Is Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath worth it?
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Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath is an expansion that doubles as a Kombat Pack and an epilogue. There's also a whole lot of freebies that bring balance adjustments, new stages, and an alternative to Fatalities, breathing new life to the year-old game.
Aftermath gives owners of the base game access to reimagined Klassic Mortal Kombat stages Dead Pool and Soul Chamber. The brand new mashup arena RetroKade is also a joy to behold, but for players that nostalgia holds no sway over, the stages include fatalities.
Friendships first appeared in Mortal Kombat II in response to the public controversy over the blood and gore in the first game's Fatalities and were designed to be quirky, fun, and downright silly. Aftermath continues that tradition with some good ones, like Spawn reading a romantic novel, Kitana and Mileena playing patty cake, and Scorpion hugging a teddy bear. One of the expansion's highlights is pulling these off to see for yourself.
Thinking back to the Aftermath teaser NetherRealm shared before the expansion's official reveal, I can't help but feel it sold the expansion before we even knew what it was. It wouldn't be a stretch to say that Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa's Shang Tsung was the best part of Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath's campaign, and the developers knew it would be.
To avoid spoilers, I won't go into detail, but in a nutshell, Shang Tsung approaches the game's heroes to help them prevent a disaster and fix the problem they accidentally created in the main story. Of course, it's hard to trust the guy we've called an evil sorcerer for almost three decades now, and it's great how this plays into the interaction between characters.
Besides giving fans another reason to use fighters they don't usually pick, the campaign has the same polish as the main story. It perfectly continues from where the original campaign left us.
Sheeva last stomped her opponents in 2011's Mortal Kombat but was first introduced in the game's third installment. As you'd expect, she returns as a close-range bruiser that sacrifices style and flair for powerful blows and combos. Surprisingly, she doesn't have as many command grabs as you might expect. Instead, Sheeva employs grabs in her combos.
The Shokan warrior's variations provide the right mix of options. Depending on the playstyle you choose, Sheeva can focus on damage-dealing attacks, pinpoint stomping, or elaborate mixups. Either way, she'll always get to show off her powerful moveset in all its devastating glory.
First seen in the action-adventure spinoff, Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero, Fujin made it into the main franchise the same year in Mortal Kombat 4. While Sheeva is the powerhouse out of the three new characters, Fujin is the fast and flashy one. This design makes him mixup heavy, leaving his opponents constantly guessing where the next attack will come from.
Beside his agility and air moves, Raiden's brother can also change the trajectory of his projectiles, by bouncing it off surfaces. His moveset makes him the most versatile out of the three characters, allowing him to overwhelm opponents with a flurry of attacks.
The only guest character in Aftermath, RoboCop, has his fighting game debut, bringing all the charm of the '80s with him. NetherRealm's attention to detail really shines with the cyborg, as they were even able to get the original actor, Peter Weller, to reprise the role.
RoboCop is a zoner that's able to keep opponents at bay, but slow with barely any escape options. However, he's also got a cool command grab that's taken right out of the movies, which allows him to carry opponents around. Then there's his shield that's perfect against projectiles, for when he's matched against other zoners.
After the novelty wears off, RoboCop will probably become the least used character out of the trio due to how much harder he is to use. Yet, that won't stop fans of the movies like myself from enjoying all the easter eggs.
With these three additions to the roster and lots of balance adjustments, the competitive meta is sure to experience some changes. After the FGC has had the time to dig into the game for a few weeks, we should start seeing new tier lists highlighting who the pro's think are tournament viable, and where the trio stand.
A worthy expansion
Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath feels like NetherRealm Studios dipped the original game in a rejuvenating Lazarus Pit before it could become stale. Adding tons of new content, most of which is free, makes it a significant expansion, but at $40, it feels a little overpriced. Although pricy, if you're a big fan of the franchise, then you'll soon forget your wallet after having hours of fun with Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath.