Why do so many people hate on KI's graphics so hard? (KI's Shortcomings)

A lot of people trash talk KI every day for having outdated graphics when a new video is dropped like Eagle’s or an article is posted and the comments are filled with distaste for the graphical style, while a lot of that is your standard smack talk to an extent I can relate to how they feel. Sometimes KI does look very unrefined but at others it looks breathtaking, its the Drew Barrymore of video games, in a certain light it can change drastically. For the most part the stages, lighting, particle effects and overall artistic style of the game looks very good.

Where the game I feel falls flat are in areas like animations, specifically many stage ultras, a good number of ultimates and others such as victory or draw animations, especially stage ultra victory poses. Basically any animation that’s not combat related looks a little stiff and unnatural. Jerky movements that seem robotic and facial animations are everywhere but that aside they’re not terrible and don’t warrant the kind of reactions KI receives.

I feel however that the biggest thing that KI has issue with are human faces. Most of the graphical complaints I hear are folks whining about faces, the trailers for human characters get crapped on while the ones for monsters are highly praised. Think about it for a second, some of the best looking character are monsters. Eyedol is phenomenal looking, Kan-ra has this cool Jack Nicholson Joker thing going on, with his inhuman smile and Riptor, she’s probably the most gorgeous character on the roster, she looks next-gen for sure. Fulgore looks like he could be in MKX, the guy is drop-dead super sexy.

But others like Kim Wu, Tusk and now Eagle have very awkward looking human faces. I don’t need to remind everyone why Kim looks weird what with her freakish bass mouth when she screams or Tusk’s little chicklet teeth. I honestly think a great deal of the hate for KI comes from the appearance of the human cast members. Jago being an exception because most of his face is covered. Sadira for the most part looks fine, Orchid isn’t to bad either, Combo and Mira are alright to but they do look a little stiff, mostly in the mouth areas.Though Thunder’s face, his unpainted retro face looks like a plastic Halloween Power Ranger mask you get your kid when you can’t find the costume he actually wanted. Eagle’s face isn’t so bad but when he talks his mouth… the angles of the camera, I don’t know what it is but it looks like his mouth is made out of something not-human.

I’m sure that its just because monsters are easier to make look good, since they’re abstract and don’t need to be completely realistic but still some characters have very bad faces in this game. Now that’s not to say that I hate them myself, I love this game and I wouldn’t care if we had Xbox 360 graphics I’d still be playing every day! I just wanted to point out that I believe one of the game’s weaknesses are human faces. Take it with a grain of salt (lord knows there is enough of it to go around)

EDIT: I’m not trying to put the game down or marginalize the work of those who made the game! Just attempting to identify the faults so we can move forward with a better KI!


Eagle looks normal though. That’s how a Nez Percé man would look facially. Kim Wu doesn’t even look bad really, in certain lighting yes skin issues but in indoor stages and training mode she looks great and her mouth isn’t big at all.

Infact outdoor lighting on skin has some issues but that depends on the stage


One thing I’ve noticed that makes Eagle look a bit weird is the inside of his mouth (cheek) is the same tone as his skin, and since he talks so much at an angle where you’re pointed right at it it’s very noticeable.

I think a lot of people’s complaints are really just a matter of KI staying the same while other FGs are advancing in graphics. It was leaps and bounds over everything at XB1 launch (and stylized to boot), and while everything has rose up to meet KI it’s stayed the same.
Plus we’ve been staring at the same textures and stages for in some cases 3 years now, and with no intention for them to add any more stages or costumes we’re left with the same old same old while everything else is getting a refreshes and upgrades.


I wasn’t referring to the structure of his face, more so the expressions and mouth syncing, etc. The human faces seem to look a lot different in certain lighting as well, looking especially bad on Tusk’s stage but better on darker ones where the details aren’t nearly as noticable.

[quote=“AlohaMars, post:2, topic:21540”]
Her mouth isn’t big at all.
[/quote]What you talkin’ about she looks like Steven Tyler. XD


Short answer and based on my perspective…

It’s a game that released in 2013, yet it is a game that continues to release content well into the future where other beautifully designed games have released as a result of a new budget and refined technology.

Long answer based on my perspective…

The game is constantly pouring out content in 2017, a game that people forget released in 2013. Despite being graphically upgraded, it doesn’t compare to a completely new engine with modern and refined graphics built around the most detailed and highest textures. People rant and rave about 4k, hell we are even seeing 8k become more common. This is something that wasn’t all that popular in 2013, it was just HD or HQ at 1080p at most. Nowadays, most everyone wants more of this technology based on what they have already seen. SFV look gorgeous, one could argue that if KI looked that great with the mechanics and content included, it would be amongst the best fighting games out there.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the absolute best quality in my games/movies. Though, I won’t oppose less fidelity solely on inferior resolution if the content is there. I still play N64, PS2, and even GBA games just because they are fun first and foremost. The graphics in KI are certainly nowhere near the hate people claim them to be, but that doesn’t mean they are stunning anymore… well the particle effects still are.

Despite all that, whether people are spoiled because of higher resolutions and crisp animations, they do have some justification in a sense that KI needs a sequel. I will like to see how the upscaling to 4k will look, but I would truly like to see or hear of a new Killer Instinct sometime in the next year.


I noticed the same thing with Tusk earlier before I posted this, the back of his throat was a light pinkish-orange, looked like he swallowed a glowstick.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bagging on the game for having outdated visuals I understand and respect where KI is and where it came from. I’m just trying to identify why people hate on it so much, maybe so we can improve the game going forward or change things in a possible future sequel.

Wasn’t arguing with you dude, if anything I agree with you. I should have done a better job at getting that point across. Though, I will say that there are some variables to account for like technology at the time and more importantly, priority. KI was and still isn’t a AAA game, which does factor into its design. Still, that isn’t to say that it is a free pass to not polish up something that clearly looks awkward in situations.

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Kim Wu should have a kind of ninja outfit like ibuki.

I just wish people would just accept the designs for what they are.

I know Kim, Tusk, and Eagle have shaky reception. The designers were trying to aim for certain character backgrounds and the like, and on that I think they did well. Kim looks Asian to me. So I wouldn’t say the designers “failed” to make the character faces. And when it comes to quality of the faces, I don’t think any of them look “bad.” Though I’ll admit some of the facial animations and the lighting effect look really bleh.

With that being said, I don’t know why this thread needs to exist. People (and I’m not talking one person here) drive in this character face thing SO hard that it makes me wonder if they realize they’re playing a video game where you’re never paying attention to the faces. It’s fine to laugh at silly stuff every once in a while, but jeez it’s like this has become a developer sin.


I mean the complaint wouldn’t be so prevalent if it wasn’t true.

I was just trying to point out that the game has some stellar designs, some of which are well beyond what the rest of the game brings to the table. The only reason I thought to bring it up was because I was playing last night and I was looking at Eagle and it just snapped in my head, nearly all of the characters who people complain about are human. It made me wonder if the devs just aren’t good at making human faces or maybe the technology in the hex engine or whatever just doesn’t make for good human faces.

After seeing so many people bag on Kim (whom I think looks ok for the most part) or Tusk and now Eagle, it just struck me that this is a flaw that the game has. I mean HKsmash guy’s video was incredibly petty but the first thing he struck was Eagle’s face, granted he was just being a dill-weed and calling the character garbage like an uninformed child but still the point was made.

As far as this thread, I just fell asleep thinking about this topic and I wanted to air some opinions on where the game falls short. Its just a discussion, a constructive and respectful one so I figured it’d make for good conversation. As far as what people pay so much attention to faces, well faces are faces. The first thing you see when you look at someone is their face so if you load up the game and you see a character who’s face looks like a worn out bicycle seat you’re going to take notice regardless of if you care about it or not especially when you see them in great detail during the close up character intros every match.

Look at Hisako’s face during victory screen when she screams. It looks off.

Because people like to hate. Every game gets it, but its disheartening to see that type of negativity towards a game people claim to love. KI still looks very good despite being four years old and with the 4K upgrade I’m sure it’ll look even better. It could also be art style. Some people like me love KI’s realistic/cartoon graphics, whereas SFV looks entirely cartoonish (which is also pleasing to me). But remember, KI has been getting trashed since it’s reveal for being an Xbox One exclusive like Titanfall and Tomb Raider after it. Some of the haters are mad they had to buy an X1 or Win10 PC to play it and now have silenced lately because of the Steam version. You can’t say what people’s motivations are for hating a video game, but KI still looks great today and it will look crazy in 4K!

Sorry if it sounds like I’m brushing something off that’s important.

I’m just really fatigued by this topic.

Well the texture on her face is very distorted, like a bad JPEG texture.

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That point has been repeated for a year that every Kim Wu player has said it or heard it stopped caring. If you don’t like weird skin lighting in online or local MP just play in indoor/shadow filled/low light stages

Some artistic aspects need polishing, but overall I like the graphics and art design.
The hero art, not sure who did it , is amazing. Nice move to promote the game and even include those in the game is great.

If we talk about the animations they do their work most of the time. When I look at Injustice 2 for instance, they look wonderful (in their style) but the animation…It’s like watching dolls figthing. The overal feel from KI as a fighter is very well done. And I’m picky with that, I kid you not.
About quality changing from some characters to others…I don’t know how the art department works. I can’t tell if they did it all in their studios or outsourcing. Depending on the budget and everything and adding the content after with less resources many things can turn different from what you expected.

But to resume, Graphics can be adjusted and enhanced. The game being playable is what matters most to me. In a perfect world both should go together =)

Graphics… Sadira… mmmm … mmmmm She kicks high. :blush: