The review of Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath, the expansion of the ultraviolent and well-kept fighting game of NetherRealm.
There Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath review it is very different from those normally dedicated to fighting game DLCs, which boil down to specials on some extra characters, tweaks to the balance or – in the best case – to the entire combat system, with some additional modes that barely justify the price of purchase. Aftermath, the expansion of Mortal Kombat 11 just released, represents a much more difficult beast to tame, in line with the atypical characteristics of the fighting game that is its base. The last creature of Netherrealmon the other hand, it is one of the few titles of this kind to have truly triple A production values: a monstrous product from the point of view of content and technical sector, only minimally diminished by some unhappy choices related to unlockable elements , and from some pieces of the combat system that are rather irritating to some fans (albeit partly iconic).
In line with these characteristics, Aftermath therefore decides to focus on countryside, often overlooked or superficially approached by direct competitors, and stands as a direct continuation of the main plot. The novelties of the package, however, are not limited to a few more hours of history: the expansion expands and improves the game in many aspects. Follow us on this magical journey through twirling guts, broken bones, and saxophone players with mechanical arms; there is a lot to talk about.
Never trust a sorcerer
Let’s start right from history, because although Mortal Kombat 11 seemed to be a conclusive chapter in all respects, Aftermath made the courageous choice to start from one of the game’s endings to further explore its universe and characters. If you have not finished the previous title, we warn you, here you enter the realm of spoilers, therefore go to the next paragraph; if instead you have already completed the main campaign, know that it starts a few moments after Liu Kang’s triumph over Kronika, with ours being stopped before the creation of a new (and more peaceful) universe by three fighters that until then they had had little centrality in the events: Shang Tsung, Nightwolf and the god of the wind Fujin. Trapped right by Kronika in the void and freed at the time of his defeat, the three arrive from the historical hero of the series after observing all that happened, and with a heavy request: stop immediately the reset of the universe, since having destroyed the crown of the evil titanide Liu cannot control the sands of the great hourglass of the time. So a mission to the past begins under the orders of Shang Tsung, the only man who can recover the crown without too many problems, and equipped with the cunning necessary to defeat the goddess anyway. There is only one small problem … Shang Tsung is one of the most dangerous antagonists ever seen in Mortal Kombat, and his betrayal is a practical certainty.
This premise is predictably endowed with the right mix of rudeness and absurdity that we have come to love in the more recent Mortal Kombat, and we liked the Aftermath campaign, despite it being shorter and slightly less exciting than the base game. Overcome the inconsistencies and the almost total lack of refined writing: everything here is designed to make a mess and come up with a bang to the inevitable final conflict, with the charismatic Shang Tsung of Cary Hiroyuki Tagawa (the same of the first film dedicated to the saga, for the uninitiated) to support a good part of the shack. Really an addition worthy of praise, in short, which perhaps retraces a bit ‘too much events already seen, but undoubtedly manages to do what it must run smoothly. The general quality of films, dubbing (also in Italian) and technical sector, moreover, is of the same level (if not at times better) than that seen previously, demonstrating the fact that we are not in front of a rushed job, but to a extra created with all the trappings.
Los tres caballeros
Aftermath, rightly, takes advantage during the campaign of characters who appeared only later in the game through i Kombat Pack, allowing you to take on the role of a couple of notable new entries like Fujin is Sheeva. The completely new characters offered, however, are even three, with Robocop to close the circle as a “guest”. After the various DLCs, these choices make the Mortal Kombat 11 roster one of the most complete in circulation (especially if we consider the possibility of customizing the fighters and the presence of three competitive combinations for each warrior), but we must say that they have us in part disappointed, because where Sheeva and Fujin are very well done, Robocop has not in our opinion been able to respect the hype that has accompanied him since the reveal. We explain better: Fujin is one of the most interesting additions seen so far in the game, thanks to atypical movement skills that allow it to perform lightning attacks suddenly during the combos, or directly to stop the moves with walks in the air, tornado to area and a sort of levitation. He is a fighter that is difficult to use compared to many others, however he is so varied and malleable that we do not doubt that he will show off in the hands of skilled players.
Sheeva, on the other hand, is much more basic, maintains its classic pesta learnable, and has two out of three variations that are easy to use but remarkably effective. Its more complex variation offers it a stance difficult enough to exploit properly, capable of completely transforming its offensive making it much more unpredictable than normal. In general? He is a character very suitable for any type of player, who especially in the hands of those who do not like moves from the monstrously complicated execution has a good chance of shining.
Robocop, on the other hand, got bored very quickly because of its almost totally zoning oriented nature. All his specializations are effective from distance, with basic combinations and a lot of focus on the control of spaces, and this in itself would not even be a problem … if it were not that most of his moves are recycled by other characters (even the his most original instruments are direct references to Cyrax and Sektor). A shame, because ours is monstrously cared for from an aesthetic point of view, and would undoubtedly deserve greater customization in styles (not to mention that online will plausibly be annoying at rare levels).
The power of friendship
If the additional story is a decent center and the new characters a partial success, however, it is difficult to complain about the rest of the additions, given that this work by NetherRealm reintegrates into the game some goodies requested by a loud voice from the fans (which can also be used in part by who does not own Aftermath) like them Friendship and the Environmental fatalities. They are references to the past that can only please us, absolutely hilarious at times, and always meticulously cared for. A nice rapprochement to the roots, which demonstrates NetherRealm’s desire to make Mortal Kombat 11 a sort of almost definitive modern chapter. For those who love competitive online – and it is always good to remember how this fighting game has one of the best netcode in circulation – Aftermath also comes in conjunction with a balance patch remarkable, which changed many balances of the game.
If we talk about retouching the characters, most of the choices made are extremely logical, with sacrosanct buffs and remodels that are justified to too dominant warriors. The most striking change is however linked to the addition of the moves “armor break“attacks that can damage your opponent during (fundamental) combo breaks, or other invulnerable maneuvers. These moves tremendously change the balance during the games, making the use of escape from enemy hit streaks much more risky, but at at the same time, their inclusion in the system was not the most brilliant, since if on the one hand it is true that practically all the characters have obtained at least one move of this type, some of them have found it in practically unused specializations. , we imagine that things will be further retouched in the future, yet certain solutions are objectively difficult to explain from the outside. Of course, at the moment it is impossible to predict the real impact on the competitive scene (also because this is practically paralyzed due to the coronavirus) so we save future predictions until the tournaments restart.
- The new campaign is fun and fun at the right point, as well as very well cared for
- Three new additions to the roster
- Rebalances to the whole cast, made largely with criteria
- Environmental Friendship and Fatality are back
- Robocop is not as interesting as Sheeva and Fujin
- The armor break mechanic could be implemented better
- The campaign retraces some of the events of the base game, and is not particularly long-lived