Mortal Kombat, the ultra-violent one-on-one fighting game, has long stood toe-to-toe with Street Fighter, dominating the arcades in the early 90s. Its latest iteration has players competing in virtual arcades online, duelling for supremacy in the unending grind. Yet, the recent Mortal Kombat games have done one thing well: the single-player campaign. Sure, there has been a steady stream of character releases such as Terminator T-800 and Joker. Courtesy the latest Aftermath expansion, the story gets some closure and an interesting set-up for things to come, though it is very short.
- Developer: NetherRealm Studios
- Publisher: Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment
- Price: Starts at ₹2499 on consoles, ₹999 on Steam
Aftermath picks up from the ending of 2019’s Mortal Kombat 11, so it is highly recommended you play through the single-player campaign first. Without spoilers, a lot of chaos ensues, thanks to the thunder god Raiden, which leads to the rise and fall of Kronika, a goddess of time. As our heroes are about to set things right, the eternal troublemaker and bad guy of the first Mortal Kombat shows up with a risky proposition of a heist through time. Setting up the perfect short excuse to take new and old characters out for a spin.
Cut to 1995, a Mortal Kombat feature film descended upon us, and it inexorably became one of the best video game movies of all time. Featuring excellent music, edge-of-the-seat action and actor Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Shang Tsung, who summoned both menace and mischief, with his hammed up ‘Your soul is mine’ dialogue. And now, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa plays Shang Tsung in Aftermath and elevates it. He embodies the character, bringing that trademark grin and performance that would make any fan of the movie weak in the knees. Turning Aftermath into something so much more, you cannot help wondering if the real villain is the short campaign.
Medley of personalities
Gameplay-wise, Aftermath is more of a character pack with returning and new characters. The four-armed Sheeva bringing fearsome power punches to battles along with a spike shield weapon. Fujin, the wind god, is fast and furious, with quick combos and wind attacks that let you really bounce your opponent all over the place. Joining them is the classic 80s RoboCop — motion-captured by Peter Weller, the original actor — and, straight out of Image Comics, Spawn, hellspawn-turned-superhero whose flowing cape has a life of its own.
All these characters come with their own fighting styles, special moves and the gory, cinematic Fatal Blows. It goes without saying that each character has their own Fatalities, which are gory finishers. Though, if you feel especially happy, you can perform a Friendship — yes, you read that right — which is cute on a cartoon-ish level. Through a Friendship, you can see characters such as Sub-Zero, conjure up an ice-cream cart among other things. Also returning, much to the delight of many gamers, are the stage fatalities, where you knock someone off into a pit of acid.
You have probably gleaned that Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath is very violent... it is and then some. Fatalities and fatal blows especially are a flurry of blood and body parts that look all too slick, real and over-the-top — so you have been warned. If the grinding of Mortal Kombat 11 put you off and you like the single-player mode, then Aftermath is more Kombat. Though, it is expensive for an expansion. You can either pick it up for cheaper on Steam or just wait until there is a sale on. If you just want the characters, it is cheaper buying them individually.
The writer is a tech and gaming enthusiast who hopes to one day finish his sci-fi novel