Title: Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath
Developer: NetherRealm Studios
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive
Available On: Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC
Official Site: Mortal Kombat
Release Date: May 26th, 2020
Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath is here to give fans that taste of blood they crave as it brings back old school favorites plus more in this new package.
The story takes place immediately after the ending of MK11 where Lui Kang became a God as he started to reset time with Raiden. Shang Tsung, Nightwolf, and Fujin enter through a portal to stop them from making a grave mistake. There are some twists and turns along the way to make the search for Kronika’s crown a worthy entry.
I really enjoyed the new story in Aftermath expansion. Shang Tsung’s shifty eyes and crooked smile as he lurked around kept me guessing when (not if) the other shoe will drop.
I’m conflicted as Aftermath is a fantastic game with a great roster and creative content plagued by issues that bring down the experience Injustice 2 started. “Get over here” and let’s get into it.
The Blood in Mortal Kombat 11
Mortal Kombat is a series flowing with rich lore through its veins. Aftermath is the first game since MK9 a decade ago to really explore it. This gives depth to characters that have been nothing more than window dressing for the last couple of games. I’m actually a Nightwolf player now that he is more than just a stoic face and L’Oreal cover boy with that flowing hair. He’s a legit threat in battle.
This is arguably the best combat of any entry in these series as every punch feels visceral and rewarding. Too many times I’ll wince during and fight and think “oh, you didn’t have to do ’em like that.” MK11: Aftermath is a pure blast to play from to easy to pick up fight system, but hard to master gameplay.
The lacking roster was my biggest problem with vanilla MK11, so Aftermath addresses that (mostly). MK9 featured a tight A list roster, while MKXL had an excellent roster the following year of the original release. Finally, MK11 has a roster I feel like I can pick more than the same handful of faces.
Fujin and Shang Tsung play like a dream as they have many decent mixups that will make any opponent. Every character comes with two styles, which means you can go into a battle with a moveset better fitting for whatever opponent you face. It’s important to have the right size shoe to stick up someone’s behind for every occasion.
This is better than the MKXL three style system as it felt like the moves you wanted were too split across a fighter. Three’s company, while two just feels right as well as being easier to remember.
There’s content for players who don’t purchase Aftermath which they automatically free with the update. The new stages, friendalities and stage fatalities are some the goodies to list. They add more options on how you want to put that period at the end of a match.
Aftermath runs for about four hours and change on the Switch. The resolution docked is 1280 x 720(varies though) and 854 x 450 undocked. The graphics for this version are impressive when running handheld, but docked mode on the big screen looks like a Vaseline bandit broke into my house and wiped some on my TV.
The online mode must be sponsored by Powerpoint since it often looks like a slideshow when I play. The controls feel like your fighting underwater from all the lag during online Switch play. Fortunately, Aftermath loads quickly, you’re usually in a match within seconds online and off.
The game runs smoothly with no hiccups during offline battles, however, the same can’t be said for the menus. They chug when going between customization options. There were many times I abandoned customization because putting a tutu on Liu Kang wasn’t worth the week wait.
This game has a boatload of content, which is locked behind loot boxes and microtransactions to an extent. I thought it would have been patched out by now or at least players would be given better payouts. Nope, you still have to grind harder than a crowd during carnival time in the Caribbean.
This is especially disappointing when considering the always online requirements to play Aftermath’s tower mode. If the Switch goes to sleep or your internet cuts out, you just forever lost a bunch of progress. A year later and it is still not justified, only adding to the fact that they are out my reach like something that falls in between car seats.
The Brains Splatter in Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath
Verdict: Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath is crammed full of rewardingly fun gameplay that is combined with a diverse roster. The story mode is a blast, even if it does fall apart in the last third. Is this the right time to jump into MK11 if you haven’t before? Yes, this is a great starting point to hop onto. However, for existing players, it’s not worth the full price. The fact that most of Aftermath’s content is free for everyone, leaves only the story and the new DLC fighters, which just doesn’t validate the purchase. This is hands down still one of the best fighters on the platform despite its shortcomings. It’s insanely fun enough that you can ignore the other annoyances without a problem like leaving an ex’s text on read.
- Entertaining story mode
- Diverse roster and rewarding gameplay
- Handheld battery life is great
- Lootbox & in-game money still incredibly grindy
- Online severs feature-heavy lag
- Graphical quality is inconsistent