Hands-On With Killer Instinct

At Fan Expo 2013, I got to play a pre-release build of Killer Instinct on the Xbox One. Though I wish I could have played the game on a fightstick, it did give me an opportunity to get a feel for the new Xbox One controller and my first new taste of Killer Instinct in over a decade.

Once aspect of the game that I think that people are sleeping on are its visuals. I get that it may not look great in compressed internet video, but I was really taken aback by how great it looked on a big 1080p television. I got to see virtually every major next gen game known to-date at this show, and this was the one game that distinctly looked like something that wouldn’t be possible anywhere else. The level of detail in the visuals is astounding while keeping a rock solid framerate.

Having played a lot of Killer Instinct in the past, I remembered a bit about the game’s combo system. It still features auto doubles, linkers, finishers and combo breakers, though I wasn’t overly successful at most of those. I still managed to crank out a few decent beginner combos that impressed my opponent.

Where it really caught me off guard was with how good it ‘felt’. It takes a lot of subtle and not-so subtle cues from Street Fighter IV, which I think is a great move. Why not follow the best? If you have played and enjoyed that title, you’ll grasp the basic feel for Killer Instinct immediately.

While I have grave concerns over the game’s pricing model and the game isn’t complete yet, I was taken aback by it. This played like a legitimate fighting game while looking better than any other next gen game on display at Fan Expo. I currently don’t have plans to pick up an Xbox One, but if Killer Instinct pans out, I’m going to be very jealous of everyone that made the investment.

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