Shadow Lords VS Story mode?

Hi Guys

Im intrested to how people feel about this?

Im missing Story mode hard.

Shadow lords story is insignificant for me… The story that is there is hidden away too deep into text for my liking.

Game play wise i love it! its good fun and it lasts longer… but for me its much more forgettable.

How has everyone found it!?

[poll name=vote]

  • Shadow lords is better game play!
  • Story mode is better for the KI Lore
  • Something in between would be nice!

I’ll happily take the long-term replayability of a roguelike type game (Shadow Lords) over a more heavily presented Story mode which I will only ever play once (Story/Arcade) any time it is offered in a fighting game.

I played through MKX’s story once, and through the character arcade mode once each with a few characters - there’s no point at all to play them again, ever in my opinion. It’s the same in KI - once I beat a character’s story I never went back.

Action/shooter games’ campaigns (which I play a lot of) typically get a single playthrough, and the rest of my time is spent playing multiplayer or some sort of challenges, though certain series like Bioshock are an exception; RPGs are really the only place I want a heavily presented story, because they are typically longer, don’t involve competitive multiplayer, and allow me to role play my character and make decisions.

No “traditional” fighting game story mode that I can think of has any kind of decision-making branching paths, so why fight the same series of characters over and over, either watching or skipping the cutscenes because I’ve seen them already? Shadow Lords adds a lot of new ways to play, has tons of potential for expansion and adding new content to the game (both in and out of SL) and has new stuff happening every time you play, meaning you get a different experience.


i get all of this. I just dont find SL very interesting…

Yeah your right FPS usually give around one or two play thoughts… but thats what the MP is for and i feel thats already covered in terms of playablity?

It feels like a battle mode rather than an epic face off with Gargos.

for me that underminds his presence in the game.

It’s a bit loaded question, since all options are kinda true.

I would put more quest chains and 3-4 cinematics per character(or even static loading screen with text between fights, like s2 did).

But overall I prefer SL over s1 and s2 story mode. I got all the endings on s1-2 and never played that mode again, and I still play SL sometimes, and I already have all the mimics I want. I do it because I like the mode itself


I’m not saying that they couldn’t improve SL by adding more cutscenes or story to it, what I’m saying is that a mode like SL (or Weapon Master mode in Soul Calibur… 2? 3?) adds a lot of additional content and replayability to the game, where a “traditional” story mode (like MKX, Skullgirls, DOA5 to name some recent ones) may try to focus more on projecting the story to you, but adds nothing worth replaying in my opinion.

I could tell you a lot more interesting stories about the crazy power combinations I’ve fought with/against in Shadow Lords or the special scenarios from Weapon Master mode than I could about the story events in the games Iisted.

Yes, I’m expecting to spend more time playing a shooter (outside of RPG shooter hybrids like Fallout or Bioshock) in its multiplayer modes, but if we’re discussing the replayability and interest of a single player story mode, it’s worth comparing.


To be honest i prefered the edge master mode lol. That was AMAZING but i cant play that in 2016. For me SL was an amazing chance to really bring that kind of mode back by mixing vairred game play with quests AND story?.. i just found the quests or missions a bit like text boxes rather than something i could REALLY enjoy and get immersed in. Yes its cool to collect and use new powers but its ultimately grindy

Most of the text was displayed on generic loading screens witch made me want to just skip it! lol

#If it was presented with more art and personality this mode for me could have been everything! As it stands the game mode for me is SOLID game play (hats off), so solid i can almost see the gears turn rather than be transported into the KI universe and forget all about the game.

I KNOW game play and keeping people playing is SUPER important! Thats the main thing! But for me SL stumbled. Ive played it though twice… its good fun dont get me wrong but for me it didnt move the KI story on.

If KI was a book or story then the last chapter would be a bit all over the place lol merging the story modes with SL could have given us that ONE destination story gameplay mode we was waiting for!

And in terms of classic endings I understand what you mean… But i remember most of KI 1, 2s and SF endings and they were YEARS ago!

for example:

Ken: Spoilt millionair sent to train / Champion - Married / Kids / Possible: Kens son being in SF?

Chun Li: Gets trained to fight by Gen / avenging her dad / Becomes a police office / Opens a kun Fu school / Possible: Chun lis student being in SF?

These story endings are REALLY small and silly but the lore they add goes forward to making possible future SF characters. Its simple and easy to read but can also be very deep an interconected (like we’ve seen in the comics)

Now we hear they are making a KI comic? Why do we need this if we have an adequte story mode? Why not put the comic INSIDE SL mode?


I went for in between. SL is great but it’s poor as story goes. No s3 lore characters had a beginning narrative unless you knew about the novella ( which was tres awesome).
No one knows what happened to any of the character arcs at the end of SL or s3. Who actually beat gargos? Did anybody actually accomplish their end goal? Did anybody die in the process?

Did Kim wu actually try on a different colour of purple coat??

These things are really important to me for the game. By all means expand SL to tell these stories or give us a story mode for all the characters now that had finally arrived.

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Gimme an arcade mode like season 1/2 or towers in MK.

Then I will be happy.


I myself have never been a lore person. Yes, I do enjoy reading up on the story, but I find a story mode to be a waste of resources. In my opinion, the amount of effort/money needed for voice acting and cinematics doesn’t seem worth it. I’ve never played a story mode in a shooter/fighter/action game more than once (maybe revisited for a moment to get achievements). Take a game like Dark Souls. I can repeat the game and clear each area/boss several times, but the experience is different when I play as a mage versus playing as a paladin. The gameplay will be different.

In the case of fighting games, I’m just fighting AI with a nice cinematic in between each fight. Stories generally last about four hours in fighters. Three of those hours go to cinematics, and one hour goes to fighting AI. On top of that, no matter how often I play the mode, it will ALWAYS be the same thing over and over. Upping the difficulty will make the AI stronger, but the gameplay will still be the same. I’ll be playing against AI (which I can do outside of story), and I’ll most likely be spending more time playing characters I dislike using than I will spend playing characters I like. To sum it up, I don’t think time should be wasted on cinematics for a story mode that lacks any form of replay value.

Shadow Lords is a nice spin on story mode. For starters, I get to choose who to play as, and avoid a story mode that forces me to use protagonists. Another thing I like is that SL prevents any character from getting a lot of focus. MK for example only ever focuses on the good guy’s/Earth’s perspective, and several characters like Baraka, Reptile, etc get reduced to filler. The bias for protags in story may give new players a bad impression when it comes to characters like Baraka. He is unique in that he has those arm blades and his monstrous look compared to others on the roster, but after playing story, casuals may think he’s just a “dumb lackey.” A simple solution is to give every character attention, but realistically, that leads to a more broad story. It’s unrealistic to expect an in depth showcase of every character in a story that will likely not be over a few hours long.

Welp, I feel like I rambled a bit too much. To sum it up, I think the ratio between replay value and effort is too small to make story mode “worth it.” Yes, cutscenes do look nice, but for a mode that will likely be visited by most people once or twice, I feel like money could be invested in content/features that offer more longevity to the game.

Make Shadow Lords a better arcade mode. Intro cutscenes that varies based on captain. Some story missions scattered inbetween. Fight your rival. Omens arrive. Preparing for Gargos. Fight and defeat Gargos cutscene. It is alright so far. We are lacking one thing though. What happens after?


I would like to see a more cohesive story/arcade mode. To me that is a base/core FG staple that has been severely overlooked in this generation of FGs by both KI and SF. And I really don’t think it would be too much effort to bring that together. I mean sure, having Max play around with the cg models to make new cutscenes would be nice, but at this point I’d be happy with little more than concept art and text read by the KI narrator for each ending.

Oh, and one thing that has to go is the mural menu. That is one of the most off-putting parts of story/arcade mode IMHO. Maybe make it where you press Y or Menu or something to bring it up, but when you just want to pick your character, pick your difficulty, and go, but it gets blocked by the Sears/Kmart coupon savings club cashier of a mural menu (but wait, if you pick Cinder on Very Hard you’ll get an extra 10,000 XP!)

All these fun modes & stuff aside, sometimes I just would like to sit down, pick a character, pick a difficulty, and play through a vanilla ladder that ends in a boss fight and get a quick reward of a glimpse of what happens to that character after he/she won.

The real important question is, what’s stopping them from keeping both?

The team has reacted to our call for additional modes after all.

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Shadow lords isn’t my thing at all but the mode is fine for people who like those type of game modes but the mode itself shouldn’t be part of the Story of KI to me making Shadow lords the conclusion to the story was a bad idea

shadow lords are really fun. But, i miss a true arcade like old classic KI games with Spinal and Fulgore before the final boss. Its just another thing that is gone from the game. Just as the announcer used to say the name of each fighter before it started. :frowning:
We should have a simple arcade like it was back at KI arcade but this time you face Spinal, Fulgore AND Eyedol before you finally reach Gargos. Im quite sure even the casual audience would love it.
If i want to play some KI story but my internet is broken i cant because SL rely on network stuff.

I don’t like using multiple characters or being forced to use specific characters, so story mode all the way for me.

I think this is the best way to improve SLs’ story presentation. if the text had been accompanied with art, it would have gone that much further in portraying the lore. JUST text can get old for sure.

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Till now I cant really get the idea behind shadow lords. Anyway, they should have it like the campaign in budokai 2 with the cute Chess pawns.and cool effects during pawn interactions. SL is 80 % text based narration , no one will sit and read that.

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Having a completely linear story mode ala MKX or SFV would be unbelievably boring and predictable. Good guy wins, bad guy loses, something happens in the middle. Rent the game to play it once or watch it as a video on Youtube and never touch it again.

Personally, I much prefer the Arcade mode approach to fighting games over the more “cinematic” They act like “What If” situations rather than a linear sequence of events. Every single character has a different story to tell, and they get their own reward for completing their journey and overcoming the odds. Every character has an opportunity to have closure, rather than having a few “protagonists” juggle fights between one another while the characters you actually like playing either get used and thrown away after a fight or two or left in the dust completely. Hell, if you follow the KI2/Season 1 approach, your actions actually change the outcome of your character’s story. This puts the player in complete control of what their experience is, making your character’s accomplishments feel like your accomplishments.

This is where Shadow Lords comes in. It incorporates some of what I love about Arcade modes, and some of what I hate about linear narratives. Good news? Every play through is different. Team comp, guardians, events, day by day choices, etc all change each time you play. Game play wise, it’s like Arcade Mode on crack. There’s even unique story stuff for… Some of the characters. But they have unique mission for everyone, which is awesome!

The bad news? Story wise it’s pretty homogenous. “Gargos is coming, stop him!.. You’ve defeated Gargos! Pat on the Back…You!” Apart from a few characters, no one gets any sort of special reward for beating the shadow lord, even characters like Jago or Omen or Kan-Ra or even Tusk and Kim Wu who’d have an especially vested interest in seeing Gargos die. No one gets to get any sort of closure to what’s supposed to be their stories. A huge chunk of the characters aren’t even involved outside of the missions.

So, outside of just adding an arcade mode for each character, what can be done to make Shadow Lords better? Make each character’s journey mean something. Have your captain’s plot unfold in a unique way, give everyone their own reward for beating Gargos rather than “The day is saved, thanks to The Powerpuff Girls!”

I mean, a good ol’ arcade mode could work as well, but game play wise Shadow Lords is freaking awesome! Give me a reason not to skip every dialogue/cutscene I see in a run. Give me a sense of satisfaction, and five my character some closure. After all, they/I beat Gargos and everyone else, presumably. They should be rewarded, canon be damned.

TL;DR- Arcade Mode for each character> Linear story. Use multiple endings and unique branching character stories to improve Shadow Lords to make it truly awesome.


depend which story mode you mean I don’t like Season 2 but I do like Season 1’s story mode I don’t like Shadow Lords that much at all I just want a plain Arcade with un-lockable cinematic at the end and thats it Maybe a Cinematic for the Rival if they did it like Tekken 5 Arcade I would be happy.

I see where your coming from but even if the story is linear the story if done well will give you a reason to care about the characters and their journey, and even if it is good guys wins bad guy loses that’s the same thing for shadow lords.

In my opinion and arcade mode and a cinematic story campaign should be separate modes, and if you think about it anyone could easily play shadow lords beat gargos and never touch it again or they could look up the cut scenes and see what happens.

I think shadow lords was a bad call to make it part of this games overall story like what if you didn’t want to play as any of the what 5 or 6 characters with unfinished stories and play as rash… he has no story at all they could have had fun with the guest characters it was a huge missed opportunity to me

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