Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath (PlayStation 4) Review

By Justin Prinsloo 03.06.2020

Review for Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath on PlayStation 4

Mortal Kombat 11 has been out for a little over a year now and has received excellent support for the duration of its existence. While some controversy surrounded the latest instalment in the popular fighting series at launch (due to in-game currency imbalances and the long waiting periods between DLC characters), its issues were quickly squashed and it has since established itself as one of the finest fighters of the last few years. With the Aftermath expansion, NetherRealm is looking to further expand the experience with the addition of three new characters and skin packs, a story expansion, and a host of other goodies, including the return of Friendships and Stage Fatalities, as well as new stages.

Aftermath's story content picks up right where Mortal Kombat 11 concluded and is roughly half the length of the base game campaign. It sees the return of fan-favourite Shang Tsung (voiced by the perpetually excellent Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa), the malevolent and unpredictable sorcerer who offers his aid to the now-Elder god Liu Kang in restructuring the timelines after Kronika's defeat. Shang Tsung steals every scene he's in, so it's quite a treat that he plays such a prominent role, casting spells and garnering suspicion from the rest of the cast throughout. Now, Aftermath's story is very short, and while it's a decent epilogue to the silly-but-great tale told in Mortal Kombat 11, it does very little to expand the universe. Still, it's worth experiencing for those who love the characters and are eager for more.

Speaking of the characters, Aftermath finds intelligent ways of introducing every MK-universe DLC character that wasn't present in the main story, from Nightwolf to pre-order bonus Shao Kahn. Fujin and Sheeva naturally also make an appearance, given that they constitute two of the three new fighters (the third being guest character Robocop - more on him shortly). It's great to be able to play as Fujin again; the Elder god of the wind hasn't been playable since 1997's Mortal Kombat 4.

Screenshot for Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath on PlayStation 4

The new fighters are, for the most part, a worthy addition. Sheeva is far and away the best of the three, bringing a unique slant to the bruiser play style by dint of her heavy hitting antics combined with some exciting mixup opportunities that make her an unpredictable powerhouse. Fujin' s play style is likewise very unique, but perhaps less remarkably so. He excels at midrange and has some very flashy moves, but struggles in his damage output and is difficult to learn. While he is initially a little unwieldy, his vast arsenal of tools points to him potentially coming into his own as an effective option in the meta further down the line.

Robocop is unfortunately a little less exciting. The vast majority of his appeal stems from the fact that he's… well, Robocop, but his move set leaves a lot to be desired. It's nothing MK fans haven't seen before and nothing that other characters like Terminator don't do better. Plus, his presence in the universe feels a little awkward - though this is most likely due to the fact that he's an inherently awkward character.

Screenshot for Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath on PlayStation 4

In any case, the new characters bring the roster to a very impressive total of 34 fighters. Alongside Aftermath's release comes the latest balance patch, and it's safe to say that NetherRealm seems to have struck gold with the meta - the developer has been cautious in releasing balance patches, a very intelligent move given how over-balancing can lead to nuking the experience (*cough* Overwatch *cough*). Every patch that NetherRealm has released, though, has shaken things up the right way, keeping the fan base on its toes without pissing them off. Given the ever-expanding roster, this becomes more praiseworthy by the month.

Also included in the latest patch is the addition of Friendships, Stage Fatalities, and new stages, which are free to all Mortal Kombat 11 players regardless of whether or not they purchase the Aftermath expansion. Friendships are the family-friendly variant of Fatalities that inject a little "ha ha" into the otherwise "ew" finishing moves, and are just the right level of silly to complement the hyper-violence everywhere else in the game. On the opposite end, Stage Fatalities bring more ways to pulverise your opponent in unique ways when you aren't making friends with them, while the new stages showcase some locations from Aftermath's story content. It's a welcome free update to coincide with the new paid content and a nice gesture on behalf of NetherRealm to those who aren't ready to shell out for Aftermath just yet - and there will be a few players who fall into this category, unfortunately.

Screenshot for Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath on PlayStation 4

As of this writing, Aftermath only comes as a bundle deal which includes all three characters and the story content for £34.99, meaning those who only want the characters and aren't interested in the story are forced to shell out for content they don't want - which itself is massively overpriced, given that the story only lasts two or three hours. It's also worth noting that those who have been playing Mortal Kombat 11 since launch get the worst deal here, as they're paying for this new content on top of the original price of the game. The Aftermath Kollection, meanwhile, which includes the base game, the Kombat Pack, and the Aftermath DLC, only costs £49.99 right now.

Players who've been around since launch are understandably disgruntled about this, so one would hope that NetherRealm's keen ear for its community means it will remedy this shortly - even if that just means offering the new characters separately from the story expansion. Still, what's on offer is solid and enjoyable, even if a little overpriced. This is the shot in the arm that Mortal Kombat 11 needs to stay fresh and inviting, and if this keeps up, it will remain a joy to play for a while yet.

Screenshot for Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

While not revolutionary by any stretch, Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath breathes new life into the experience in smart and welcome ways. With the exception of the average Robocop, the new characters are unique and brimming with potential, and the story content is a short but sweet trip through the world of Mortal Kombat post-MK11 - hefty price-tag aside.

Developer

NetherRealm

Publisher

Warner Bros

Genre

Fighting

Players

2

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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