At this point in time, downloadable content or microtransactions in games are unavoidable. I think a number of people don’t realize that there are pros and cons to selling in-game content after a major launch. It’s a double-edged sword, no doubt. But, while parting with your hard-earned dollars is rarely a pleasant endeavour, this can also ensure longer support for some of your favourite games. The tradeoff is clear, but while some transactions sting, Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath stands as a shining example of what post-launch support could and can look like if and when it’s done properly.
Leading up to the launch of this “kontent”, fans were treated to a handful of characters that strengthened the appeal of the roster. Mortal Kombat favourites like Syndel and Nightwolf were thrown in with guests like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-800 Terminator and even the infamous anti-hero Spawn. And just when fans were preparing to move on, developer NetherRealm Studios drops word of an expansion featuring three more characters and an entirely new story mode.
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The brief turnaround on this announcement and launch made everything leading up to Aftermath much more exciting, with the confirmation that one of the three challengers would be yet another guest in the form of RoboCop. The addition of new stuff to play through is always welcomed, but the quality of the work done by Warner Bros Interactive and NetherRealm can’t be overstated. This DLC breathes new life into the title, pairing desired content like new fighters, stages and a story with quality-of-life upgrades like cosmetics and ‘FRIENDSHIPS’ – the latter of which is a rather hilarious replacement for MK’s notorious Fatalities.
What Mortal Kombat 11 has done best of all, however, is to become a platform that delivers meaningful DLC. These aren’t just simple one-off character backs that beef up the roster or throw in a new stage. Instead, players are treated to a major story update that alters the future of the franchise in surprising ways and new characters that fit into the narrative. Even DLC characters that dropped in the year proceeding MK11‘s launch have now justified their inclusion by becoming integral to the newfound story.
In a way, they’ve justified themselves. That’s not to say that other favourites like Mileena and Reptile aren’t still missed, but at least we have a better idea of why characters like Nightwolf and Sindel were chosen before them. They have been expanded upon in meaningful ways. Hopefully, if there really is more DLC to come, those characters will also receive further justification for their addition through an Aftermath-like expansion.
With next-gen consoles just around the corner, I’m now less interested in seeing a Mortal Kombat 12. Instead, I hope that MK11 receives attention and content for years to come.
Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath is available now on Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
An Xbox One copy of the game was provided to Okay, Cool for coverage purposes.
You can find Riley on Twitter at @TheRileyLittle where he usually tweets about Smash Bros Ultimate or something else gaming-related.