With release of the Xbox One around the corner it is time to look at what games the console can offer that will make it worth it. The PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One are both not offering a huge display of launch titles or exclusives although that is to be expected. The Xbox One will have eight games exclusive at its launch but one of them could be a much bigger player than some are expecting. The real trump card that the Xbox One will be displaying will be none other than Killer Instinct. Why exactly will it succeed? Many reasons; but first, let’s start at the beginning.
In 1994 Rare worked with Midway and Nintendo to create an arcade fighting game that most gamers still remember to this day. Many called it one of the best fighting games of all time and for good reason. Killer Instinct introduced a variety of new concepts to fighting games. Killer Instinct put the power in the hands of the player, and if you were good enough you could show it off. “Auto-seconds” allowed for players to input a number of certain buttons that would perform automatic combos. These combos meant that there was a certain amount of technical skill necessary to get good at this game. It also meant that crazy long combos could be performed to destroy your opponent.
With so much emphasis on combos wouldn’t playing Killer Instinct rely purely on offense? No. Not only did Killer Instinct give the attacker options but it also gave the defender options. If you were playing Killer Instinct and getting pummeled then you could break free with the help of “combo breakers.” This technique allowed for interrupting the opponent’s attack and changing the tide of a battle. Combo breakers have specific inputs for each character and need to be performing usually between the fourth and seventh hit but it can vary depending on the type of characters and even the type of combo breaker.
Killer Instinct was also different from other fighting games due to health bar mechanics. Most fighting games give you a life bar and when the match is over each character starts at full health again. Killer Instinct gave each player two life bars and when they were gone it was over; there was no healing which meant that every moment, every hit, made a difference in the end.
The original creative director and co-designer for the Killer Instinct series, Ken Lobb, has been working with Microsoft Studios on the upcoming reboot of Killer Instinct. The reboot will feature past mechanics that made the series so famous in the first place, but this time it will be more advanced and more in depth than ever. What this really means is that Killer Instinct has the possibility to be one of the best fighters ever. With so much emphasis on mind games and the ability to always have extra options attack-wise and defense-wise, this game will shake up the competitive scene for gamers. This game will be exclusive for the Xbox One.
What it all boils down to is that with the power of the Xbox One, Killer Instinct really has a chance of not only succeeding but also changing the face of competitive fighting games. Killer Instinct is built in such a way that every hit counts, and there is always another way to attack or defend. Those that learn this game really well will get incredibly good at it and those that see that, and posses the will to get better will provide the fuel to keep people playing this game and hopefully create a scene where new players can go to learn and have fun with the game. Plus, the original creative director is on board so die hard fans of the series can rest easy knowing that one of their favorite series is in good hands. If you want to see some of the extend of Killer Instinct combos and combo breakers a video has been provided below.
By Garrett Jutte