Mortal Kombat 11 is the latest entry in the popular third-person fighting game series. A while back, the title garnered great reviews for its refined fighting mechanics, stunning visuals, and a surprisingly good story. It seems like developer NetherRealm Studios wanted to expand upon the narrative and recently released the Aftermath expansion.
The expansion's story picks up right where the base game ends and focuses on side characters. While the short four-hour epilogue is enjoyable, it pales in comparison to the plot of the original. Luckily, the addition of characters like RoboCop elevates the title, but it still doesn't feel like it's worth the steep asking price.
Fix the timeline
Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath
Bottom line: Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath adds a handful of popular fighters, but the story falls short in comparison to the base game.
- New characters
- Sharp visuals
- Maintains 60 FPS on Xbox One X
- Convoluted plot
- Cutscenes locked to 30 FPS
Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath new characters
Aftermath adds new fighters like Fujin and Sheeva, but the biggest surprise is RoboCop. While RoboCop is a stylish addition to the roster, his moves are a little underwhelming. This is a perfect example of style over substance. However, shooting bullets from a sidearm or a sniper rifle does look better than what Sub-Zero or other projectile-equipped fighters do. I was hoping for a dramatic shift to playstyle, but that's not what you get with RoboCop.
|Platforms||Xbox One, PC, PlayStation 4|
|Xbox Game Pass||No|
My biggest issue with Aftermath is that the plot doesn't live up to the standard set by the base game. It's needlessly complicated, and Shang Tsung isn't a compelling focal point. Without giving too much away, the ending also leaves a lot to be desired. It's unclear if there's going to be another expansion after this that continues the story, or we'll jump straight into Mortal Kombat 12. The expansion's story is so convoluted and bizarre that it brings the whole experience down, in my opinion. It seems like a wasted opportunity because NetherRealm could've taken the whole series in a drastically different direction.
Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath story constraints
The studio had the chance to start fresh with the inevitable sequel, but it seems like we'll keep on getting confusing continuations of the same plot. I would've liked to see the team take greater risks, maybe start from scratch and introduce us to a radically-altered universe, with different realms and new threats, but that doesn't seem like it's going to happen anytime soon. With one expansion, the team has effectively killed all of my expectations for Mortal Kombat 12. I'm of the opinion that Mortal Kombat – the plot – needs a complete overhaul because it's bloated and a little predictable at this time.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed Aftermath, but for me, the issue is that the story plays it safe. We're on the verge of a new console generation, and I was hoping for a complete rework of the franchise. Maybe we'll get that down the line, but if this current Mortal Kombat 11 timeline continues, it's probably not going to happen for many sequels.
Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath performance and visuals
I'm not sure if my eyes are playing tricks on me, but Aftermath seems like it's sharper than the original version of Mortal Kombat 11. It's unclear if the sharpened look is a post-processing effect, or the resolution has been slightly increased on Xbox One X. Either way, it looks better than ever, and if you played the original all those months ago, you'd immediately notice the difference.
Mortal Kombat 11 still runs at a smooth 60 frames per second (FPS) on the system, and I didn't notice any performance issues during fights. However, there were some stutters when the game transitions from gameplay to cinematic. Unfortunately, cutscenes still render at 30 FPS so that change can be quite jarring at first. It would've been nice to have had 60 FPS cutscenes for the sake of consistency.
Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath final thoughts
Overall, Aftermath is a good expansion and does better the game outside of the story. The plot is enjoyable, and adds a few interesting fighters, but it doesn't elevate the base game. The asking price is also $40 for a few hours of story, which I don't think is fair. You can buy more expansive experiences for less over the summer since all console makers are having game sales. I think it should've been at least $10 cheaper.
I hate to say this, but I would've preferred additional characters instead of a story expansion because it would've been less expensive and kept at least the illusion of a dramatic shift for sequels. If you absolutely love Mortal Kombat 11, then pick Aftermath up, but everyone else should wait for a sale. Hopefully, NetherRealm will release more expansions down the line to improve the now-convoluted plot of Mortal Kombat 11 and the franchise as a whole. Some of the story decisions are truly puzzling, and I hope they're rectified going forward.
The expansion was reviewed on an Xbox One X with a code provided by the publisher.
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