The tale of Shang Tsung
The story continues after the defeat of Kronika, with Liu Kang now the Fire and Thunder God, together with Raiden, wanting to use the Hourglass to restore history. They are interrupted by Shang Tsung, Fujin and Nightwolf, who were until Kronika’s death releasing them, prisoners in the Void. Shang Tsung has never been a particularly virtuous character, so his appearance would rightly be treated with suspicion.
Many players have certain fingers in several pies when it comes to the story, with many a MacGuffin playing important roles – the Crown of Souls, the Hourglass, for examples. Shang Tsung convinces Liu Kang to destroy the Crown of Souls instead, so that the Hourglass need not be used, though Raiden doesn’t have the highest degree of faith in Shang Tsung.
They return to the point Kitana defeats Shao Kahn to become Kitana Kahn, sneaking around the whole timey wimey stuff to confront Centrion, though not without trying to obtain Sindel’s help. Using a blood promise owed by Sheeva, they return to the Outerworld to revive Sindel. As Sheeva, you’d be battling Barakka, Jade, Kotal Kahn and Kitana, the last of whom attempting to stop the revival due to having misgivings about Shang Tsung’s motives.
That’s just one part of the story, and you might be really surprised at how meaty it is if you weren’t expecting “just a fighting game” having such expansive lore. You’ll be playing several characters according to the story beats of the campaign, so you can try out the gang before you launch into the other modes. Suffice to say, the twists and turns of the story will be keeping you engaged across the roughly 2 hours or more for the campaign.
Fujin, Sheeva and Robocop enter the ring
Besides the added story in Aftermath, three new characters are also available with one finding himself a little out of place: Robocop, with the original voice work of Paul Verhoven! Let’s go through these new contenders one by one:
Sheeva debuted in Mortal Kombat 3, a warrior capable of heavy attacks and having four arms like Goro. They’re pretty similar in fighting style, with Goro himself having last appeared in Mortal Kombat X. They’re both from the same Shokan clan, after all, a tribe of half human, half naga.
As a Shokan, Sheeva possesses incredible strength, being able to use balls of fire to attack and stomp teleports. She can also simply just stamp the ground with massive strength to deal damage. Death From Above lets Sheeva teleport and smite her foe from above. Furious Stomp is that stomping move. She also has Anti-Air Grab for plucking enemies from the air to toss them back down. She can Enhance her moves to make them even stronger, with some of them turning into Krushing Blows.
Likewise, Sheeva also comes with her own set of Brutalities, Fatalities and the new Friendship moves. The Klassic is executed with a final Uppercut attack, Stomp The Yard is her Fatality and Krystal Clear is her Friendship move, where she will play some tunes using a wine glass.
Fujin is a character whose bolts can really control the space you can move in, with his Krossbow Blast capable of sending his opponent careening all over the arena with the power of the wind. Tornado also makes it easier for him to get airborne and perform aerial attacks with his Dive Kick. Fujin initially was aan unnamed boss in Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub Zero, before makaing his debut in the mainline series in Mortal Kombat 4 as God of Wind, as well as being Raiden’s sibling.
As is the case, Fujin also has a Krushing Blow with his combo in Krushing Zephyr, seeing him kick forwards, frontflip and firmly place his foot on the opponent’s head. You can cap it off with a Fatality like Wind Blade, where Fujin’s control of wind slices off the arms and legs of the unfortunate enemy. Heavy Winds sees Fujin rapidly spin before unleashing bolts that obliterate the opposition.
“Dead or alive, you are coming with me.”
Hands up to whoever expected Robocop of all characters joining guests like Joker, Terminator and Spawn! The OCP Crime Prevention Unit 001 is here to serve justice, 80s style (maybe). Cyrex, Sektor and Smoke aren’t in this numbered edition of Mortal Kombat, but they are skins for Robocop. As with Terminator, he can be reprogrammed as well. His movements are quite slow and are quite awkward – robotic, you can even say – compared to the other characters in the roster who are faster with more fluid movements.
Nevertheless, he’s got a whole bunch of fun combinations; with his Riot Shield, he can knock down foes who attack him for easy parries. Flamethrower sees him fry the enemy, or Trick S hot, where Roobocop fires at the camera while the shot ricochets to the opponent.
As for Brutalities, Kase Klosed sees Robocop perform a forward throw, shooting the opponent’s knee, dropping them and just riddling them with bullets with a final shot to the head. His Fatality, Thank You for Your Cooperation, has the whole “cool guys don’t look at explosions” vibe, lobbing a grenade at the unfortunate and sniping it, walking away from the resulting explosion.
New stages, stage Fatalities, skins and FRIENDSHIP!
Aftermath comes with new stages like Kronika’s Keep, Soul Chamber, the klassic Dead Pool and RetroKade returning from the third title. Likewise, Stage Fatalities also makes aa comeback, where you can really brutalize your opponent with your environment. Are you smashing up the world around you or your opponent? (It’s both.)
FRIENDSHIP is yet another returning feature from previous titles. This are the more, ah, “family friendly” finishers, with more… “gentle” endings: Sheeva making tunes on her wine glass, Fujin flying his kite, Robocop dancing the… robot… Sub-zero with an ice-cream bicycle… even Joker has his bloodthirst curbed back by a Batarang (alas). These are fun ways to see what ~happiness~ even the bad guys can bring.
The Aftermath verdict
Honestly, it’s easy to be taken aback by how meaty the story expansion to Aftermath is, especially when people don’t typically associate it with fighting games. It throws in quite a few loops for lore fans, and depending on how you feel about various characters, that could be another surprise in store as well. It’s at least 2 hours, so you can find out the rest of the story yourself to draw your conclusions about the greater story arc of Mortal Kombat.
The various updates and additions have been great fun to use, like the FRIENDSHIPs, being just zany enough to be not out of place in this gory world. For massive fans of Mortal Kombat, this expansion is assuredly one worth getting.
|Return of the good ol gory blood effects||Expensive|
|New characters are fun to play||Longer story might’ve justified the price|
|Various enhancements and attractive skins|