Adding fuel to a well lit fire
If you are a Xbox One owner, then you have of course heard of Killer Instinct. The game is a 2D fighter and personally, with the season 3 update, has more than enough juice to rival some of the best fighting games available on the current home console and the PC. For the uninitiated, the game is available for the Xbox One and now with the release of Season 3, for the PC. There is a story mode available with characters from season one and two, but there is no real story to talk about so we are going to skip going into those details.
Fast paced action is the name of the game here with Killer Instinct Season 3 and it shows. The action is really fast and players are well rewarded for keeping kicks, punches and combos going. A big surprise was that some of my friends that aren’t into fighting games were button mashing their way to victory, something that was very difficult for them in games like Injustice: Gods Among Us and Mortal Kombat.
If you are new to the franchise, then fear not. Like every other fighting game, there is a tutorial at your disposal and it’s a lot of fun. There are more than 30 tutorials to make you a great player at the game. Of course, it is real world practice that will make you a master, but the way the tutorial plays out is educational. The roster of characters has also increased with four new playable ones. Two of them are classic Killer Instinct characters – Kim Wu and Tusk. We also have the Arbiter from the Halo franchise and Rash from Battletoads. These characters add fresh gameplay and bring unique moves. Killer Instinct fans will take to the later two characters quite differently. Its possible that I haven’t mastered many moves but the Arbiter for me was the easiest to control in a button mashing frenzy when Season 3 booted up for the first time. The weapons at the Arbiters disposal will make Halo fans nostalgic.
Moving on to online multiplayer, it is limited to your internet connection. I have an 8MBPS connection with a Binatone Wi-Fi router (don’t judge me) and there was considerable lag at times. I’m attributing this to my ping more than anything else. But yes, with a stable internet connection, the multiplayer can be a lot of fun.
Overall, the addition of the fresh characters along with some new fighting arenas is more than enough reason to revisit this fighting games for a fresh and fast-paced dose of gameplay. The arrival of the Arbiter is also hoped that other Xbox Exclusive characters will make their way into the series. Marcus Fenix perhaps?
There is little to complain here. The sound effects, again talking about the Arbiter, in particular, is pretty good and true to the source. The bashes and whooshes along with the sound of the punches and kicks add a real sense of immersion. There is also the also the fast paced background score that had the power to draw me in like no other fighting game.
|Developer: Iron Galaxy Studios, Rare, Double Helix Games, Microsoft Studios
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Platforms: Xbox One and PC
Price: Free with in-game purchases
(Price as per Xbox India Online Store)
The way the game looks on the Xbox One is absolutely stunning. It’s visually very rich with smooth frame rates, fluid motion, vibrant colours and stunning backdrops. Since the game encourages you to pull off multiple combos, the fluidity in combat animation is extremely good. Even when you move from mid combat to a defensive stance, the animation is fast and fluid.
We have yet to play the PC version of the game, but here is some cool information about the PC version of Killer Instinct.
Season 3 sees the debut of the game on the PC for Windows 10. If you have the game purchased on your Xbox One then you don’t need to buy the PC version and vice versa – incase you are planning to pick up the game first and a Xbox One in the future. A cool thing about the PC version of the game is that there is an in-game performance test. Not only is it a treat to watch, but also, if the performance test sees that your rig isn’t great for the game, it will prevent you from playing online.
Currently, the PC version isn’t compatible with arcade sticks, so if you have a Hitbox lying around, don’t expect to be able to use it with this game. We will, however, put the PC version of the game through its paces and give you our analysis of the same soon.
Since, we have already covered the gameplay above, I will skip it and focusing on the graphics and overall performance of the game on the PC. On PC, Killer Instinct Season 3 looks as good as it looks on the XBOX One, although your results may vary depending on the GPU and monitor at your disposal. I tested the game on my GTX 960 2GB GPU which is paired with Dell S2240L monitor. On the processor front I am rocking an ancient AMD Phenom II X6 1090T processor. Moreover, the monitor is important here since Microsoft games come with a locked vSync which is capable enough to avoid screen tearing by reducing the frame rates according to your hardware.
In the graphics settings menu, there are no presets for shadows, anti-aliasing, etc., just an on/off toggle. Even at high settings, graphic wise, the game felt less heavier than Mortal Kombat X. That said, the graphics don’t look as bad as the last Microsoft PC title I tested, Gears of War Ultimate Edition. Once you are in the heat of the action, it is pretty much straightforward and you can play it via the keyboard or an XBOX controller. I would recommend you play the game with a controller since, it will provide more fluidity over the controls and combos, which are an essential part of the gameplay. If you want to play multiplayer mode, I would recommend to have at least have 2 Mbps connection.
Note: (Killer Instinct Reviewed on PC by Hardik “Fluffyvader” Singh)
Verdict – Killer Instinct
Overall, Killer Instinct is a fun game to play. With four more characters slated to debut in the coming months, the total roster of characters will rise to 26. So if you are looking to pick up this game, now is a good time. There is a story mode which is fun to play, training helps you master the moves and local multiplayer is ideal for gaming night. If you are one that enjoys playing a fighting game, then you can definitely think about investing in Killer Instinct. We played a review copy of Killer Instinct Season 3 on the Xbox One
|Great graphics||May not appeal to all fighting fans|
|Smooth gameplay||Game needs to add support for arcade controls|
|Diverse catalogue of players|
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Sameer "Psycho Mantis" Mitha
I live for gaming and technology is my muse. When I am not busy playing with gadgets or video games I delve into the world of fantasy novels.