no coincidence was also published by Warner Bros Interactive. For me this was the absolute best choice. The Heath Ledger Joker would have been a tough imitation and lack the fun punch, and the shoot and miss awkward Joker played by Jared Leto in Suicide Squad would have lacked the personality needed to do the game justice. The Joker move set feels fresh from the Injustice games, with great use of his cane he genuinely feels like a tough character. He deals effective damage in most instances and delivers some very cool fatalities and combos…check out the Batman Puppet!
The character modelling on this one is superb, baring an incredible likeness to the man himself Arnold Schwarzenegger. The age of the character is a little odd and doesn’t really match any movie. He seems a little younger than the real life actor, older than in T2, but a bit younger than in Dark Fate (despite I believe this being the target appearance). One thing you’ll appreciate, he plays like The Terminator, and by that I mean he’s a machine dishing out extreme amounts of damage, even if he is slow and heavy and handles like an oil tanker driving through treacle. If you can string a decent combo together you can wipe away almost 50% of your competitors life bar, just don’t get caught trying to counter speedy attacks as those more agile characters can catch you out. Oh, and the voice work for this Terminator, it’s really bad, which seems really odd as Arnold Schwarzenegger had been confirmed as the one that selected the voice actor personally. I mean, I think my Arnie impression is better.
Again modelled incredibly well, the movement and feedback provided through the controller is superb, yet to play as Robocop, it just feels a bit boring. He seems destined to thrive as a ranged player yet in close quarters it feels very samey, absolutely nothing unique and a little bit of a let down; a super plain move-set in an otherwise sexy paint job.
Fujin & Sheeva
I figured I’d bundle these two together as they are the most unique experiences of the bunch. Sheeva in the MK of old, was brutal, with pounding combos that felt like they went on forever. Well, welcome back, that’s just how it feels this time around too. Sickening combos that feel like you’ve pounded your opponent literally hundreds of times is super fulfilling, honestly she’s a blast to play as!
Lastly Fujin feels like the freshest of experiences with a character for a long time, with a directional tornado that the player must manipulate with the d-pad as well as being able to walk through air, this guys takes some time to get used to, but a lot of love went in here.
In summary these additions are a wonderful layer of freshness to what was already a jam packed game. My feeling is for those entering the world of Mortal Kombat 11 for the first time, buying the Aftermath Kollection is an absolute no brainer and great value for money (in fact its £2.50 cheaper than the standalone game on the PSN Store right now). For those that own the base game already I think it’s a tougher price to swallow for a handful of characters and less than 2 hours of additional story mode. In this case you may want to hold out for a sale price to maximise on your investment, oh and it goes without saying…. This game is NSFW….and definitely wait for the kids to go to bed, it may well be the goriest gaming experience you’ve ever had.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can buy Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath Collection for PS4 from the Playstation Store
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.