The day has been saved, the titan Kronika’s mad bid for power that would have resulted in the eradication of multiple timelines has been erased and with her threat now nullified, Earthrealm has a new god to help protect it from the threats that exist beyond the dimensional barriers of time and space. Last year’s Mortal Kombat 11 was a satisfying conclusion to decades of games, spin-offs and a story that served as the glue that bound them all together.
Proving once again that nobody handles a narrative within a fighting game like they do, developer Netherrealm Studios were ready to end an era and sail off into uncharted territory with the Mortal Kombat franchise. Or so we thought. Arriving just over a year since the eleventh core game launched, Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath serves multiple purposes in the grand scheme of all things Earthrealm.
It’s an expanded epilogue to last year’s epic journey and a new entrypoint for anyone who prefers to give games within that genre a year or two before they hop in, due to the DLC nature of the industry that rolls out extra content after launch and then repackages it for a quick resale. Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath, to its credit, doesn’t feel like the obligatory retreading of previously released content that fighting games bank their profits on lately.
Does it have elements of game of the year editions within it? Absolutely. Does it still manage to offer plenty of new content for returning fans? You bet your gruesome finisher it does! For newcomers, Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath has a lot to offer. You’re still getting last year’s excellent sequel in all of its devilishly violent spine-ripping glory, with the addition of a year of fine-tuning that has kept the playing field balanced, alongside the controversial Krypt feature which didn’t exactly win fans over due to the grind that it represented for unlockable content.
On top of that, there’s a wealth of cheeky new Friendship finishers, stage fatalities and a selection of new kombatants that were rolled out throughout 2018 and 2019, including series icons such as Sindel, Shang Tsung and Nightwolf. From there, were the bonkers additions of Spawn from Todd McFarlane’s comic book series, the Terminator himself and even the Joker, all resulting in a solid selection of fighters new and old.
What Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath’s primary draw is however, is a chunky new chapter of story content that further fleshes out the ending of last year’s game. Reborn as a god and now in control of Kronika’s sands of time, Liu Kang quickly discovers that to alter history without the Titan’s crown would result in all of reality being dealt a fatal blow. The only solution? To send Shang Tsung back in time to retrieve the crown, an act that totally won’t end with the infamous sorcerer betraying his temporary allies…right?
Along for the ride is Nightwolf and Fujin, Earthrealm protector’s tasked with keeping an eye on Tsung and preventing him from altering history too much. Aftermath’s story may only take around two to three hours to clock depending on your skillset, but it’s still a brisk tale that boasts all the high quality cinematic style of Mortal Kombat 11, anchored by Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa’s return as the infamous wizard and acted with devilish glee as he weaves his way throughout the tale with a subtle sneer on his face and a knife hidden behind his back.
With time travel thrown into the mix, things naturally take a turn for the worse as deadly alliances are formed, deception plays a key part in the saga and armageddon eventually breaks out, leading to a showdown with all of reality at stake. The story may be predictable, but there’s no denying that it’s still fun to see how it plays out as you take control of characters new and old.
It’s that addition to the roster that also sweetens the deal, as Fujin, Sheeva and RoboCop enter the fray and upset the meta-game apple cart with their own unique style of play. I’m still getting to grips with them and I’ll do a dedicated write-up soon, but so far I’m mostly liking what I’m experiencing. RoboCop is a nostaglic blast from the past whose ranged options make him an unrelenting powerhouse, Fujin is an airbending martial arts master who plays similarly to Raiden but without any of the clunky combos of his odler brother and Sheeva…
Well I’m not sold on her mechanically, as she doesn’t feel like a Shokan bruiser who is capable of winning several arm-wrestling contests in a single showdown. There’s also something to be said for the current pricing of Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath, with this version demanding a full retail price for newcomers and a hefty entrance fee that veterans consider to be a touch too exorbitant in its present state. Time will probably see a discount or two come along, but if you’re looking to slot Aftermath into your current edition of Moral Kombat then be prepared to shell out.
Price debates aside, Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath scratches that itch for more Mortal Kombat. It’ll likely be a good number of years before Netherrealm officially begin their next era within the franchise, but Aftermath serves as the definitive farewell to the original saga.
Last Updated: May 29, 2020