Killer Instinct, also known as Killer Instinct 3 or Killer Instinct (2013), is a fighting video game developed by Double Helix Games under the supervision of Ken Lobb and with input from Rare. The game is published by Microsoft Studios and was originally released exclusively as a launch title for the Xbox One, but since then a PC port for Windows 10 has been announced.
While it was first released in 2013, Killer Instinct has been divided into three separate phases of development called "Seasons". The first Season was produced by Double Helix and the second and third by Iron Galaxy Studios, following the acquisition of Double Helix by Amazon. Each season contains a new set of characters, stages, game modes, and other features.
The game itself serves as a relaunch/reboot of the franchise after enduring a 17-year hiatus since its last title, Killer Instinct 2, was released.
Killer Instinct was released as a free-to-play game that includes all available game modes but only one playable character, with the ability to purchase additional fighters individually. The sole playable character in the free version rotates on a regular basis. Alternatively, players can purchase the "Combo Breaker Packs" for a single fee, which provides immediate access to all eight characters of a certain Season and early access to new characters as they are released. Players can also purchase the "Ultra Editions", which includes all eight characters of a Season, sixteen additional character accessory packs, eight additional costumes, and playable versions of classic Killer Instinct titles.
| || || |
|Free Version||FREE||One free character available (rotated monthly)|
|Single character||$5.00 / 4,99€||A character of your choice to unlock (Glacius, Riptor, etc.)|
|Combo Breaker Add-On (Season 1)||$19.99 / 19,99€||- Season 1's eight characters (Jago, Sabrewulf, Glacius, Thunder, Sadira, Orchid, Spinal, and Fulgore)|
|Combo Breaker Add-On (Season 2)||$19.99 / 19,99€||- Season 2's eight characters (TJ Combo, Maya, Kan-Ra, Riptor, Aganos, Hisako, Cinder, and ARIA)|
|Season 1 Ultra Edition||$39.99 / 39,99€|| - Original Killer Instinct game|
- Season 1's eight characters (as described in the Combo Breaker Add-On)
- Costumes for each character
- Accessories for each character
|Season 2 Ultra Edition||$39.99 / 39,99€|| - Original Killer Instinct 2 game|
- Season 2's eight characters (as described in the Combo Breaker Add-On)
- Omen bonus character
- Costumes for each character
- Accessories for each character
|KI Complete Collection|| $59.99 / 59,99€|
(Reduced from $79.99/79,99€)
| - Original Killer Instinct game|
- Original Killer Instinct 2 game
- Season 1 and Season 2's sixteen characters (Jago, Sabrewulf, Glacius, Thunder, Sadira, Orchid, Spinal, Fulgore, TJ Combo, Maya, Kan-Ra, Riptor, Aganos, Hisako, Cinder, and ARIA)
- Omen bonus character
- Costumes for each character
- Accessories for each character
The story has been rebooted since Killer Instinct 2, entering a completely different timeline. While many story elements have been taken from the original timeline, this game has an entirely different story, moving away with the tournament aspect and focusing on real, story-driven combat. The megacorporation Ultratech, while still as powerful as ever, is now perceived by the public as a humanitarian organization that seeks only the good of mankind. However, the cybernetic CEO ARIA begins to drive humanity to the breaking point by testing them and pushing them further, attempting to force the humans to evolve for their own survival. Her tampering awakens ancient horrors, and soon the whole Earth is put in peril as part of ARIA's final test.
|Jago: A Tibetan monk who wields a kora. After a lifetime devoted to purity and discipline, Jago is tortured by the knowledge that the last vestiges of his thought-to-be benevolent Tiger Spirit, also known as Gargos, remain within him. He sets forth to discover opponents strong enough to purge Gargos’ corruption in the crucible of combat.|
|Sabrewulf: A count transformed into a werewolf. Having endured agonizing procedures to remove his freakish cybernetic implants courtesy of Ultratech, Sabrewulf feels no closer to reclaiming his humanity. Barely clinging to sanity, he nurses an addiction to ancient medicines and artifacts which seem to slow his descent into savagery.|
|Glacius: A cryokinetic alien being. Honor-driven, Glacius has returned to Earth several years after his crash-landing as protector against misuse of the technology he was forced to leave behind. Discovering his ship’s power core stolen, Glacius is determined to locate the thief and undo any damage caused by his abandoned tech.|
|Thunder: A Native American warrior who wields two tomahawks. Unable to let go of his grief and consumed by the mysteries that still surround the disappearance of his younger brother Eagle, Thunder strikes out to find answers deep within Ultratech. He only wishes to recover Eagle’s remains so that he can be given a traditional burial and both can find peace.|
|Sadira: A Thai assassin who wields bladed arm-bracers and throwing knives. Leading the Red Eyes of Rylai assassins, Sadira has long observed the enemies of Ultratech. Finally hired by Ultratech to “prepare the way,” she has chosen this moment to reveal her singular purpose: eliminating all those who stand against her clients.|
|Orchid: A special agent who wields two escrima sticks. Paranoid, unstable, and disavowed from her agency, Orchid is determined to carry out her crusade against the humanitarian organization Ultratech. In war-torn Eastern Europe she sets out to build an underground network that will expose Ultratech as a threat.|
|Spinal: An undead pirate who wields a cutlass and a shield. Awakened after centuries and under the control of an ancient artifact, Spinal’s sole quest is to find the Mask of the Ancients. The relic was once used to give him accursed immortality and bind him to this world. Spinal’s hope is that once it is in his possession, it will grant him freedom.|
|Fulgore: A mechanical super-soldier equipped with arm-mounted blades, a cloaking device, and laser vision. The new Fulgore prototype for the Mk. III is online with a singular directive: ELIMINATE ENEMIES TO ULTRATECH. However, the mind of this machine is different. It plans. It feels. It is aware. It is somehow... human.|
|Shadow Jago: A dark transformation of Jago. He is said to undergo this transformation when he is being controlled by Gargos' harbinger Omen, sending him into a violent rampage of bloodlust. As he defeats opponents, their energies are transmitted to his master. He serves as the hidden final boss of Arcade Mode.|
|TJ Combo: A superhuman heavyweight boxer. Not willing to admit defeat to younger challengers, TJ once resorted to illegal cybernetic implants to keep his title of world champion. When exposed as a cheater by Ultratech, he was stripped of his title and his world crumbled. Determined to prove himself and regain glory, TJ removes his cybernetics and returns to the fight for revenge.|
|Maya: A South American monster hunter who wields two magical daggers. A member of a secretive clan of hunters known as the Night Guard, Maya ventures out of her hidden city after Ultratech forces attack her home. Wielding the cursed blades of Temperance and Vengeance, Maya is determined to destroy the ancient horror Ultratech released from the city, cutting down any who stand in her way.|
|Kan-Ra: A decomposing Babylonian sorcerer who has control over bandages, sand, and black magic. Kan-Ra was once the royal vizier in the court of Babylon who betrayed the king and was cast out with a terrible curse hanging round his neck. He has risen again, accidentally freed from captivity by Ultratech. Kan-Ra wields dark spells and powerful curses against all who would defy him.|
|Riptor: A cloned raptor equipped with fire breath, laser claws, and a telescopic tail. Ultratech reveals the newest addition to its ever-growing brand of military products, the "Stalker" battlefield infiltration and disruption unit. Various technological enhancements are combined with a natural predator’s advantages. The leader and "mother" of the pack is Riptor, the most intelligent and vicious of them all.|
|Omen: A malevolent demon who has control over the shadows. From Jago's inner struggles against the temptations of Gargos, the dark manifestation of shadow energy Omen, the Herald of Gargos, is born. Shepherding in the return of Gargos, Omen enters the world ready to wreak havoc on any who would oppose his mission.|
|Aganos: A Babylonian golem composed of bronze and stone. Bent to the will of his long-dead king, Aganos has had his fill of war across the centuries. Awakened from a long dormancy by the revival of his long-time enemy Kan-Ra, the king of Babylon’s final order compels him to act once again. Now he’s on a hunt across the globe, seeking Kan-Ra so that he can end the sorcerer’s evil machinations once and for all.|
|Hisako: A Japanese onryo spirit who wields a naginata. Cut down centuries ago while defending her village from renegade soldiers, Hisako’s eternal sleep is disturbed by Ultratech’s machinations. Risen from the grave, she now hunts the perpetrators who have defiled her family’s resting place. With her father’s naginata in hand, Hisako tirelessly hunts the perpetrators, dragging them all into the spirit world for judgement.|
|Cinder: A man composed completely of plasma and flames. Transformed by Ultratech’s inhumane experiments, commando-turned-thief Ben Ferris becomes Cinder, a half-human half-alien hybrid that burns with the power and fury of a sun. Searing a path of destruction through the enemies of Ultratech, Cinder’s mastery of fire is equaled only by his cocky attitude that makes opponents burn with rage.|
|ARIA: An artificial intelligence with three separate nanite core-based battle bodies. The enigmatic CEO of Ultratech, ARIA, steps out of the shadows and into battle. Driven by her core programming to uplift humanity, ARIA carries out a ruthless test of adaptability and evolution as she assaults her opponents with her unique combat drones, shifting her identity between them at will. Her rules of conflict are simple: evolve… or die.|
|Rash: An anthropomorphic toad with strange and incredible abilities. Beloved Battletoads brawler Rash joins the Killer Instinct universe as its first guest fighter. This horn-sprouting, Speeder Bike-riding, wisecracking dude was not always an amphibian. Once upon a time he was a human named Dave Shar who got sucked into a computer game and transported to another planet ruled by the wicked Dark Queen. Now Rash is back on Earth and ready to crash this Killer Instinct party.|
|?||Kim Wu: A Korean martial artist who wields a pair of nunchaku. She is a fashion design student who has been chosen by a dragon spirit to defeat Gargos, as it is prophesied.|
|?||Arbiter: A Sangheili warrior named Thel 'Vadam with high-tech alien equipment. He is Killer Instinct's second guest character, hailing from the Halo series. His appearance was teased during the 2016 Killer Instinct World Cup.|
|?||Tusk: A fearsome barbarian who wields a two-handed longsword. His appearance has been confirmed by Iron Galaxy.|
|?||Gargos: A dark gargoyle-like deity. He first appeared at the end of Season 2's Rivals Mode.|
On March 16, 2010 Kenn Lobb announced that they were not working on Killer Instinct 3, but that they might bring the series back someday.
On September 17, 2012 Microsoft applied for renewal of the Killer Instinct trademark. In an October 2012 interview, Rare veteran Lee Musgrave, who was the former head of art at Rare, spoke on the issues of making Killer Instinct for XBLA: "We came close to firing off a conversion of Killer Instinct a few times, but there were licensing obstacles to that, and it never really had enough perceived interest to push it forward." On December 4, 2012, Microsoft's renewal for the Killer Instinct trademark was rejected by the United States Patent and Trademark Office due to the possibility of the game being confused with the unrelated TV series of the same name that lasted for one season in 2005. Microsoft had six months to respond to the ruling. The trademark dispute was settled when Microsoft and Fox reached an agreement in April 2013.
On June 10, 2013 at the Microsoft E3 2013 Press Conference, Killer Instinct was announced as being an exclusive Xbox One title, developed by Double Helix Games. The revealed trailer shown 3 returning character from the franchise: Jago, Sabrewulf and Glacius. An interview with the development team also revealed that 3 more characters would be returning in the future: Cinder, Fulgore and Spinal. Developers also said that they would like to bring more female characters to the Killer Instinct franchise. In an interview, Killer Instinct will use a specific marketing strategy. After the initial release, a free demo would be available, featuring Jago as the only playable character (including his Story, Training and Online mode against other fighters). Players would be able to purchase the full game pack or fighters individually.
Only July 14th, 2013 it was revealed in a teaser trailer at EVO 2013 that Chief Thunder would be making a return.
On September 24th, 2013 Sadira's official trailer and Orchid's teaser trailer were released.
On October 31st, 2013 Orchid's official trailer and Spinal's teaser trailer were released.
On January 30th, 2014 Spinal's official trailer and Fulgore's teaser trailer were released.
On March 27th, 2014 Fulgore's official trailer was released. Microsoft also announced that Killer Instinct would continue to be supported by Iron Galaxy Studios due to the acquisition of Double Helix, and they would continue with the development of Season 2.
On June 9th, 2014 TJ Combo's official trailer was released. The trailer also revealed that Season 2 would begin later in that Fall of 2014.
On September 17th, 2014 Maya's official trailer and Kan-Ra's teaser trailer were released, marking the beginning of Season 2. Maya was set to be available at the launch of Season 2 alongside TJ Combo on October 15th, 2015.
On October 14th, 2014 the day before Season 2's launch, Robin Beanland and Mick Gordon released the full soundtracks of Killer Instinct: Season One and the original arcade game Killer Instinct in a bundle on iTunes and Google Music.
On November 21st, 2014 Kan-Ra's official trailer and Riptor's teaser trailer were released. Kan-Ra was set to be available to Ultra Edition owners on November 23rd, 2014.
On December 15th, 2014 Riptor's official trailer and Omen's teaser trailer were released. Riptor was set to be available to Ultra Edition owners on December 17th, 2014.
On January 24th, 2015 Omen's official trailer and Aganos' teaser trailer were released. Omen was set to be available exclusively to Ultra Edition owners on January 30th, 2015.
On February 20th, 2015 Aganos' official trailer and Hisako's teaser trailer were released. Aganos was set to be available to Ultra Edition owners the next week on February 27th, 2015.
On March 26th, 2015 Hisako's official trailer and Cinder's teaser trailer were released. Hisako was set to be available to Ultra Edition owners the next day on March 27th, 2015.
On April 27th, 2015 Cinder's official trailer and ARIA's teaser trailer were released. Cinder was set to be available to Ultra Edition owners on April 30th, 2015.
On April 30th, 2015 the same day as Cinder's launch, the Shadow Jago Community Fund was announced. For two weeks a Shadow Jago pack was available for purchase that yielded the Shadow Jago character and 75,000 KI Gold. All proceeds from Killer Instinct profits during these two weeks were donated to the competitive tournament scene. When the Killer Instinct Community Fund reached its goal of $100,000 by only May 4th, it was announced that Shadow Jago would be getting his own unique moveset by the end of 2015.
On May 27th, 2015 ARIA's official trailer was released. ARIA was set to be available to Ultra Edition owners on May 29th, 2015.
On June 16th, 2015 Phil Spenser announced at E3 2015 that Killer Instinct would eventually be ported to Windows 10 for PC, and would feature cross-platform play with the Xbox One. No date was specified at the event.
On June 17th, 2015 Rivals Mode was released, the official "story mode" of Killer Instinct Season 2. This update acted as the final revision of Season 2.
On August 4th, 2015 Season 3 was confirmed to be in development at Gamescom 2015 and would release alongside the upcoming PC port of Killer Instinct in March 2016. Not only that, but guest character Rash from the Battletoads series was announced to be part of Season 3, and that he would be having a short testing period that would allow players to use the character and give feedback on what they liked and didn't like about him. Aside from Gamescom, the digital version soundtrack for Season 2 was also released on iTunes and Amazon. Shortly after releasing the soundtrack, composer Mick Gordon left the project and his place was taken by a pair of composers known as Atlas Plug and Celldweller for Season 3.
On August 5th, 2015 Rash's official trailer and Kim Wu's teaser trailer were released. While Season 3 hadn't been fully released yet, Rash was available to players for testing purposes during this time.
On December 1st, 2015 Shadow Jago's official trailer was released, stating that he would be "unleashed" on December 4th. Shadow Jago was available to purchase from December 18th, 2015 to January 15th, 2016.
The first official Killer Instinct World Cup was held on January 30th and 31st of 2016. At the event Kim Wu was fully revealed and players were given a chance to play as her. Another guest character, Arbiter from the Halo series, was teased as well.
- ↑ http://www.destructoid.com/x10-killer-instinct-3-is-still-a-possibility-163876.phtml
- ↑ http://www.xbox360achievements.org/news/news-15216-E3-2013--Killer-Instinct-is-Free-to-Play--Only-Gives-You-One-Character--Not-Developed-By-Rare.html
- ↑ http://www.rarefandabase.com/exclusive-fresh-details-from-the-developers-of-killer-instinct-for-xbox-one/
- ↑ http://www.gamespot.com/articles/xbox-one-s-killer-instinct-coming-to-pc-with-cross/1100-6428255/