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Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath Expansion Accessibility Review


The copy of the expansion used in this review was provided by the publisher at no cost to the reviewer.


When the rumours of story DLC for Mortal Kombat 11 (MK11 hereafter) surfaced during the game's early days, it was an interesting speculation, but not one people necessarily paid much mind to. I personally wasn't sure what to think, especially considering all Mortal Kombat was known for to me was putting out multiple Kombat Packs with combinations of returning and guest characters of arguably varying quality.

However, in spite of the game's accessibility shortcomings as covered in my review around the time of the game's launch, once I saw the trailer for the Aftermath Kollection, I was definitely curious as to where NetherRealm Studios would take the storyline.

Unless I feel it necessary, I will not be discussing the actual gameplay of the game since, personally, I am of the opinion that it hasn't changed too much since launch other than some elements that non-fighting game players might not see as significant and only serve to benefit players on a more technical level.

First Boot

On first boot after installing the expansion and some additional skins in the form of the Eternal Klash skin pack, I was prompted to sign into my profile and informed that it was being used by another player. Relaunching the game, however, resolved this issue (proving that it was likely an Xbox UI glitch) and put me right into the main menu.

After entering the story menu, the game paused for a while, which did rather concern me, though it's possible it was just validating what I owned and what I didn't. Fortunately, the story menu (now encompassing both MK11's base story and the Aftermath expansion) is also narrated, split into separate sections for each. Entering the Aftermath submenu then puts you into a non-narrated screen to adjust difficulty and your subtitles, which may take information from the base game's story settings, though this is unconfirmed.

hitting up and A once puts you into the first cutscene of the new mode, which I won't spoil. As you might expect, none of these cutscenes are audio described, which makes several parts of these sequences difficult to completely understand.

What must be said is that the scoring and dialogue, as well as the sound design, is just as solid if not better than the main story, with the inclusion of the DLC roster as part of events being a very interesting addition.

surprisingly, there are no achievements for completing this new DLC, nor are there any for completing goals with the DLC cast, thereby alienating the crowd who wants to not only play fighting games for their story and characters, but also want to feel like they're progressing.

Character choices return for several fights during the story expansion. However, nothing has improved since the last time they were used in the base game. Unfortunately, this means that you won't know who you're picking and will have to just essentially wing it in an effort to choose the character you wish to fight as.





Even though I do enjoy story modes, I have a sense that with this expansion the focus has become more on the cutscenes rather than the gameplay of fighting games in general. This is a real shame as a gamer without sight as, even though I might be able to roughly follow what's going on, there are dramatic moments, visual references to the rest of the franchise and other elements of interest to sighted players that I would miss out on purely because of my lack of sight.

The irony being that, with some additional accessibility tweaks as well as the addition of audio description for cutscenes, I could've recommended this as the best possible addition to the MK11 experience. However, as it stands, I would only suggest this as a purchase either for those who don't already own the base game, or the most hardcore Mortal Kombat fans.

With next generation consoles on the horizon, I'm certainly curious to see where Mortal Kombat as a franchise heads from here. But though this expansion was a great idea in principle, I'm left at a quandary as to whether story modes will ever improve past this point for any fighting game. I hope things will move forward in a more positive direction for accessibility, not just for fighting games but in general, but for now, we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

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