If you only take one thing away from Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath, it should be the image of Spawn reading a steamy romance novel in a hammock.
You read that right. That does happen.
It's part of one of my favorite features of Mortal Kombat: the fatalities. They've somehow become more and more ridiculous with each release, and MK11, which released its Aftermath expansion on Tuesday, is no different.
But Salacious Spawn? That's actually a Friendship. Remember those? Back in Mortal Kombat 2, you could extend the olive branch and become BFFs with your opponent you just tried to maim. Friendships are back and meme-ier than ever in Aftermath. You also get Terminator doing motorcycle tricks and Scorpion hugging a giant stuffed teddy bear. The team at NetherRealm Studios has outdone itself with the creativity of these game-enders.
Whenever a new Mortal Kombat game or expansion is released, the first things I do are consume every second of dialogue and watch the story beginnings and endings. I've found MK11's dialogue for the most part to be highly entertaining. Cassie and Johnny Cage, in particular, are hilarious. There are some moments that feel bizarre at first: Seeing RoboCop tell Joker he's going to apprehend him just doesn't feel right at all, because Batman exists. But these moments are widely overshadowed by excellent ones, like Johnny Cage asking RoboCop, "You ever consider doing movies?" and RoboCop telling Cage his unrealistic cop movies are a "disservice to the public."
Let's put it this way: If MK11: Aftermath was a full-length movie, I would definitely watch it.
In terms of gameplay, I admit I have only been a casual fan since Mortal Kombat 2. So I decided to ask my buddy and prominent MK11 content creator Eren, aka "Caboose," his thoughts on Aftermath.
"Thoroughly blown away by the amount of kontent in the expansion," he said. "I went into the story trying to keep my expectations in check and was floored with how lengthy it was, as well as how much substance is within it. Each new character brings something new and unique to the game! Even though I would have preferred to see characters like Cyrax or Sektor, I'm glad that NetherRealm found a way to honor those characters with RoboCop's moveset and customization options."
What about the new characters, Robocop, Fujin and Sheeva? How do they stack up gameplay-wise?
"Fujin offers up some of the most impressive animations in the game with his moveset, showcasing ridiculously flashy combos," Caboose said. "Sheeva is a character heavily reliant on her grappling ability, full of command grabs and high-damaging combos. Then there's RoboCop, who plays a strong keepaway game with his zoning capabilities while also having some decent combo potential for when your opponent closes the gap. He's also got some great callbacks to the original movies with his gear and alternate skins."
All in all, for the $40 price tag, Aftermath provides a robust offering that is well worth it if you are:
A fan of the base game and series
Want to take people's lunch money as RoboCop. Then again, who wouldn't?