What to Expect from Killer Instinct at E3 2014 - Prima Games

What to Expect from Killer Instinct at E3 2014

by Bryan Dawson

Killer Instinct had an interesting year. It was announced at E3 2013 when we saw Sabrewulf, Jago and Glacius. As the months went by, we checked out more characters until the game launched with the Xbox One. After that, we saw the release of Spinal and Fulgore. Now season one has come to an end, with only Fulgore’s classic costume left to be released. However, Amazon purchased original developer Double Helix Games, and the development of Killer Instinct handed off to Iron Galaxy.

As we rapidly approach E3 2014, there’s been a lot of speculation about what Microsoft and Iron Galaxy will show when it comes to Killer Instinct. Season two was confirmed, and Microsoft stated that Killer Instinct will be shown at E3, but what should fans of the classic fighting game expect to see? The coming months will be interesting, but E3 will kick things off with a bang.

Microsoft knew of the Amazon acquisition of Double Helix long before it was made public. The reigns of Killer Instinct were handed over to Iron Galaxy quite some time ago. The company needed the extra time to learn the custom tools of the Hex Engine that Double Helix designed for the game. The people at Iron Galaxy also needed to understand the basic design philosophies that the Double Helix staff used when creating the KI characters and stages. It won’t help fans if season one is vastly different from season two because of the change in developers. The two seasons need to feel like one complete game to make this work.

E3 2014 will essentially be the public announcement of season two for Killer Instinct. Internet-savvy gamers have known about the new season for some time, but the masses are still in the dark. E3 is when all of this will change and you can bet that KI will have some sort of presence at the Microsoft press conference scheduled for 9:30 AM on Monday, June 9th. It probably won’t get a full stage demo like it did last year (mainly to show off Xbox One console features), but you can almost guarantee a new trailer will show off the first bits of season two.

While Double Helix launched season one with six characters, the game is out and established at this point. Iron Galaxy won’t need to release that same number of characters to establish season two. We expect the second season to start with as few as two characters, or as many as four characters.

One of the keys to success in a model like Killer Instinct uses is to keep the content steadily flowing. If you have long gaps between content releases, you lose too much of your audience. Because of this, we expect season two to release sometime late in the summer, around August or possibly September. The launch of the new season will likely start with three or four characters, then follow with a new character every other month. It’s even possible we’ll see an earlier release (July) with two characters, but this is less likely.

At E3, expect to see a trailer officially announcing season two to the masses, and featuring two or three characters. It’s widely assumed that season two will include the remaining six classic characters from the original Killer Instinct and Killer Instinct 2, plus two brand new characters. Of the remaining classic characters, T.J. Combo, Cinder and Riptor are the fan favorites. We expect at least one of these characters to appear in the E3 trailer, probably joined by one character from KI2. Our best guess? How about a trailer featuring Combo, Cinder and Tusk?

Finally, to make E3 even more exciting for KI fans, we expect at least one of these characters to be playable in kiosks found in the Microsoft booth. While the character likely won’t be 100 percent complete, it’s assumed that Double Helix began working on at least the first season two character long before Iron Galaxy took over. It shouldn’t have taken too long for Iron Galaxy to get that character in a playable state, and possibly even a second character ready by the time E3 rolls around. It should be similar to how Jago and Sabrewulf were playable at E3 2013, followed by the addition of a playable Glacius at Evo 2013 the following July. Iron Galaxy already confirmed that there will be KI news at Evo this year, so we expect a similar scenario.

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