If you were a gamer during the 1990s, you can definitely remember how big Killer Instinct was … before it fell off the face of the planet. It was recently announced at E3 that a new Killer Instinct will be a launch title for the Xbox One. And here’s something rather exciting if you’re a fan: the game will be free-to-play. That is, if you’re cool with just playing as Jago.
That’s right, you have to pay for other characters in the game, such as Fulgore and Cinder (not shown in the above trailer but recently confirmed by The Escapist). The developer, Double Helix, also indicated that finishing movies (No Mercy and Ultimate Combos) would be removed. However, Ultra Combos will return, and combos will have more flexibility in general.
Overall, the game sounds like it will be more accessible for those who aren’t familiar with the feel of the old Killer Instinct games. Street Fighter IV showed that more accessibility can be a very cool thing. But I’m not as stoked about paying for characters. Surely Double Helix will allow players to preview characters before buying. Having to guess what character might be effective would be a consumer’s nightmare, and Microsoft doesn’t need another one of those.
And by the way, it was very appropriate I mentioned Street Fighter IV in the above paragraph. Going by the trailer, the new Killer Instinct looks like it might be borrowing a bit from the artistic and cinematic style of Capcom’s popular fighter. That might be a smart move on the part of Double Helix.
The last concern is Double Helix’s track record. One could dwell on the fact that Double Helix has been involved with some lackluster licensed games, but there’s a more important point: Double Helix isn’t known as a fighting game company. Will that change in November?