Killer Instinct and Project Scorpio

I should preface this post with why I believe a KI sequel will happen.

KI is aging, I don’t think anyone will argue that.

The graphics? Still top of the line.

How about the gameplay? Still some of the most fun in the industry.

But with Project Scorpio and the PS4 Neo soon to come, the bar is about to be raised all over again! The next wave of fighting games will be dropping over the next few years. Likley starting with MK11 and then moving on to Street Fighter VI. And some other fighters that I’m not too familiar with scattered and buried under the big names.

These games will CRUSH the standards that we have set for a modern fighting game! And KI as the platform it’s advertised as will be left behind… why you ask? Didn’t Microsoft advertise the Scorpio as a simple upgrade to the Xbox One?

They say everything that runs on the Scorpio will run on the Xbox One as well. But that’s not realistic, especially for fighting games. One day a developer will come up to Microsoft (or Sony respectively) and say:

“Hey, we’ve got this amazing feature we really want to add in our next game! But we can only do it with Scorpio’s hardware… The Xbox One version will have to go without it…”

Or better yet, what if with the next Halo game 343 Industries went to Microsoft and said:

“OK so the way things are now, Halo 6 can run at 4K 60FPS on Scorpio (Yeah right…) but the Xbox One version can only run at 1080P at 30FPS.”


“Hey Microsoft, in Killer Instinct Season 4, we can introduce a total graphics update AND the game will run at 4K on Scorpio! But The Xbox One version can’t support this upgrade. Meaning the Xbox One version will have worse graphics.”

See the problem? These kinds of scenarios will divide communities. Soon we will get games only releasing for Scorpio and people will be forced to upgrade. Not much you can do about that, it’s inevitable.

Not only that, but say KI didn’t change at all and Microsoft didn’t plan a better looking (and playing) sequel. That new wave of fighting games? Well you can kiss our casual userbase goodbye because when those BEAUTIFUL looking games hit the market, everyone will be playing those instead.

I don’t have anything to prove this, but I’ll risk a guess and say that over half of the people who purchased this game were casuals who will leave the second SFVI for Scorpio hits the shelves.

No way did Microsoft bring KI back to let it die all over again. And don’t worry guys, I am 99.9% sure KI is here to stay for a looong time.

So that’s it. From a business perspective that’s why I believe there will be a KI sequel. On to the point of this post!

In this completely hypothetical KI sequel, the gameplay needs to be improved and built upon. I brought this up in another thread and was asked what I would do. And honestly? I have no clue…

So let’s start from scratch. Forget everything you know about this KI (including the combo system) and tell me what you would do to improve the gameplay for the sequel!


To me the gameplay is top of the line and doesn’t need much change but the graphics are one of the games major failings.

Graphical Pros:
Excellent player models
Brilliant particle effects
Awesome lighting effects

Graphical Cons:
Texture quality is pretty bad up close.
Most non-attack based animations need work. (Stage ultras, ultra win poses, some timeout animations)
Some stage backgrounds look like JPEG desktop images.
Stage clutter is very low quality. (Skulls on Spinal’s stage for example)

I’d prefer to see an HD remaster of this game on the Scorpio or something along those lines, or just update the game to allow for better visuals if it detects you’re playing on the Scorpio. That way the game can still coexist with the other version without causing all of the drama you just described.


Even better visuals could be considered a competitive advantage though. Then we get into the drama of figuring out which one is the definitive tournament edition.

Lets ignore graphical stuff and go to gameplay stuff. What the game needs is some revolutionary single player. You can’t really change the game play much. Add some stuff here and there. New meter. Replacing some mechanics. Small stuff. However,content wise can be huge. They need to take advantage of the Shadow Labs. Imagine if they had “armies” that Gargos(or whoever is the big bad) created from fighters around the world? It updates every know and then. This can even be crucial to the story mode. Let’s say the story is after the KI we currently have. Gargos is defeated and stuff. You choose Jago to take down the Shadow army. Then you unlock Jago quest 1. It is a cinematic flashback to the events in this game that Jago was in. For example,you start the quest,there is a starter cutscene showing how Jago came to be. Then he faces a crisis with the Tiger spirit. Turns out to be Gargos and plays out the events of this game that Jago is in. Same for other characters. This allows to be have an arcade mode with Shadows,character specific stories,and a main central cinematic story. If this is advertised right,then casuals will love it and can be a huge hit.

This game definitely needs a bigger budget. I don’t know why Microsoft won’t give it to them. IG has more than proven their worth.

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I suspect they will. It may not be massively bigger, but IG will probably have a little more wiggle room.

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I’m pretty sure Microsoft has a good business relationship with Blur studios. It would be expensive, but Microsoft could fund a cinematic story mode if they had enough faith in the franchise.

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I’m not sure why you keep bringing up Blur Studios… Just because they did the Halo cinematics in HMCC doesn’t mean that they will be used in another MS franchise, much less at all. It could’ve just as easily been a 1 time deal between the 2 companies.

As far as a sequel goes, I dont want 1. What I would like is a pseudo-upgrade. Same characters with the same gameplay, but with improved graphics, more modes, expanded story, etc. - basically it would just be another season that makes the game look and run far better with more features. That way we can still get a lot of what we want without having to shell out the cash for an entirely new game or have to re-learn everything from the ground up.

With that said, I’d love for IG to figure out a way to improve the animations and character models where the game wouldn’t have to rely on mirrored characters, but even I already know that that’s a pretty tall order and is asking a lot, so I don’t think that’ll happen any time soon, if ever…

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They also did Halo 5’s cinematics and Spartan Ops. I can dream damn you!

Also, saying you want better graphics in this version is easy. But I’m pretty sure IG has done all they can. The game doesn’t even run at a full 1080P on Xbox.

Not to mention that an upgraded Scorpio version would divide the community.

This I agree with 100%. But love the graphics too.

IMO, as a fan, wouldn’t want KI2 this gen (who knows if XB Scorpio is “next gen” or just like a “New 3DS” or something).

Wouldn’t want divided fan base, or milked to death. Would love to be proven wrong, but I’d say let us and IG get hungry for making a full sequel. Wait until next gen for a sequel to KI.

Just want more DLC, full cinematic cutscenes in single player and stuff. Give other people time to get the full depth of KI’s mechanics.

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Blur didn’t do Halo 5 or Spartan Ops, that was all 343. The only things Blur have done with MS are Halo 2 and Halo Wars.

This is actually something I forgot to address in my earlier reply that I feel still needs to be addressed - IMO, I don’t think that it would. Just because a game runs at higher graphics on 1 platform doesn’t mean that the players on older platforms will automatically be left behind. This will especially be true with numerous Xbox titles in the future with some examples already being in circulation even now (Killer Instinct, Rocket League, and World of Tanks are all good examples of this very thing). Graphics, if anything, won’t necessarily be what splits the community…

I love the graphics too but they’re dated for sure, if the game looked as good as it plays… it would be the hottest fighting game around hands down.

Examples: Every PC game ever released.


I wouldn’t say ki has top of the line graphics… It has some pretty terrible textures, especially up close, and especially the retro costumes. Anyways, I think you’re pretty much right about everything you said about better looking games coming out for Scorpio and neo, that eventually the regular Xbox won’t be able to run, which will in turn split the community. However I think that a new KI won’t be out nearly as soon as you think. Nor will street fighter 6 or MK11. You’re kind of worrying about something that won’t happen for many years. Who knows what MS will have in store by then? They very well could be planning KI 4, but I wouldn’t worry about it now.

I don’t believe any of that will happen.

KI isn’t going to lose its support any time soon and we’re especially not going to suddenly get a sequel after the work they’ve put into Shadow Lords. The game’s visuals are the only thing that needs updating for the aforementioned texture issues, but more importantly the various lighting issues that have spawned as a result to the stage lighting overhaul needs fixing above all else.

New console hardware also doesn’t automatically require a new version of the game to be developed just to use said hardware. KI on Windows 10 is currently playable at 4K 60fps for those who have the rigs for it. Scorpio will give console players the resolution increase and that’s it. If Season 4 were to feature a large graphics update it wouldn’t negatively affect the Xbox One version whatsoever but simply be a case of reduced resolution, which wouldn’t divide anybody. The Scorpio version would simply be the same game with less restrictions on res.

Theoretically, the most this would be is a graphical feature. Gameplay would be required to be at parity on every platform the game appears on, and there’s really nothing gameplay related that would require better hardware anyways. It just doesn’t work like that.

MK11 and Street Fighter VI aren’t happening any time soon. Injustice 2 hasn’t dropped and will be NRS’ main game until they’ve finished its DLC schedule, then maybe we’ll start seeing MK11 concepts but this won’t be happening for several years at minimum.
Street Fighter V just came out; it’s brand new. The game’s platform is similar to KI’s and both are intended to carry their games for quite a while, hence why these platforms exist in the first place. SFV in particular is planned to have 5 year support at the very least. What’s likely to happen is we’re just going to see SFV on the Neo with the same graphical options PC players get, which is again 4k support, and a few extra shader options. If you’ve ever seen SFV running on a PC with everything enabled at max, that’s pretty much what you’re going to get on the Neo.

In short, there’s no reason for SFVI to exist for at least 5 years, and even then I don’t see it happening. SFV is just getting started.

As for KI, it is still young in its lifespan. We simply don’t need a new game when we have a perfectly good one already that has been explicitly set up to be improved. A graphics update could happen, but it won’t divide communities. MS and Sony both understand that not everyone will buy the new console. Sony supported the PS2 far, far into the lifespan of the PS3 and since the PS4 is still young there’s just as little reason to gradually force customers to upgrade. You will not be seeing many games releasing on the Neo but not the PS4 and the same goes for Scorpio.

All of these games are sitting on developer workstations running at the highest resolutions. They’re developed that way and then trimmed down to fit on consoles and rigorously tested for performance. Such cuts will be graphically inclined, such as less NPCs in town areas (for related games), less VFX on player abilities, etc. Gameplay will not be affected, especially for a fighting game.

Furthermore, what exactly needs to be improved and built upon in regards to KI’s gameplay that wouldn’t be possible for the game we already have? Why do we need a new game to do this? Why do we need such a change in the first place?

Don’t fix what isn’t broken.



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I really do hope so, because this game deserves to get the same AAA treatment as their other games.

I still don’t really see what’s wrong with the graphics. They aren’t quite as crisp as MKX’s graphics, but it looks solid to me. It’s 3 years old and still looks better than KOF14 and that game isn’t even out yet lol

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