Killer Instinct Is Back And It Feels Like 1994 All Over Again

By Spencer . June 14, 2013 . 10:19pm


The 2D fighter resurgence is finally complete with Killer Instinct for Xbox One. Double Helix is developing  a new Killer Instinct game which was playable at E3. The demo only had two characters Jago who is essentially a Ryu clone and Saberwulf.


When I tried Jago I assaulted the other player with Endokuken fireballs, but playing keep away wasn’t as effective as running in and doing a combo. That’s where Saberwulf seemed to have an advantage since he’s a rushdown type of fighter. It seemed the key to Killer Instinct was hitting buttons as fast as you can. Like the original Killer Instinct, the game has connectors that do two moves and extend a combo further.


You can escape a combo with a well timed Combo Breaker done by pressing LP+LK, MP+MK, or HP+HK. Why are there three combinations? Because you have to guess (or remember frames) if you opponent is doing a light, medium or heavy attack and use the proper Combo Breaker. Choose right and you escape, but if you choose wrong a "!" appears over your head and the other player can pummel you into oblivion.


Killer Instinct is easy to pick up and play, probably one of the easiest fighters to learn out there because every move just seems to connect. Microsoft will release Killer Instinct for the Xbox One’s launch.

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  • Pockystix

    Kinect and Double Helix are a bit scary

    I think I’ll wait to see if. . . wait, none of my friends are gonna get this.

    Well, I dunno if I missed out. . . or dodged a bullet there.

    • Lionel Y.

      thats the point, the game will be free so you dont have to pay to try it. and if you like just get the whole.

  • I cannot get past the art direction :(
    I always wanted to see the game come back, but.. This is too much for me.

    • Fullgore

      Really? If I recall the art of killer instinct was kind of cheesy. Characters had their eyes popping out of their heads like a Looney tunes show.

  • AkuLord3

    “Killer Instinct Is Back And It Feels Like 1994 All Over Again”
    Not sure if good or bad…point is…looks eh for now, maybe it will get better? while Double Helix never made a fighter, Mike Z is there giving suggestions and such, so it could get better (though for now, he wasn’t impressed much)

  • VitaminC

    With every character other than the starting Jago being paid DLC, this leaves a horrendous taste in my mouth.

    • Fullgore

      The game comes in another version with the full rooster in board, the demo version comes only with Jago and can unlock others with payments.

      • Fub Frank

        Also the fact that if you were to download the free demo and then pay for every character you are not going to be paying more than the retail price. This game can be really cheap if you only bought characters you are interested in using.

  • Flandre Scarlet

    Unfortunately so long as it remains on the Xbox One I will never touch this game.

    • Shady Shariest

      I had the same thing with Dust: Elysian tail this Gen…
      So hopefully this hits steam at some point :P

      • Kelohmello

        It’s already on Steam.

        • doubleO7

          He was referring to Killer Instinct, which is much less likely than an indie title like Dust to get a PC release.

          • Shady Shariest

            Sadly so…Let’s just hope that at the very least outside U.S it gets more profitable for them to release on other platforms…

            There is a very low chance of that happening…Seeing that the game had implied in it so many social functions that would either be a pain, or nigh impossible to translate to PS4…

            And if it comes to PC, it will be on M$ marketplace, now that i think about it… They might be too tied to M$ at this point to release it on anything else :/

            (Again, slimmest chance of it happening :( )

          • Aquarius

            There’s zero chance of Killer Instinct to get released on PS4, Microsoft owns Rare, and Killer Instinct is their IP. PC, on the other hand, well, you know how “good” fighting games do on the PC. (sales wise).

          • Shady Shariest

            Hmh, there might be market… If someone makes a 3rd party controller as good as 360’s…
            Skullgirls is coming to PC, Tekken already is, along with classics…

          • Aquarius

            The Xbox 360 controller is already compatible with the PC.

            As much as I want more people to enjoy any game on as much consoles as possible, I really doubt Killer Instinct will make an appearance on PC. Just ask Capcom how well SF IV did on the PC.

          • Shady Shariest

            I know that 360’s controller is compatible, and use it myself, too :)

            Fighting games on PC can thrive! We just need a good controller.. I for one have used the controller more than the console itself, but sadly it is reality that quality comes with a price.

            So if there was a wide spreadable Xbox 360 level cheap-ish controller setup, it alone could be a big push for fighting games on PC.

            I feel slightly enthusiastic because the situation is what it is…But could very well be better.

            It would though need people with both money and relations/We-ery Gud marketing.

            And killer instinct sparked it for me…Along with KH III and FF XV: which were both confirmed to have been made and tested on PC’s.
            With the new standards consoles make, and a few years of patient success is development, even the average Gaming PC can be powerful enough to play fighting games near console level…

            It just needs the said push, a controller to end all controllers :)

            Edit: Who is downvoting your comments..They spill the absolute truth as it is :/

    • ShawnOtakuSomething

      Dust in the wind~~now

      • Shady Shariest

        The song? :3

  • CirnoTheStrongest

    “1994”? An era where you bought games and unlocked new content by doing stuff in-game? An era where you could use cheat codes to get said content? An era where games sparsely released?

    I’m sorry, but I just don’t see the comparison at all

    • Flandre Scarlet

      This is the market they’re aiming for, mainly. The people who play this game and get nostalgiabombed, thus more likely to spend their money on large amounts of gated content willingly.

      Business wise the model is sound. It also relies on people actually purchasing Xbox One’s, though, so maybe not.

    • brian

      I agree to an extent, but like someone else commented (about DOA5U) freemium is ideal for this genre, because they’re mostly based on multiplayer so letting it be free is a perfect way to get players and have people only pay for characters/modes they want, plus cutting down on super ultra hyper mega + editions.

    • GreenBoyPocket

      packiging was important and most games would come not only with instruction manuals but color instrution manuals

    • Foxeh Shihōin

      someone understands! thanks

    • GuyAlpha

      Just to be fair, I don’t think its a comparison to the entire 1994 era of gaming, just the original Killer Instinct.

  • Dynami

    Despite Double Helix’s pedigree, I see some stuff here that has the makings of a good fighting game.

    That said, it’s not my type of fighting game. Long-combo-oriented games aren’t my bag. Yes, I can actually make the distinction between good/bad and I like it/I don’t like it.

    Another extremely limiting factor, for me, is the platform. I can’t think of a single friend of mine that has any interest or has even expressed that they could potentially buy the Xbone in the future. Finances being what they are, it’s not feasible for me either (I’m without scruples enough to get the console if I believed it to be a superior means of playing with my peers).

    Now, to derail my own post:

    Unfortunately, that limiting factor will affect the game in a large way, methinks. Specifically, the tournament potential of the game. Console exclusivity is toxic to a game’s competitive potential – I’m personally of the opinion that Halo’s exlcusivity will always make it the second banana to the cowadoodys of the world in the competitive spotlight largely because the latter is in the hands of a wider playerbase.

    The Xbox One’s anti-consumer policies also happen to be anti-competitive; fighting game tournaments are built upon competition at a local level, and that level simply can’t afford to have that many xbone setups with specific discs locked to them, nor can they afford internet access for all of those consoles. Locals often rely on consoles being brought in by many different people – often people that aren’t the owners of the discs being put into them.
    It’s just super unfeasible, logistically.

  • Foxeh Shihōin

    mmph.. this kinda thing provokes me to remake the game myself.. but im almost done with 3d streets of rage 2..

  • isotrex

    I was excited :D… until I read the line where it says Xbox One. :(

  • TheGameTagerZ

    Change title to “Killer Instinct Is Back And It Feels Like Street Fighter 4 All Over Again”

    This isn’t Killer Instinct and it isn’t made by Rare either because everyone that was good in Rare is now gone.

    • GameonAll

      looks a lot like the original to me which does not play very much like street fighter at all.

  • Kelohmello

    A shame it’s only for the One. I saw some of the stream on Crosscounter live and the devs REALLY know fighting games, which left a good impression on me. Too bad though, really don’t want to buy that console. Oh well, hopefully the soundtrack is as amazing at the original, I can totally get behind that at least.

  • Sergio Briceño

    Whenever I see an article not about Xbox One’s DRM I find it REALLY funny how people turn it into one.

    Truth is, there is only one exclusive on PS4 “right now” that I’m really interested in. Yes, I’m sure I’ll be blown away by Uncharteds and The Last of Uses (sounds funny) or even Little Big Planets one day, but right now it’s just Infamous 2 for me (because Infamous is a game genre in itself with no Crackdown or Prototype in the Horizon…). Killzone 4 to be honest, we have already better FPSs coming.

    As for the One, there are at least 3 exclusives to keep an eye on and one of them is KI. I know I’m contributing to changing the subject of the article by posting this, but it really looks like everybody is looking for excuses not to like the Xbox One.

    Wherever you go PS3 fans are known to defend their choice the most, but they have never been aggresive (unless provoked), I really don’t want to think this is about the PS+ being now needed for offline. It’s hard to think it’s former Xbox fans because they are like the Yaoming of video game fans, always on their high horse thinking the 360 is the best console this generation.

    If this is the beggining of a new console wars. IT’S STUPID. AND YOU ARE STUPID FOR TAKING PART IN IT. 2 Years from now you will read comments just like yours from other people and will call them trolls. 2 years from now you will probably have 2 of the 3 current generation consoles because you really wanted those first party exlusives.

    2 years from now the “smart” and “mature” gamers will move on and enjoy gaming again while “stupid kids” on Xboxlive and PSN will continue hating on each other because they can’t afford to play the games on another console.

    If you are smart and mature, don’t wait 2 years, start now. Don’t storm every opposite console article just to hate on it. If you are going to comment do it in the subject of the article. Don’t be a stupid kid.

    Enjoy gaming for what it is, don’t look for excuses. If games aren’t about having fun then there is truly no hope for the gaming world.

    About the article: Cocococo-COMBO BREAKER!


    Short read for those of you who didn’t understand my comment. Don’t hate on every article to start a console war. Hate on articles about Xbox One’s DRM or on threads about it. I came here to read your feedback on KI, not on MS’s choices. Right now I don’t really have a reason to visit the comments section on any Xbox One’s game article, because people don’t discuss them, they are too busy hating.

    For those of you that did understand I hope you don’t become that kid, but if you really feel you need to hate on every article just so MS notices and changes their strategy I hope you succeed (because truth be told, I don’t agree with them either). I know you aren’t the harbingers of the new console wars, because you don’t want to become that kid, but if it comes to it I hope you look back and try not to be again 8 years from now.

    • Tee Niitris

      This response is more about my honest opinion on the Xbox One backlash….

      I’m not big on console wars either (I played both the Genesis and SNES… in fact, I own a SNES KI game cartidge so I would love to try out the new KI). I would like for both consoles to be a success because it would be good for the future of video gaming. But there’s something worth discussing here.

      How does the new hardware improve the gaming experience? 500+ dollars is a lot to ask for to play games. One would want to be sure that it’s truly worth it. What does the XB1 do to make gaming even more fun and interesting than the 360? Where Xbox One does some things right (like gameplay sharing via Youtube and the Cloud service making games more powerful), others are justifiably questionable. Why is it that one would have to check in online every 24 hours to play a video game (especially when not everyone has a reliable online source)? Was that the case 10 years ago? What does a policy like that do to improve the gaming experience? I don’t see where it does (most others don’t either). All it does is limit the number of people who can partake in playing a video game (which isn’t a good thing). If it doesn’t improve the gaming experience people will be less interested in the game console.

      First impressions are important. According to the mass public, Microsoft’s first impression was lousy, and they haven’t done much to improve the perception of the Xbox One. People will give the console a chance when Microsoft gives a reason for people to give them a chance. So far, most of their reasons haven’t been good enough.

      I enjoy video games as a medium not because it’s fun, but because of the unique experience that games have. They way video games are presented is what makes it fun. But games get boring or aggravating if improvements aren’t made. I wouldn’t play video games if there weren’t any improvements to the experience that was worth investing time in (everything loses it novelty at some point). Does the Xbox One make enough improvements to the general gaming experience to warrant a purchase? Well, that’s a matter of opinion. While that will vary from person to person, for me, I think the 360 provides a better experience than the XB1 (unfortunately).

      • Sergio Briceño

        You are right, I actually don’t think there is a big enough reason for such restrictions, aside from setting a new standard which in the long run benefits the industry as a whole, but hey I HATE forced change just as much as everybody else.

        What it brings to the table “right now” to make the change worth it? I have no idea. What brings to the table “right now” to make a $500 investment worth it right now? Maybe the same reasons it launched for $400-$500 8 years ago. And that is one big point for Sony since they are launching for 50% less than 7 years ago.

        But see what we are doing here? We are arguing about it’s bussiness strategy and it’s many faults. Believe me or not, there are people who click on an article about a game to read it about that game, comment about that game and more importantly, gather feedback from other gamers about that game. It’s nuts right!!? But I consider myself one of them and lately I’ve been avoiding comments sections because they add absolutely NOTHING of value to me. I came here to read about KI and everybody else is worried in starting a console war.

        And yes. I do hate console wars. I also think that Xbox One’s limitations are a valid concern but they should be addressed elsewhere. The place to argue about that are the articles about it in gaming sites and the threads about it in gaming forums.

        The funny thing about threads is that you can start your own and everybody comes to talk about that one topic. But when you come to Siliconera and spot an article on a reboot of a game you oh loved so much as a kid, you just have to settle with a short read, because everybody else is busy hating.

        If you are christian and go into a budhist temple to express your issues with, let’s say asians being smarter than every other people, you are starting a racist argument in a temple! You are not even discussing religion! And it’s not even your religion! You think a single budhist is truthfully interested in hearing you out? They probably are all just waiting for you to get out and continue their bussiness.

        Everything has it’s place. That is the point of my comment. I appreciate you got the part where I tried to spread a message of union between gamers against console wars (which I repeat ARE STUPID), but don’t think I’m a love maniac or #1 Xbox fan, my REAL concern is that I want to enjoy reading what I came to read about.

      • GameonAll

        2 Things – how do these policies improve gaming. 1 It attempts to keep people from stealing games and therefore taking money out of publishers pockets. If pubs do not get paid for all of their work the result is they go out of business and we as gamers lose IPs that we love.

        Secondly – Sergio makes a very valid point. If you want to rant about so called Draconian DRM which has been in full effect on steam and Apple Stores for years thatss awesome but why not focus that fire at the articles that are talking about DRM and Xbox 1 functionality. As opposed to here where what the article promotes is a game being developed by a bunch of dudes who love gaming.

        Hate on them or hate on the game – I’m sick of hearing about this i every post as well.

    • Flandre Scarlet

      I’m glad there was someone as ‘smart’ and ‘mature’ as you around to tell me I should buy a console because it has some pretty games despite it infringing on consumer rights and using draconian DRM policies I refuse to support.

      And to call me stupid.

      • Aquarius

        He never told you what console to buy, he was just giving his opinion on the current childish hate war that’s raging at this moment, don’t put words in his fingers. And please, before replying, read carefully since you look like a child that’s only hating because it’s the cool thing to do right now.

        • Flandre Scarlet

          I guess listing my reasons for not supporting something is ‘hating it because it’s cool’ now.

          You’re a funny guy.

          • Aquarius

            I only said you “look” not “are”. If you don’t want people to think just like I did, then please make sure your reply is actually relevant to the comment you’re replying to.

            You completely put words in his fingers and used that to bring your “reasons”. What do you have to say about the fact that he never told you what console to buy, and mocked him for your complete lack of understanding huh? You’re a funny guy.

          • Flandre Scarlet

            Now you’re just arguing semantics.

            The poster was trying to suggest we should all completely ignore any problems we have with the consoles and focus on the games. That we were just ‘looking for excuses’ to hate the Xbox One. That we were stupid for taking part in these so called “console wars” (I hate that term, since there hasn’t been a true console war since the SNES era).

            Well guess what? It’s no longer just about the games. We’re dealing with 2 completely different machines in terms of consumer access and business model. One of them is trying to take away consumer rights and access, and the other is trying to keep it the same as its always been. We’re going beyond just the games now, and people are going to voice their dislikes and likes.

            Even if the Xbox One had exclusives that interested me, I wouldn’t buy it on principle. I don’t support Microsoft’s business model and I don’t support the way they’re handling it.

            He wasn’t directly telling me to go buy an Xbox One. He was telling everyone they should just focus on the games and not on the system itself or any problems we had on that, and trying to place himself on a pedestal because of it. I don’t agree with that.

          • Sergio Briceño

            You are missing the point. Actually the points of my comment:

            1) I expressed how funny was to me to find every Xbox One related article filled with hate comments about the DRM and wondered exactly which group of people could be so aggresive. Because it’s usually trolls that start arguments and fans that take the bait.

            2) I said that personally, I don’t particularly rate a console based on it’s defficiencies but their game catalog.

            3) I came to the conclusion that a new console wars is starting and remembered how stupid these things are and how stupid everybody things everybody else is for taking part. And yes, adviced “everybody” not “you” not to be that stupid.

        • Ladius

          “Childish hate” and being against DRMs, online checks, arbitrary limits to the second hand market, region lock (or IP lock, if things are as bad as they seem regarding that console’s launch outside the supported markets) and mandatory Kinect 2 with its privacy issues are far from being the same, though, and trying to equate consumer rights issues with system wars could seem like an attempt to silence people by devaluing their arguments without actually addressing them.

          Also, lots of people who are criticizing those choices actually have a background as Microsoft customers or multiplatform gamers, I myself bought an Xbox and no less than thre Xbox 360 because of the region lock, being a jrpg and Cave shmup fan.

          Maybe you should consider that people are legitimately worried about those issues not because “it’s the cool thing to do” (that’s really condescending, like people can’t have a different opinion without being part of some mindless flock), but because they feel strongly about those themes, just as thousands of other gamers around the world.

      • Sergio Briceño

        You are stupid if you start a console war or if you take part in it.

        If you want to critize the Xbox One, it’s fair to do so. I even say you have obvious reasons to hate on it. But hate on an article about it’s many defficiencies not every single one. Turning every article about it into mindless hate is the stupid part.

        Or you could go to a gaming forum and look for a thread about it, I’m sure there must be plenty and everybody there are likely to have the same concerns you do. If you don’t find one then start one. But I like to read what I came to read about and that is an article on Killer Instinct and comments on Killer Instinct.

        This is not the place to hate, and if you do, then it is a console war.

        • Flandre Scarlet

          As far as I’m aware this is an article about a game on the Xbox One, and people are voicing their dissatisfaction about the Xbox One as it relates to the game.

          Take it up with the staff if you feel that strongly about it, because right now the one who started up a giant off-topic rant is…you.

          • Sergio Briceño

            It’s sad that you don’t see the big picture here. But I don’t think it’s possible for you to understand it now anyway. Hopefully I’m wrong and comments like yours don’t end up dividing gamers even more than they are now.

          • Aquarius

            Don’t even bother anymore Sergio. He/she is way too drugged with the idea of “consumer rights” and he/she appears to love that term even though he/she does not even know how to apply it. Microsoft (as much as I dislike their approach, but I can certainly see the potential) is not infringing any rights at all.

            I guess he/she has never heard of a term called “Freedom of choice”. Microsoft is not forcing you to buy their product, they are setting the terms of use for their product, which they have all the rights to do so. But well, I guess you can’t expect everyone to think this way.

          • Flandre Scarlet

            Don’t try and lecture someone with ‘freedom of choice’ when you spend a few comments arguing that I shouldn’t be allowed to voice my choice that the Xbox One is a waste of money.

          • Aquarius

            Oh my, I love the way you always try to bend other persons words your way.

            No one ever told you not to voice your opinion, don’t try to play the victim here. I was stating in my reply how distorted your view on consumer rights is, and I really hope that you at least learned that Microsoft is not infringing your consumer rights in any way, you wave your consumer rights flag without even knowing why or how to apply the term. This is why i mentioned on my first reply that you LOOK like someone who is just hating because it’s the cool thing to do.

            As much as I dislike Microsoft’s current direction of their console, you don’t see me spewing nonsense about a console infringing consumer rights when it isn’t, and I like to be informed on how to apply the term before pointing fingers. Please understand this, since it was what drove me to even reply to your comment.

  • Valtiel Ikari

    me, I really don’t trust double helix for this game, they ruined Silent Hill.
    Well, doesn’t matter really, since I cant play xbox one in my country.

  • uh-oh when i saw ”jago is essential a ryu clone” I thought is this really gonna be a new killer instinct or is it gonna be a street fighter 4 clone with the killer instinct name on it, it also sounds to be more noob friendly which doesn’t bother me, but I can see people bagging on it for that.

    • GuyAlpha

      Dude, Jago WAS and STILL IS a Ryu clone. So, his moveset never changed since the 90s.

      • really? I guess I remember it wrong i dont recall them playing similarly but i havnt played since the n64 era so my memory is most likely wrong

  • Dynami

    It’s pretty silly to say this game is SFIV at any real level. Many of KI’s signature mechanics are in play here, including the obvious emphasis on chains and absurdly long combos. The combo breaker mechanic is obviously (in this implementation) unique to the franchise as well.

    The graphical style may be similar to SFIV, but that’s where I’d draw the line aside from the fact that it’s a fighting game. Meter and “EX” moves are staples of the genre at this point in time.

    I can’t profess to have a meaningful background in playing KI, and this is obviously not quite the KI of old – but that’s to be expected regardless of who’s in charge of making it. Double Helix seems to be taking staples of KI and remixing them into a modern fighter – precisely how it should be handled. Too much fidelity risks quality, too little risks alienation. In this regard, I think they’re doing a good job.

    I really hope this succeeds in some respects, despite my earlier post – I want more western devs to have a go at this genre. Maybe that’s just me projecting my own desire to design a fighter, but I really do think it’d be good for the genre.

    • Sergio Briceño

      New isn’t always good. But it’s most definitely better as it signifies change.

      And change is needed in a world that considers most fighting games Street Fighter clones. I agree, I also believe Double Helix is doing a good job, but for different reasons (I actually like what I’ve seen so far).

      But if I had to compare Killer Instinct to a Street Fighter game I think I’d go with SFIII, man was a that a good game…

  • TrannyMagic

    sadly… I’ve officially made up my mind to not get the next xbox and switch over to PS4… I really,REALLY,wanted a reunion with this game………. fudgecake.

  • Kchorrex

    Hoping for an eventual PC release in case the Xbone one flops

  • Göran Isacson

    I must admit that I’m curious how the “get one free, buy the rest” method will work out. Will this possibly be a new ave of beat-em-ups, where we have gotten so used to playing beat-em-ups online only, never on the couch, that releasing games in which you only have a paltry few characters from the start and buy the rest ala Leage of Legends WILL become the new thing?

    I’m not gonna pretend I know business. I’ve seen that League of Legends is a BUG success, and if I squint I can see the similarities between DOTA-games like that and regular fighting games. But if those similarities are strong enough to cross over between genres and make this and that new Tekken Revolution game as succesful as League? I could not say. I can only say I’m interested in finding out whether the experiment will pay off, or if one of the experiments will pay off while the other won’t, etc.

  • Heath Bunch

    Man, I loved Killer Instinct back in the day, but I just can’t get excited about anything on the Xbox One with all that anti-consumer nonsense they’ve got going on. Just have to remind myself its not even made by Rare, and the Rare that did create Killer Instinct has been dead for years.

  • Yan Zhao

    Want the game, dont want Xbox One.

  • ShadowDivz

    It’s so weird seeing Saberwulf in 3D.
    I just keep staring at the screen.

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