Thoughts and Feedback on All Four Launch Characters

I’ll start off by saying that I am a lot less concerned about Season 3 than I was with Season 2, which had me worried from beginning to end and, frankly, will go down as my least favorite season. Although all of us would prefer both, MS/IG seems to be going with the quality over quantity mantra that was missing in Season 2 and I think is best for Killer Instinct.

While there is some discrepancy in quality between the characters, there is nothing that really makes you scratch your head. Here are my thoughts:



It’s no secret that I think Rash is a poor fit for Killer Instinct’s relatively realistic design/art direction but only because he’s an over-the-top cartoon character with cartoony animations, almost giving us a case of ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’. From an artistic standpoint, it just doesn’t jive well with the game’s aesthetic cohesion.

That major gripe aside, Rash is simply one of the best modeled, animated and realized characters in the entire game (not just Season 3), and his wackiness and relatively simple gameplay will surely attract many people to game and win him many fans.


Kim Wu


It’s always nice for KI to get a female character, so Kim Wu is welcomed. However, while she has a very interesting gameplay (too Marvel-esque for KI, if you ask me), MS/IG seem to have given her the least attention with regards to character model, animations and overall design. There is also something very inexplicably off about how she looks in-game, and it probably has something to do with her modeling and size.

Is it just me or does it look like MS/IG took Maya’s character model and shrunk it to create Kim Wu? The two share a common physiology that’s a departure from the other four humanoid females (Orchid, Sadira, Hisako and Aria), and it’s not really wow-inducing.

EDIT: I get that Kim Wu’s fighting style is inspired by Bruce Lee’s, but we have seen other similarly-inspired characters (Fie Long) with more dynamic moves than she has. Her movements and animations are too static and are isolated to just the body parts performing the moves.

She’s also too effect-heavy, with even her normals having over-sized energy effects. It hides her movements.

Kim Wu’s got bite but comes off as one of the blandest and least standout characters in the game. I predict that she will be underused like many of the Season 2 characters, despite her many gimmicks.




Much like Rash, Arbiter is very well-modeled, animated and realized character with a dominating gameplay that will bring a lot of new blood into KI. However, I think MS/IG was too literal with his design, especially his size.

I get that the Sangheili are supposed to be notably bigger than humans on average; however, I don’t think he needed to be almost the size of Aganos to convey that message. He’s a very girthy character, so just making him slightly taller than Tusk in-game would have been enough to communicate that he’s a behemoth, while making a match between him and the smallest characters (Kim Wu and Hisako, especially) not look weird.

Unfortunately, because he’s basically a giant, he comes across as lumbering, his moves appear clumsier than they probably should, and his carbine and bombs look tiny.



Cinder was arguably the most anticipated character in Season 2, but it seems MS/IG didn’t give him the attention that a flagship character comparable to Jago or Fulgore deserved, hence why he isn’t all that popular. I feared that Tusk would be treated the same way, but I’m glad MS/IG learned their lesson.

Tusk, to me, is the best realized character in Season 3 so far and one of the best in the entire game. Aside from his face, everything about him screams quality and I am especially impressed by his animations.

He’s big and powerful but not too big as to look clumsy (cough* Arbiter), his moves have impact and flow smoothly, and his gameplay looks very gratifying. While not exactly as cool as the original Tusk, he’s a badass in his own right. Home run.


Side Note

More on Kim Wu and Tusk’s faces, I think Microsoft might be trying a new facial animation technique that needs some ironing out.

So, do you agree with my assessment? What are your thoughts?


Here’s what I think in short:
RASH is pretty fun no doubt. Love the taunt btw!
KIM WU looks interesting and cute.
ARBITER was unexpected but can’t wait to try him.
TUSK… wow. Well done IG.

I have so much to say about Tusk but I’ll highlight my favorites about him: DID YOU SEE THE DAMAGE! THAT SWORD THO! THE SOUND EFFECTS ON HIS SWORD OMG! This was definitely the biggest hype from Season 3 I’ve ever felt. I think I found another main.

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Both guests are super well realized. It blows my mind how well they translate to KI from their respective franchises and even keep some of their button inputs. The devs clearly put a lot of thought into them and to me those two spots in the roster are definitely justified.

As for Kim and Tusk, I’m excited to try them out. A little more for Kim to be honest. I love her redesign with the dragon tattoo, her outfit and her personality. Tusk seems cool too, aside from the small facial issues.

Oh and on a side note, I really like the voices of all four characters. Yes, also Arbiter’s because I have no attachment to Halo whatsoever.

My personal hype ranking:

4 - Rash, because we sort of know him already
3 - Tusk, cool but probably not my playstyle
2 - Arbiter, he seems to have a lot of room for experimentation
1 - Kim Wu, can’t wait to unleash the Friggin Dragon™

well, I too would scale down Arbiter a little bit and I would also scale down Tusk a little bit. I hope they do that and I hope the new original characters are somewhat average sized, cuz now we either have big ■■■ monsters or super tiny girl.

Let me go over all of them one by one:

RASH: I agree he doesn’t blends well with the rest of the cast, but man those animations are pretty. Animation wise I’d probably place him at the top across all seasons. Great job, and I find his gameplay to be really fun too.

ARBITER: He definitely fits well in the game and I’m loving both gameplay and animations. The only problem is it’s scale, it looks really off. It does look odd because for beast of that size I’d expect more weight to his movements, instead he’s nimble as hell. I love his movements, just shrink him down a litte pretty please.

TUSK: Love the overall design, I just find something to be hilarious in his feet. Can’t quite frame it though, they look a bit cartoony… dunno. His facial expressions need some work, but overall pretty nice and pretty badass. Really loving the moveset, fits the character well. I would just scale him down to maybe Thunder size and speed up both shoulder charge and frontflip animations they feel oddly slow.

KIM: It’s a love/hate relationship. I love the moveset and the concept behind, but I find her design to be somewhat underwhelming. Animation wise I think her biggest problem is her idle stance and animation. It’s very stiff. She’s actually a very dynamic character but that idle stance is too much rigid. I would want her to have a more Bruce Leeesque stance, very fluid, always ready to spring into action. Her face and hair also need some tweaking… unfortunately I feel like her stance isn’t going to changeXD

That’s how I feel about the new roster so far

Rash: I think Rash is very beautifully animated, and actually fits into KI far better than one would think for a man-sized anthropomorphic fighting toad. His gameplay isn’t for me, but he’s dynamic and interesting and I think a lot of people will have a lot of fun with him.

Kim Wu: I actually think she’s animated very well. I like her overall design - the outfit and tattoo, the fingerless glove on one hand. I like her face, I like her attitude, and I like her gameplan. The stiff-back actually is an homage to Bruce Lee, so I find the unfavorable comparisons there amusing. Adam mentioned they were going to loosen her up a little bit with regards to that, but it’s not something that bothered me personally. Her nunchaku animations are fantastic, and she just has a lot of spunk and attitude, which actually really grew on me.

Pet peeve: actually like her intro dialogue at KIWC more than at the recent press event - just had more emotion and attitude in that version.

Arbiter: my vote for best looking character of S3 so far. I LOVE that they accurately represent the size and mass of the Elites, and I think he probably wins in terms of how well he’s designed and just how detailed he is. His armor has a thousand little things that just make it sparkle. Phenomenal design really, with a gameplan that is very unique and out of the box.

Tusk: a functional redesign. I think the sword effects are cool, but I’d be lying if I said I was in love with it or anything. His gameplan doesn’t really appeal to me personally, but it’s another nice variation on the bruiser archetype so that’s cool. I think his animation quality is decent, but nothing to write home about. The actual sword swings do have a great amount of heft and weight to them, so that’s really cool. Has rapey eyes :disappointed_relieved:

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Totally agree, Kim Wu’s attitude in her dialogue were FAR, FAR better in the trailer and KI World Kup build!!!

She had such attitude and “fire”. It made me want to main her immediately. Then I saw her gameplay and now I MUST main Kim Wu!

Now Kim Wu just sounds bored when she talks. :anguished:

Its literally the only thing I don’t like about S3. LOVE everything else!!!

Really? I really hope so. BTW when I said Bruce Lee stance, I meant his weaponless Jumpy stance… Forrest Law’s stance actually:P

Although her stiff stance actually make sense for a counter attack nunchaku style. Keeing the weapon in tension ready to snap. Still makes her look stiff imho

Nah why everytime they make a Bruce Lee type fighter they all have the same type of stance Fei Long, Law and its another one but when you watch a Bruce Lee movie when he had weapons in his hand he stood exactly like she stands

Yeah, it’s true, but that could be ok for a movie when he’s standing still between 10 foes and there’s suspance, and the camera closes up on his eyes and so on… I just dont think it flows well with KI combat

you need to go watch some Bruce Lee movies because after he swings his weapons and gets in his stance he usually stands that way until he or his enemy attacks

Yea. I would have made Tusk as tall as Thunder and made Arbiter as tall as current Tusk.

The Arbiter almost gives Aganos a run for his money size-wise, and Aganos is a literally a moving building. He looks unwieldy and too lumbering for a fierce warrior.

It’s actually canon that arbitor is that big though. Master chief is made both genetically and surgically made to be taller and stronger than most people. He is taller than thunder. Yet arbitor is taller than chief by a fair bit.

Be that as it may, it looks too stiff. MS/IG didn’t have to be so literal, just like Capcom wasn’t so literal with Fie Long’s fight style.

Fie Long in Street Fighter 4 has better-animated, more dynamic movements than Kim Wu despite his moves not being nearly as over-the-top.

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I understand. However, MS/IG didn’t have to be so literal to get the point across that Arbiter is huge.

For instance, we would say Tusk is huge by KI standards but not so humongous as to dwarf most of the other characters. The Arbiter, by comparison, is a giant rivaling Aganos.


  • 7/10 needs more big boot
  • 4/10 head shaped like an orange
  • 0/10 no keith david (Jk 9/10)
  • 8/10 more meth eyes

Rash: 8 looks like fun, will play, but does look/feel like a joke character. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Kim: 9 love her face, love her attitude, love her style, might be a new favorite.

Arbiter: 9 knocked it out of the park as far as translating a halo character to a KI game. Liking the Halo HUD, and great stage. Doubt I’ll be able to integrate the sticky into a proper combo though but loving the carbine and cloak move. Also, LOVE his size, cant wait to crush little Kim-Wu’s :smirk:

Tusk: 9,5 love the slow and powerfull characters (played a lot of Aganos) so he’s right up my alley, too bad I’m better with quick characters :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: Love his updated ‘Skyrim/Thor’ look, think its better than the original (flame shields on!). That sword though :heart_eyes:

Seriously are people actually asking to scale down The Arbiter do you know how big the Sangheili are in the Halo universe???

Anyway my hype for the characters

Rash 5/10
Kim Wu 7/10
The Arbiter 8/10
Tusk 8/10

We know that the Sangheili are big, but are they nearly as a big as giant Golems? MS/IG didn’t have to be so literal in order to communicate that the Arbiter is one of the biggest characters in the game. Making him as tall as Tusk but girthier, which he already is, would have sufficed, I think.

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