hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Killer Instinct

Killer Instinct is combo-tastic... and it's free-to-play

4:00 AM on 06.11.2013 // Tony Ponce

So much for my buzz

This is damn ridiculous. When does it all end, Microsoft? When does it all end?

I've just returned from a special Microsoft event where select members of the press could sample Xbox One titles before the E3 show floor opens. The game I was most looking forward to putting through its paces was Killer Instinct, the revival of the fan-favorite Rare fighting game.

Double Helix Games may have taken over development duties from Rare, but I was still excited to see how well the series had been adapted for a new generation. And until a few minutes ago, I was prepared to type a glowing piece about how much stupid fun it was to mash buttons and execute mind-numbing combos.

Then I read this nonsense from IGN.

I had only played Killer Instinct on sporadic occasions back in the day, but I remembered the pre-rendered Silicon Graphics tech that also powered Donkey Kong Country, the infectious dance numbers, and the unreal combo system. The graphics have been upgraded to a beefier Street Fighter IV-esque style, and I couldn't hear the music in the hustle and bustle of the event, but the combos were back in full force.

For the demo, we only had access to Jago and Sabrewulf. And as in the originals, battles are not broken down into rounds. Your fighter possesses two life bars, and there is a momentary pause from when one bar gets whittled down before your character hops back up on his feet. The timer will not reset and your opponent's health won't be refilled. It's a straight-up battle to the end.

Combos are as important as ever. When you start raining blows on your enemy, a combo meter appears on the screen, gradually increasing as you string together successive blows. Once the combo is finished, you will be ranked for your performance -- "Basic" on the low end to "Awesome" in the mid range. I myself pounded the buttons on my fight stick like a madman and managed to pull off a 20-hit combo, resulting in a satisfying "Monster" grade.

But you opponent can also flip the script and bring your combo to an abrupt end with a classic "C-C-C-Combo Breaker"! Again, I couldn't hear the game thanks to the noise in the room, but I'm assuming the announcer has returned to chant out your awe-inspiring combo accomplishments.

With the odds stacked against Microsoft, it was nice to know that there was something to look forward to on Xbox One, something fans have been anxiously clamoring for. But Microsoft couldn't stand not to fuck even this one up. Enter the free-to-play model.

Killer Instinct is a free digital-only Xbox One launch title, but you will have to pay for all the characters, which consist of both old faces and newcomers. In fact, the only character available for free is Jago, while the rest will be available for a price to be announced at a later date.

Whatever. I don't care anymore. Any goodwill Microsoft hoped to build with this revival has been chucked out the fucking window. Way to go, guys.

Tony Ponce, Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure megaStryke Tips
(Decommissioned) Super Fighting Robot more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
I'm watching you.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
SkarKrow avatarSkarKrow
Work noooooooooooooooooo D:
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
I had such a awkward time playing Catherine because it shared the same name as my mother....
JayDGee avatarJayDGee
Broforce is coming out of early access on the 15th. I had no Idea it was an early access game.
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
I have now played all 3 Witcher games. My verdict: Witcher 1 - alright, aged badly, lots of sex. Witcher 2 - good, very short, not much sex at all. Witcher 3 - Excellent in every way.
ikiryou avatarikiryou
I really wish MGO had been implemented with free-roam gameplay PMC (clan) setup instead of the standard matchmaking. Imagine roaming bands of PMC's opposing each other on the battlefield. How sexy would that be?
SkarKrow avatarSkarKrow
Playing Shantae & The Pirates Curse, must say I'm loving it for the most part, barring the odd WHERE AM I D: moment
JayDGee avatarJayDGee
Added a humble code to my steam account when I already had the game. Purely because the soundtrack was attached. Now I see it on 2 friends wishlists. They must never know.
SkarKrow avatarSkarKrow
Okay so what 2, 3, 4 years later I bothered to finish. Now to write up that blog on why FFXIV lost my love by never challenging me and see if it's actually interesting...
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
What's up with taking your phone or a magazine to the toilet? Y'all need more fibre in your diet, why should a toilet visit take more than 2 minutes? What are you people doing with your asses.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Finished Momohime/Jinkuro's story in Muramasa last night. I always liked that ending. I didn't know there were more endings, though. On to Kisuke's story!
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
It feels like each day I get up, do the rounds of my bookmarks, and am immediately brought down by kneejerk hate: new stuff, old stuff, last nights stuff, 2moros stuff, a game, a film, TV. Critical thinking is fine, but dang, pure cynicism's winning :(
Vuster avatarVuster
Rpg Maker MV is coming soon O: I mean I am overjoyed but... I JUST GOT USE TO VX ACE!! Either way, I intend to do a form of quick summery of the features on release o:
Flegma avatarFlegma
Nintendo's(?) weekly SMM level picks: [url][/url] - scroll down a bit for the list. I wish I didn't need to type in the level ID myself, though.
Shinta avatarShinta
Metal Gear Online, Day 2. The maps in this game are amazing. Try out all 3 classes, because they're all pretty different. Really getting the hang of the game now.
Jay Escobar avatarJay Escobar
Video game voice actors are threatening to go on strike if EA, Activision, Disney, WB, and others refuse to pay them the necessary bonuses (
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
I love how Final Fantasy Record Keeper is making a big deal about being able to unlock FF XII's Vaan. I do get to unlock Ashe though, so that's cool.
gajknight avatargajknight
Just put in my pre-order for Dragon Quest Heroes: The Thing in The Thing with The Thing. Good times, hope it doesn't disappoint! Like I do. With everyone.
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
You know you've played a good JRPG when the ending makes you sad...
more quickposts


destructoid's previous coverage:
Killer Instinct

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -