Xbox One Launch Titles: Review Round Up - Killer Instinct and Launch Trailer Teases Fulgore [VIDEO]

By Luke Caulfield , Updated Nov 22, 2013 09:41 AM EST
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The Xbox One is out worldwide today, so it's time to look at some of the exclusive launch titles that Microsoft's next-gen console has to offer. First up, the fighter we haven't heard from in well over a decade, Double Helix's attempt at a revamp for the infamous Killer Instinct. Read below to see how it hold's up to what Rare offered so many years ago:

Joystiq, 6/10 - "Killer Instinct isn't finished yet. It's an attempt to get players to buy into a promise that the full game is still on the way, that investing now will guarantee an experience on par with other fighting games - eventually. Right now, there's little else aside from training, survival and online modes. There isn't a story mode or an arcade mode, though the latter is promised for the future. There are only six fighters, with two more to come during the game's first season of content. As it stands, Killer Instinct is a streamlined fighter designed as a far-reaching modular experience, which highlights one of its key problems: a dearth of content...as much as Killer Instinct is a sound and inviting fighter mid-battle, it's an experience that ultimately feels hollow everywhere else. Online play - as spare as it is - may present a limitless well of competition to draw from, but with only six fighters to master and very few modes of play, Killer Instinct lacks the value and staying power offered by most other modern fighting games. With more characters and content on the way, the future might be different. At present, there just isn't enough to do."

Shacknews, 7/10 - "For fighting fans, the launch of Xbox One doesn't offer much beyond Killer Instinct, a revival of the classic Super Nintendo-era franchise. Many hallmarks of the series are here, including bombastic combos and back-and-forth battles. And while the gameplay proves capable, the lack of game modes and fighters make the initial release feel like an incomplete product. Killer Instinct is built on a bedrock of rock-paper-scissors combat. While the game's exterior boasts flashy multi-hit combos and keen special moves, the foundation centers around counters, making it more a game of cat-and-mouse, rather than a race to brutalize the opponent. It's a formula that may entice veterans, but might also chase off newcomers...At launch, Killer Instinct serves as a solid foundation for what could eventually become a good fighting game. More characters and stages are coming down the line, but at launch, the game's limited single and multiplayer modes are glaring and will grow stale quickly."

Edge, 7/10 - "Those afraid to venture online will find the singleplayer component lacking, too. A 40-stage Dojo tutorial is pitched as not only an introduction to Killer Instinct but its genre as a whole, yet the former comes first. You’re asked to perform extended combos before being walked through fighting game basics such as cross-ups and reversals. An Arcade mode will only be added once the roster has expanded to eight fighters; in the meantime, you’ll have to make do with a Survival mode that partially refills your health after each victory. Fighting games live or die online nowadays, but Killer Instinct’s business model dictates that Jago will be your most frequent opponent. Double Helix intends to rotate which fighter is offered for free, but that will only go so far with so slender a roster. There’s a fantastic combo system at Killer Instinct’s core, but right now it feels like half a game – one full of promise, certainly, but not an especially next-gen one either. The cascade of particles may not be enough to retain player interest until the rest of the game arrives."

IGN, 8.4/10 - "It's been said that you can never have too much of a good thing, but how much is enough? This is the question I kept asking myself as I poured hour upon gleeful hour into Killer Instinct. In a fighting game, how many characters is too few? How much can I really get out of it without an arcade or story mode? Quite a lot, it turns out. KI makes up for its modestly sized cast of just six characters by offering scads of unlockables, excellent training modes, and most importantly, a combat system that’s as fun and flashy as it is smart...The sad truth about fighting games is that much of what makes playing them against others interesting is usually kept obscured. Killer Instinct succeeds enormously at exposing all of that information to players of all skill levels. Not only is its combat system flashy and well thought out, it's well explained too, thanks to its powerful training tools, and what is easily the most complete guide to terminology and tactics ever assembled in a fighting game. Though it lacks an arcade mode or a full-sized character roster, Killer Instinct delivers where it counts."

Obviously, the game's roster is a bit of a weak point, but good things come to those who wait. Thanks to the game's launch trailer, we now know that Killer Instinct's cyborg Fulgore (my personal favorite) is set to hit the game this March, after Spinal's respective January arrival. With these two, only Cinder is missing to make the original game's lineup complete.

Check out the trailer below.

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