Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath Review — Time is Still the Infinite Jest
Your soul is mine!
Mortal Kombat 11 is not just one of my favorite fighting games ever made; it is one of my favorite games of the current console generation. It feels incredibly balanced, has a rock-solid cast of characters, a fun story, and a ton of content for players to enjoy. It is a game I keep coming back to any time there is a bit of a dip in new game releases, and I still absolutely adore it every time I play. So, when it was announced a full-fledged expansion called Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath would be launching, I was incredibly optimistic. I would say that optimism was not misplaced as the expansion expands on the base game in many fun and awesome ways.
Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath brings another small group of playable fighters to the game. Sheeva, Fujin, and RoboCop (yes, the one from the incredible action movie) can all be used upon purchasing the new expansion. All of them play rather different compared to the rest of the cast of characters, giving the existing roster even more variety.
The most interesting of the bunch based solely on their inclusion alone is RoboCop. When he was revealed, I was genuinely surprised. Many of the past guest characters throughout the last few Mortal Kombat games have been from horror movies. Naturally, I expected a horror character, especially since Mortal Kombat 11 hasn’t had a true horror icon included just yet (I guess Terminator is kind of horror-ish). Despite my expectations, RoboCop makes for a very solid addition to the roster.
RoboCop seems to favor being mid to long-range. Most of his special attacks and moves tend to push the opponent to put them out of range of any close-quarter combat abilities. However, if your opponent does get close, RoboCop has a riot shield that counters most close attacks pushing the opponent away putting them back to mid-range. In my experience, I found the most success with RoboCop in zoning, staying mid to long-range from the opponent, and then countering with the riot shield.
Truth be told, RoboCop is not a character I would play. It’s not that he doesn’t play efficiently, but he just doesn’t mesh with how I like to play. That being said, just like most of the characters in Mortal Kombat 11, RoboCop seems to be a perfectly viable character. It helps to see fighting game experts like Sonic Fox absolutely destroy with him.
One of my gripes with Terminator’s implementation was the voice acting. Clearly, it was not Arnold Schwarzenegger voicing the robot man. That is not the case with RoboCop. NetherRealm Studios was able to get Peter Weller who lent his voice and likeness to the Mortal Kombat 11 version of the character. While it’s something that may seem small as his talents are really only used during intros, it adds authenticity making it truly feel like RoboCop is actually part of this bizarre universe.
NetherRealm Studios also does a great job in creating a moveset that is both reminiscent of what RoboCop would do on film yet still making it viable in Mortal Kombat 11‘s bonkers setting. I always imagined RoboCop as a bit stiff and tanky, but can still pack a mean punch whether that be close or long-ranged. That is perfectly exemplified with the character’s moveset.
The long-awaited Sheeva returns to Mortal Kombat with Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath. Again, she really isn’t a character that fits my playstyle; I’ve never really favored bruisers. However, her moveset is incredibly varied and tons of fun.
Sheeva just seems like she can overwhelm you with crazy strong attacks, but she also has a ton of variety, too. She has a few zoning options, tons of incredibly strong close-range options, and a lot of combo potential to make her very intimidating. As I said, I never favored bruisers, but Sheeva is a ton of fun to play, and is on my short list of characters I want to learn.
My personal favorite of the bunch is Fujin. This is the first time he has been playable since 2006, when Mortal Kombat: Armageddon launched. The Wind God is quick with a lot of juggling potential that I’ve had a ton of fun with. Like Sheeva, he seems very well designed but wholly unique from the rest of the roster. From his tornado move, which you can manually control, to his high flying kicks, Fujin is a very interesting character and the one I enjoyed the most experimenting with.
Also packed with Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath is a brand new story that continues where the base game’s story concludes. With NetherRealm Studios’ current track record, it seemed likely the Aftermath story would be good, at the very least. However, it actually managed to exceed my expectations.
Most of my love for the story is due to Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa’s performance as Shang Tsung. The sorcerer is front and center in Aftermath and it is absolutely tremendous. Every snarky line Tagawa says is perfectly executed in a way that was oddly endearing. Any time Shang Tsung was on screen, I was excited to hear what he had to say next — which is pretty odd coming from a fighting game story.
Besides Tagawa’s fantastic performance, Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath continues the story in a fun and effective way. It is essentially a smaller scale time-hopping romp that follows Shang Tsung, Nightwolf, and Fujin. It utilizes all the DLC characters save for the guest characters like RoboCop and Terminator. Without spoiling anything, there are some really interesting meetings between characters that make the story worthwhile for Mortal Kombat fans.
The ending is probably the most disappointing, but it is still handled well. I really loved the idea of a clean slate which Mortal Kombat 11‘s base story mode presents. It gave off this notion that anything can happen in the next iteration of the series’ story. Again, without spoiling anything, there are some variant endings depending on a choice made at the end.
Aftermath gives the story a bit more direction moving forward, which will be interesting to see how NetherRealm Studios follows up with it in the next game or expansion. The ending is still somewhat shrouded in mystery, but there are some predictions that could be made from both endings. Overall, the 2 to 3 hour expanded story was a solid addition to an already wildly fantastic tale.
Usually, price is never a talking point for reviews, but given the amount of content given and the cost of said content, I felt like it should be discussed. While Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath is a really great expansion with awesome new playable fighters and a fantastic new story, it does come at a cost. If you are really into everything Mortal Kombat 11 has to offer, I think the $39.99 price tag is decent. However, if you only want the story or a specific character, it is hard to recommend.
Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath is a really great expansion to an already amazing fighting game. All of the playable characters are solid additions that feel pretty unique and the added story is another fun time traveling ride with a notable performance from Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa. If you love Mortal Kombat 11, I highly recommend Aftermath. But if you’re strapped on cash, maybe hold off for a little bit.