Killer Instinct (not to be confused with the original game with the same name) is a free-to-play 2.5D fighting game developed by Double Helix and published by Microsoft for the Xbox One (as a launch title) on November 22, 2013.
The game is a same-name reboot of the original Killer Instinct franchise, with assistance from Ken Lobb (designer of the original game) and Rare. Despite the lack of a story-based single-player mode, this combo-heavy game features classic characters from the franchise, online ranked multiplayer, multiple single-player modes (Survival and Dojo), and character customization (for cosmetic purposes).
The free download comes with one playable fighter (which will be rotated to another fighter after a set period of time), with more characters available for purchase à la carte (for $4.99 each). Players will be able to compete against the entire roster online, regardless of whether they own the opposing character or not.
Players can also purchase the Combo Breaker Pack for $19.99 (giving immediate access to all of the Season One characters) or the Ultra Edition for $39.99 (which includes the Combo Breaker Pack, plus access to all costume slots and accessories, early access to future content, and the original Killer Instinct for the Xbox One). In the retail Microsoft Stores, players can purchase the Pin Ultimate Edition for $59.99, which includes a code for the Ultra Edition DLC and a collectible tri-fold case (featuring two Killer Instinct pins).
Double Helix's Departure
On February 6, 2014, it was announced that digital retailer Amazon had purchased Double Helix, casting future content releases, including the entirety of Season 2, in doubt. Microsoft subsequently announced that a plan is in place to transfer work on Killer Instinct to a different developer, but the developer in mind is publicly unknown.
Killer Instinct is a combo heavy fighting game. Combos mean everything, maximizing combos will increase the damage a player makes to their opponent. There is a risk reward when a player is stuck in a combo. Combos mean everything but be weary one can counter break almost everything in the game.
Openers > Auto Doubles / Manual > Linker / Shadow Linker / Auto Double / Manual > Ender
- Versus - Play locally against CPU or a friend.
- Survival - Play against CPU forever.
- Dojo Mode - Separated in Basic and Advanced lessons, here one can be taught Killer Instinct fighting game fundamentals.
- Practice - Practice your killer moves here.
- Xbox Live - Here ranked and un-ranked matches (exhibition mode) take place.
Due to the short development of a year, the game's initial roster will consist of 8 characters. 6 of those are in the core game and the 2 will be added as DLC. Double Helix has also said there may be a "season two" which may introduce more characters down the line.
Each character has their own stage and theme music.
- Assassin's Cave (Sadira)
- Tiger's Lair (Jago)
- Alchemical Lab (Sabrewulf)
- Crash Site (Glacius)
- Devil's Landing (Chief Thunder)
- Rebel Outpost (Orchid)
- Shipwreck Shore (Spinal)
- Training Stage (Practice Mode Only)
- Character Color Schemes - Killer Instinct allows for different character color schemes for each character.
- Character Accessories - Killer Instinct will also allow accessory customization options. Such as swapping out Jago's mask and sword for something different. Accessories can be purchased by real currency, although all accessories can be unlocked by achieving a certain criteria.
- Classic Skins / Skins - A player can swap the skins of the characters. Classic skins allows the player to use the originals skins of the Killer Instinct roster. Though it is worth noting they are reinterpretations of the classic skins.
Releasing along side Killer Instinct will be a Mad Catz Branded Arcade FightStick TE2 for the Xbox One. This fight stick retails for $200.