There were two games that I felt were impossible to contain my excitement to play. The first was Capcom’s remastering of DuckTales to the bemoaning cries of my colleagues. The second, which had taken me by surprise during the Xbox Press Conference, was Double Helix’s Killer Instinct.
A Xbox One launch exclusive, Killer Instinct is taking an interesting approach to be a free-to-play game that allows the players to play Jago and would require players to purchase additional characters or use a season pass. It looked like it had all the trappings of a Killer Instinct game. Sabrewulf and Jago had their moves, it used 3D models on a 2D plane (though obviously significantly better than the series earlier outings), with the extraordinarily lengthy ultra combos.
Now Double Helix’s pedigree has resulted in a muddling reviews at best and poor reviews at worst so you can imagine I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first touched the arcade stick to try the game. As quickly as my concerns arose, the time for them to be obliterated could be measured in mere fractions of that time. Combo breakers are easier to use but will be locked out if you guess incorrectly. Blocking a special move generates a tremendous amount of meter for your opponent, encouraging aggressive gameplay so you don’t continually hand out an advantage for your opponent. Combos are easier to do, allowing even casual players to do a flashy and satisfying combo, but careful use of finishers are needed to deal a significant amount of damage – ensuring there is value to actually play and practice the game. While more time could change my opinion Killer Instinct initially does what fighting games need to do, feel great.
While my hands on time isn’t even remotely close to what I would have liked, I only have two words regarding the new Killer Instinct – “Yes please”.