Mortal Kombat 11’s Story Mode Kontinues On May 26, With RoboCop

Featuring the voice of Peter Weller, thank goodness.
Gif: Netherrealm Studios (Kotaku)

Great news for fans of Mortal Kombat 11‘s single-player narrative this morning, as Netherrealm Studios revealed Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath, an all-new $40 expansion the continues the game’s story and adds new fighters, including returning favorites Fujin and Sheeva and a certain half-man, half-machine, all cop.

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As Liu Kang prepares to reshape history as his reward for defeating Kronika in Mortal Kombat 11‘s story mode, the evil sorcerer Shang Tsung appears with some familiar faces at his side. It turns out Liu Kang can’t fix history without Kronika’s crown, destroyed during their battle. The only way to retrieve it is to send Shang Tsung back in time. Are we really going to trust this dude? Does it help that RoboCop is coming with?

Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath will be available on all digital platforms May 26. All players will gain access to a free update with new arenas (including the return of Dead Pool and Soul Chamber), stage fatalities, and friendships.

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Awwwwww
Gif: Netherrealm Studios (Kotaku)

Awwww.

The Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath expansion costs $40, or $50 bundled with the Kombat Pass DLC. Players who don’t own Mortal Kombat 11 can purchase the Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath Kollection, which includes the original game, the expansion, and all DLC, for $60.

The New Animated Mortal Kombat Movie Is Just As Brutal As The Games

Shit is about to get gross.
Shit is about to get gross.
Screenshot: Warner Bros. Animation (Kotaku)

Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge, the new film from Warner Bros. Animation, begins with dozens of ninja being torn limb from limb. Hanzo “Scorpion” Hasashi’s young son is viciously slayed while the titular ninja helplessly watches. Fans of the fighting game’s over-the-top violence will be… pleased?

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This might get a little gross, folks.

The first animated Mortal Kombat project since the laughable 1996 cartoon Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm is definitely not for kids. Scorpion’s Revenge, released last week digitally and coming to DVD and Blu-ray April 28, is a retelling of the tournament between Earthrealm and Outworld from the original game, using Scorpion’s tragic origin story as a framing device.

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It’s a tale as old as time. Shirai Ryu Grandmaster Hanzo Hasashi is a good husband and caring father whose entire clan is wiped out by the Lin Kuei, a rival clan led by notoriously blue ninja Sub-Zero. In order to maximize sympathy for Hanzo, this particular retelling begins with a touching scene between father and son, in which he tells young Satoshi how cool scorpions are.

Foreshadow much?
Foreshadow much?
Screenshot: Warner Bros. Animation (Kotaku)

The pair return from their outing to a village full of fresh corpses and rampaging blue ninja. Hanzo, his son perched on his back, rips and tears his way through the invading Lin Kuei to reach his home, but he’s too late. Young Satoshi discovers his mother’s bloody corpse and Hanzo goes into a berserker rage.

Holy shit.
Gif: Warner Bros. Animation (Kotaku)

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This first major battle sets the tone for the fighting in Mortal Kombat Legends. Limbs fly, faces are stabbed and sliced, innards become outtards. It’s frantic and energetic like the sort of adult animation shorts MTV used to air in the ’90s. Despite the fast action, the battle choreography is easy to follow. It’s beautiful, in a horribly violent sort of way.

The only time the action falters is during x-ray shots. In a nod to the mechanic that’s become a hallmark of the fighting game series, the action pauses now and then for some slow-motion eye-popping and bone-breaking. These made me giggle every time. They’re just so silly.

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As impressive as it is, Hanzo’s decimation of the Lin Kuei forces is all for naught. Rival clan leader Sub-Zero forces Hanzo to surrender by threatening Satoshi’s life. Hanzo submits, and Sub-Zero kills them both anyway.

Dude.
Dude.
Screenshot: Warner Bros. Animation

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Somehow Hanzo winds up in a fiery corner of Outworld, scheduled for an eternity of torment at the hands of Shinnok’s demonic minions. He breaks free, because he’s the main character, and slaughters his way to Shinnok’s henchman Quan Chi. The sorcerer convinces the resurrected ninja to fight for Outworld in the Mortal Kombat tournament in order to exact his revenge on Sub-Zero. But Hanzo Hasashi is dead. Call him Scorpion.

From this point, Scorpion’s Revenge is pretty much the original Mortal Kombat with a few twists. Raiden recruits his champion, Liu Kang, down-and-out action hero Johnny Cage, and commando Sonya Blade to serve as Earthrealm’s champions. In a fun twist, Sonya’s introduction involves her straight-up murdering a man in a street fighting match in China. I suppose it’s possible he survives, but look at this guy’s face.

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Illustration for article titled The New Animated iMortal Kombat/i Movie Is Just As Brutal As The Games
Screenshot: Warner Bros. Animation

Once the big three are introduced, Scorpion’s Revenge loses some steam. In attempting to cover familiar beats from the game, it becomes the Johnny Cage, Sonya, and Liu Kang show with special guest star Scorpion. Events from the game’s lore, like Liu Kang winning over Outworld princess Kitana and Cage and Blade’s budding love/hate but eventually all love relationship, are rushed through to get to similarly rushed Scorpion bits.

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The main characters of a movie called “Scorpion’s Revenge”
The main characters of a movie called “Scorpion’s Revenge”
Screenshot: Warner Bros. Animation (Kotaku)

The movie’s story might be hurried, Scorpion’s Revenge always has time for fighting and gory violence. We see limbs torn from bodies, skulls yanked from heads leaving behind flapping face skin, shattering teeth, crackling bones, and muscles slowly being stretched apart. It’s not just villains doing the slaughtering, either. At one point, the heroic Liu Kang, battling a gaggle of Black Dragon mercenaries, decapitates one and uses his severed head as a weapon.

In other words, it’s Mortal Kombat. It’s the brutality that fans of the series sign up for every time a new game comes out in a convenient two-hour animated form. I expected a light story draped over a lot of egregious violence, and Scorpion’s Revenge delivered.

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Grody to the max.
Grody to the max.
Screenshot: Warner Bros. Animation

Hooray, but also ew.

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Spawn Is The Best Mortal Kombat Action Figure

They are best friends.
They are best friends.
Photo: Mike Fahey

McFarlane Toys makes Mortal Kombat action figures. Spawn, the comic book character created by McFarlane Toys founder Todd McFarlane, is a fighter in Mortal Kombat 11. So now there’s a Mortal Kombat-branded Spawn action figure. He’s adorable.

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To be fair, I’ve not gotten a chance to play with the other two $20 figures in McFarlane’s Mortal Kombat line, Johnny Cage and Raiden, but I have faith that the company behind Spawn can make a damn fine Spawn action figure. They’ve been doing it for ages now. I’m just tickled that a toy of Spawn from the makers of Spawn is showing up in a non-Spawn toy line.

Mint in box, for now.
Mint in box, for now.
Photo: Mike Fahey

I’ve been collecting Spawn figures since 1994, when the figures weren’t as complex and every now and then one would be painted gold to piss off collectors. There’s something about Spawn’s design that’s so appealing to me as a toy collector. He’s black, white, and red all over. He’s got that awesome living cape. One of his boots is ginormous for no reason whatsoever. He’s the ’90s in action figure form.

Seriously, this boot.
Seriously, this boot.
Photo: Mike Fahey

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This particular version of Spawn is ready to throw down with Mortal Kombat 11’s roster of murderous brawlers, with 20 points of articulation for plenty of posing potential. With the aid of the simple included stand, he can do so many things. He can dance.

Get down on it.
Get down on it.
Photo: Mike Fahey

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He can hug a transforming shark robot.

Illustration for article titled Spawn Is The Best iMortal Kombat/i Action Figure
Photo: Mike Fahey

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Should that shark robot transform into a robot, Spawn has the ability to kick him right in his stupid robot face.

Take that!
Take that!
Photo: Mike Fahey

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What I’m saying is the Mortal Kombat Spawn figure is very accommodating of the whims of a stir-crazy toy lover. Ice cream truck?

Ice cream truck.
Ice cream truck.
Photo: Mike Fahey

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Ice cream truck.

Mortal Kombat tie-in aside, this is a very nice, basic Spawn figure. He’s not Commando Spawn or Nurse Spawn or Telephone Repairman Spawn. He’s just plain Spawn, and a fine one at that. He’s in stores now, looking all ink-washed and grimdark.

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Who could say no to that face?
Who could say no to that face?
Photo: Mike Fahey

Also, he can do this.

And McFarlne never sent me a toy again.
And McFarlne never sent me a toy again.
Photo: Mike Fahey

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