Review: What Score Would You Give Killer Instinct?

KI might get re-reviewed now that it will come to PC at a 60 dollar price tag so I thought it would be fun if the forum gave the game an honest review. Try to think like a journalist and pick at it from their angles. Maybe some things in the SFV review are applicable so use those standards.

Also remember because we don’t know all the deets on Season 3, come back and update your review as more info is released. Seeing opinions change over the next four weeks should be interesting.

9 out of 10.
+Diverse cast
+Well balanced
+Deep fighting mechanics
+Amazing netcode

-Ranking system has too many flaws
-Graphics are starting to show their age (even with the lighting update)
-Too much water


I’ll do mine like SithLordEDP and keep it short.

First Review written on the 5th

8 out of 10
+Diverse Monster Mash Cast
+Unique Combo Mechanics
+Good Tutorial and Beginner Friendly
+Nice Particle Effects
+Awesome Music
+Great Netcode
+Tons of Modes
+Decent Amount of Single Player Content
+Tons of Stages

-Rehashed Animations
-Graphics are Dated
-Faces Look Worse Than Netherrealm Female Faces
-Needs More Signature Characters
-Needs More to Set Itself Apart from SF or MK
-No Real Story Mode
-Ladder Stories are Boring and just Still Images
-Colors take forever to Unlock, MicroTrans Inducing
-Not for people who don’t like Rock
-Shadows Mode not Truly Realized, Serves as Endless Ladder

Overall a great game but it’s still in the shadow of the other Big Two and needs something special to truly forge its own identity outside of gameplay mechanics. Visually, KI does not stand on par to other fighting games on the market.

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I’m not really in a good place to be a reviewer, since I just love the game. But here’s my version:


+Intuitive combo system
+Low execution barrier
+Breaker/counter breaker system
+Fantastic character design
+Fantastic diversity in fighting styles
+Unbelievable internet play

-Polish: still has a “rough around the edges” feel in overall presentation
-Missing some additional training options and character specific tutorials
-Uneven story mode (I actually like both the S1 and S2 story modes, but the fact that the two seasons are so different does stick out).


Review to come upon S3 release. Stay tuned! :wink:

Assuming you have Season 1, 2 + Shadow Jago aka everything the game has to offer up until now

Let me start by saying I somehow missed the original KI games back in the day as a kid so this is the first KI I have ever played and just got it in December, so I have no nostalgia “blinding” me or life long love for the series (Like I do with MK) so I have no reason to lie and say its better than it is.

With that said I would still give this game a 10/10.

It has everything a good fighting game could ever ask for IMO.

You have a fantastic “dojo” mode that is pretty much the single best tutorial in any fighting game ever. It goes over things other tutorials rarely if ever touch on such as crossups, frame data, hitboxes etc. This is amazing. Like I said, I have been playing fighters my whole life but it was always casually until earlier last year, so I had no idea what really any of this stuff was prior, I had heard of it, but didn’t understand it. KI’s tutorial really helps.

Next is the “Combo Assist” option. This is a great thing to have IMO. Learning and understanding KI at first was a little overwhelming, and it does things like combos a bit different than others, and this mode kind of allows you to see how things are supposed to look. That is how I learned the combos. I really didnt get the textual explanations, but after playing the first month with CA on, I understood the combo set up (Opener, linker AD/manual ender etc.) so in just a little time doing nothing but single player modes/Shadow lab, I was able to turn CA off and play the game like everybody else. I actually recently made it to Killer Rank. CA helped me understand the game and combo system better, this is great for other people who may have trouble understanding the combo system at first.

Then we have the other single player stuff like training mode, VS, survival, and story. All are great. So for people out there who don’t play online, the game does have single player content, and survival will surely keep you plenty busy. There is also the Shadow Lab which is a phenomenal mode, this is what I used to “train” for the first month or so. Its like fighting human like AI, but without having to worry about online lag, rage quitters, hate mail, W/L ratio, and just the nervousness that can come with playing against people online that I know some people have. This mode will also keep you busy, and its really fun because all the shadows fought play different. Its great.

The online is also fantastic. You can play ranked (Which has a pretty good ranking system IMO) you can do for fun exhibition matches, or create or join a lobby which is very much like a King Of The Hill style mode, actually its exactly like MK’s KOTH modes if anybody is familiar with that. Lastly is the netcode, which is easily the best I have ever experienced myself. Rarely have I experience disconnects, lag or characters teleporting around the screen. I don’t have the best internet (Thanks to where I live) but my experience with the online has been great so far.

Next is the roster. At this point you have a hefty 18 characters to choose from. Now to some that may not sound like a lot BUT this is not the kind of fighter with a bunch of characters that play almost the exact same way. Just about every character is extremely unique with the most similar being Jago and Shadow Jago, and even they play different still, much more different than say Ryu and Ken from SF (Or Ryu and Evil Ryu)

This part is subjective I will admit, but I feel strongly about this so I will share it. The characters in this game are AWESOME. I am not even talking about their gameplay right now, I am talking strictly design/appearance. If you are like me and have to like something about a character to want to really play and learn them (Whether it be appearance, story, personality, motives etc.) chances are somebody in KI will be to your liking. You have a warrior monk, a native american warrior, an ice alien, a burning man, a robot, a werewolf, a bad ■■■ firecat summoning lady, a mysterious yet awesome spider woman, a war golem, a J-horror inspired ghost girl, a skeleton pirate, a mummy, and much more.

The fighting arenas/stages. Just like the characters in the roster, each one is unique and a pleasure to look at. You have a stage for each character, with Shago and Omen sharing a stage, which is a like a shadow version of Jago’s stage, but other than those two stages each one is unique. The stages have a lot of detail in them, sometimes its fun to just let the game sit so you can kind get a good look at everything and appreciate all of the little details in each one. Great stuff IMO.

The music. I don’t even know what to say about the game’s music. Its (excuse my language) f****** amazing! Even the title screen/theme is awesome. I can literally just sit there and listen to it for a few minutes before I even start playing the game because I like it so much. Each stage also has unique music. Obviously taste in music is subjective and differs person to person, but IMO this game’s sound track is one of the best. Easily the best of any other current or next gen fighting game. No contest.

Next is the actual gameplay. I already spoke about the combo assist and how I believe it helped me learn the game a bit quicker than I would have without it. The gameplay is fun, its fast, its addicting, its accessible, and it feels rewarding. When you get that huge combo in, cash out all that white life in your opponent’s health bar with a damage ender and see that huge chunk disappear it feels good. I also mentioned this earlier but every character is unique. They all have something special to them (Typically their Instinct) whether it be from Spinal’s searing skulls the drain your opponents shadow meter, Jago’s ability to heal himself with his instinct fireballs, ARIA’ 3 “bodies” that she can switch between mid match, or Hisako’s wrath meter. Everybody has something somebody else in the game is not capable of doing. There is much more to the gameplay such as your shadow meter, instinct meter, shadow moves, combo breakers, counter breaker, shadow counters etc. and it may sound like a lot but it isnt bad once you play and start getting the hang of things. The dojo will go over all of it, as will Infil’s amazing guide It’s long but I guarantee it can answer just about any question anyone has regarding KI’s gameplay.

So yeah, thats pretty much my “review” I guess lol keep in mind I am not an actual reviewer so this is bound to be riddled with run on sentences, grammatical errors and all sorts of things so don’t pick me apart for it, this is just a little bit of me sharing my thoughts on the game as it is currently lol

TLDR: The game is amazing and I really can’t think of a single thing I dislike about it. So yeah, for me its a 10/10.


Thanks for sharing your perspective. It’s really nice to hear from someone who is relatively new to the game. I think your experience with combo assist especially is good information to have. Also, your review reminds me that as much as many of us would like character specific tutorials etc. the existing dojo mode really is a model of excellence in the fighting game arena. It actually explains in plain English what you are supposed to be doing and why.


no words just 10/10 amazin work

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Yeah Combo Assist really did help me, or at least I feel like it did. Id liken it to training wheels on a bicycle. It helped me understand and get a feel for how riding a bike is supposed to feel until I was comfortable enough to try riding it without the training wheels lol it sounds kind of corny but that’s exactly how it felt to me. I think CA is a great thing to have. That’s not to say it will help everybody or that everybody will take the time to learn to play without it, but I do think it will generally do more good than bad.

I do think character specific tutorials would be great too, just a mini mode that goes over every character’s unique abilities and/or traits like Hisako’s Wrath Meter, TJ’s Auto barrage, Fulgore’s meter, Aganos’s chunks etc. I think that would be fantastic. It would make learning characters much easier IMO.


7 / 10

+Extremely Diverse Cast
+Awe-inducing Soundtrack
+Fluid, Deep Combo Mechanics
+Unmatchable Netcode
+Highly Beginner Friendly

-Lacklustre Story Mode
-Outdated Graphics
-Inconsistent Animations
-Clunky UI


IMO fighting games are hard to review. Do you review it from one fighting game fan to another (ie, if I was invited to do a guest review)? Or do you review it on the basis of the casual person playing (ie, if I was invited to do a guest IGN review)? Is the grade I give dependent on the grade I would give other fighting games (ie, do I compare it to a game like SFV?) or just games in general?

Really changes what score I would give the game.

As a FG lover and fan: 10 out of 10.
As a casual gamer, my score would be a bit insulting and the team behind KI doesn’t deserve that.

There was a time when I bought a fighting game and went straight to trials. I used to watch youtube vids especially for these (thanks Vesperarcade) more than I would watch matches between pro players. So if you ask me to review KI then it probably wouldn’t be a fair review as I remain a casual player above all else. I care way more about certain non-gameplay features than I am showing.

KI was my favorite game by default after the SFxT debacle but it has won me over. It is now my favorite FG because of the uniqueness of most characters and diverse gameplay. Officially a fan boy now.

Review scores have always been 2 things: 1) subjective, and 2) flexible. It’s almost always better to simply take them with a grain of salt. :wink:

Personally, that’s why I so often use the Metacritic site - it has aggregate review scores, averaging scores from dozens of review sites for games, movies, and music.

I would say that KI is a fantastic and competent fighter, with only a couple flaws. Technical difficulties are a bit more present here than in other fighting games, but that’s due to the nature of it being a sort of “smaller” game as opposed to a AAA game (at least in terms of budget and notoriety).
But the biggest flaw in KI is also its’ greatest strength; Fighting games are a niche genre, and KI is even more niche than that. It is DEFINETLY

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I’m not going to give a numerical score, but suffice to say I really like it. Killer Instinct 2013-2016 is the first fighting game I’ve been compelled to sink this much time into. It might just be the game I’ve played the most on my Xbone if not the game I’ve played the most in recent years PERIOD. While it doesn’t compare to some of the crazy numbers I see in my friends list, 800 hours is a lot of freakin’ time to spend playing a game, especially considering I have zero nostalgia factor since I only heard of the game when I got my Box for Titanfall (though I’ve since gone back and played the old games and for the most part had a good chunk of fun).
Why do I like it so much? The immediate first impression I got was from the music: That powerful Killer Instinct theme and all of the music that’s followed all came along to rock my world. This game’s soundtrack now occupies the same place in my heart that Doom and Halo do, which is quite something for a game I’ve only played for a few years.
The characters are probably, in my opinion, some of the coolest in games. Every Season there’s a few that really catch my eye, like Sabrewulf, Sadira, Fulgore, Riptor, Hisako, and now Tusk and the Arbiter. Such a huge variety of unique characters with their own game plans visual queues that set them apart both from other fighting games I’ve seen and each other.
Despite the woes it may have caused, the leveling and customization system added in S2 really hit well with me. It kept me coming back and playing for hours on end, even if for the longest time it was just me beating up on bots.
I actually kinda like the simple story mode. Each character has a story with a bit of narration that connects with some of the other characters. I definitely think the Season 2 style is more enjoyable, but it’s not like I play through story mode more than once or twice for this sort of game anyway (before I’d uninstalled it I’d only played through MKX’s “good” story mode once).

With the game constantly evolving and growing bigger (both in terms of actual content and in my understanding/connection to the game) I don’t see myself quitting any time soon. We’ve all got our games we come back to and sink enormous amounts of time into. For my brother it’s League of Legends and Knights of the Old Republic. For me, it’s Doom and Killer Instinct. I’m going to be coming back to this game for a long time. I’ve only just hopped on this ride, but I intend to ride it out for a while.


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Season 1 - 8.5
+Fresh and deep fighting system
+Quality over Quantity

-Lack of content
-questionable art direction in certain areas

Season 2 - 7.5
+Hisako, Kan Ra, Maya, Shago

-Graphical character detail and polish took a step down
-dated UI/HUD
-no Ultimates except Shago
-way too many nerfs
-still no fixed S1 retros when it could be done in a few days

Hopefully Season 3 is the best yet.

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8 - 10


+Fighting is very easy to learn, but leaves plenty of room to learn advanced tech

+Great netcode

+The combo/counter breaker keeps the fighting exciting and keeps the player to player action balanced and fun.

+Cast is diverse, but familiar


-Graphics are sub par compared to some other games (but still not bad)

-Lack of content, no Ultimates, stage enders are lacking, and lots of missed opportunities.

-Attention to small details over looked and some underwhelming additions (Im looking at you ARIA announcer and silent scream stage ender)

With the fighting being the most important detail though, its a great fighter.

As a new player that only has season 1 i’d like to give my opinion on the game, negative point have to be read upside down:

+Solid fighter overall
+Combo sistem is fun and rewarding, great mindgames.
+Characters feel and play unique…
+Online Netcode is really good…
+Particles are amazing and the overall look is appealing…
+Dojo is amazing to learn the game…
-But lacks individual characters tutorials.
-But visuals are inconsistent, some models and faces are really ugly.
-But the matchmaking pairs you with lvl 50 killer players even in bronze division.
-But the games doesn’t have a proper story mode that makes them interesting.

I’d give it a solid 8/10

Also i’d love to have more content, more customization, more taunts, ultimates etc…


Biased review incoming:

*Great Characters
*Amazing Gameplay
*Awesome Visuals
In the middle

Easy to learn Hard to master Imo

-Lacking dojo for every character
-No proper arcade mode :confused:

Final remarks:

One of the best games ever. Helped improved my life in almost every way (this is FACT btw).


Edit: This is only for season 1 & 2 and a joke of a review. Don’t take it too seriously :smiley:

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