Big news in the world of Mortal Kombat 11: the gory fighting game is getting a story expansion – a first for a NetherRealm title – and three new playable characters, one of which is RoboCop.
Yes, RoboCop. From the movies. Complete with Peter Weller's voice and likeness. In a preview call with Eurogamer this week, Mortal Kombat co-creator Ed Boon called RoboCop's addition to the game "kind of like the bookend to the Terminator with the 80s action movie stars".
First up, the story expansion. It's called Aftermath, and it's due out 26th May digitally for all versions of the game, including Nintendo Switch and Stadia.
Aftermatch picks up right after the end of Mortal Kombat 11, where Fire God Lui Kang has destroyed time-bending antagonist Kronika and is about to architect a new history. But at the last second sorcerer Shang Tsung, again played by Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, turns up with Fujin and Nightwolf to claim their actions will "doom us all". In killing Kronika, Lui Kang destroyed her crown. But without her crown he can't restart history. What follows is an unlikely alliance between Shang Tsung and the good guys as they head into the past to steal the crown from the sorcerer's island before the hourglass shatters.
It's a silly story set-up, but it's wonderfully Mortal Kombat. And if you're wondering where the hell Shang Tsung, Nightwolf and Fujin were during the main Mortal Kombat 11 story, they were conveniently trapped by Kronika, and were only freed when she died. But! They were watching what went on, and realised the crown was the device Kronika needed to control the hourglass and restart history. There's only one solution, then: send Shang Tsung, Fujin and Nightwolf back into the events of the main story and recover the crown before Kronika can even get it.
There's a lot going on in the story, NetherRealm said, with Shiva, Sindell, Fujin and Nightwolf all enjoying their biggest roles in a Mortal Kombat story mode to date. It's also Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa's largest role as Shang Tsung since the original film, which is hugely exciting for fans. Here's a cutscene from the story:
The expansion adds three new playable characters: the aforementioned wind god Fujin, Sheeva, and RoboCop. Fujin, first playable back in Mortal Kombat 4, works alongside his brother Raiden to protect Earthrealm. He uses his sword and his crossbow in combat, and uses the power of wind to control his sword, himself and even his opponent.
Sheeva is the four-armed, half-human half-dragon queen of the Shokan who made her series debut in Mortal Kombat 3. She's described as a master brawler with grapples to cover all situations – a low grapple, an overhead grapple, and an anti-air grapple. She also has an unblockable teleport stomp.
The big surprise is the addition of RoboCop, who makes his series debut. RoboCop excels at keeping his foes at bay using his iconic Auto 9 pistol. He also employs a flamethrower, a riot shield and a shoulder cannon he can load with various types of ammunition.
Aftermath also includes three new character skin packs that will be released over time.
Meanwhile, Mortal Kombat 11 gets a free update for all players that adds fan-favourite stages (Klassic Dead Pool and Soul Chamber), and sees the return of stage fatalities (one shown involves a character slowly lowered into a pit of acid), and friendships. Friendships revealed include Aussie crime boss Kano using his eye laser to cook sausages on a barbecue:
And creepy ninja Noob Saibot spawning two copies of himself to play skip-rope with.
There's a Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath Kollection, which includes all characters, story content, game modes and preorder bonuses in one package. This costs £49.99.
If you have Mortal Kombat 11 already, you can upgrade to Aftermath for £34.99. There's an Aftermath plus Kombat Pack bundle for £39.99, too. All preorders get the Eternal Klash Skin Pack at launch, featuring three new character skins: "Unbound Rage" Scorpion inspired by Mortal Kombat (2011), "Son of Arctika" Sub-Zero inspired by Mortal Kombat: Deception and "Kori Power" Frost, a classic version of the Lin Kuei warrior.
So, all that's left to do is rekindle memories of RoboCop, one of the best 80s action movies ever. Here's my favourite scene. Ouch!