Here it is! Killer Instinct is back after 17 long years, but how does it stack up to other titles on the xbox one?
First thing most people will notice is the lack of characters. Buying the $20 version gets you 6 initial characters with 2 more coming early next year. Compared to other fighting games, this is kind of a disappointment, but then I had to remember 3 things. 1) There were only 15 characters in the KI universe(including bosses) before this game. I couldn’t expect them to put a 30 – 50 character roster like Street Fighter or Marvel vs Capcom. 2) The game is only $20. I remember paying $60 for Blazblue and that had only 12 characters. 3) There will be a “Season 2” i
n the future. It’s pretty common for fighting games to have sequels or DLC the following year with balance changes and new characters. I expect favorites like Cinder, TJ Combo and Riptor to join the fun then.
Revamping the old
All of the characters went though an update. Some, like Jago, are pretty much the same. Others, like Glacius, are barely recognizable. Personally, I like the changes. Gameplay wise, they have given the the characters unique archetypes of play style instead of the old “everyone is rush down and has a fireball” thread. The main four archetype, Rush down, Zoning, Grappler, an
d Balanced, are represented by Sabrewulf, Glacius, Thunder, and Jago respectively. Sadira, a completely new character, has crazy air mobility which allows her to have the best juggle combos and cross ups in the game. Orchid is more of a high-low mixup character, locking you down and making it hard to breathe. Spinal and Fulgore are coming next year to no word on how they play.
What’s the Story?
Truth is, I can’t tell you anything about the story of the game because there is no story mode. Before release, there were hints of some of the characters’ stories and their relation to the past games, but nothing concrete. Never fear though because story mode is coming free…just next year when it is finished. Top 3 things I want to know: 1) Are Jago and Orchid still going to be siblings? 2) What happened to Thunder’s brother, Eagle? 3) …who is Sadira?
In the modes
Killer Instinct’s Dojo is the best tutorial for a fighting game hands down. It demonstrates combos for you, show you exactly what you are doing, and goes over every mechanic in the game. Training mode is every fighting game player’s dream. Frame data and hit boxes are easily accessible. You can can even change the training music(if you unlock it). Survival is just like any other fighting game’s survival mode. Online is solid. Games run smoothly. My only beef is the lack of lobbies and spectating.
But is it fun?
Killer Instinct is incredibly fun! I can’t describe the feeling I had when I got my 1st combo breaker. Even better, the ultras have their own musical cues and they sound different on each stage. The characters seem pretty evenly balanced for now so you can play as anyone and have a chance. None of the characters have any ridiculous inputs which makes playing on the pad easy. All of this equals hours of fun playing with your friends.
Overall, Killer Instinct is a great fighting game. Even if you don’t like fighters, download the free version with Jago and give it a try. Add a story, a couple more characters, and online lobbies then this gets a perfect score(BTW, all of those thing are coming eventually). Until then, I’m content to train my Thunder to stomp on everyone’s faces.
Overall score: 4/5