When we think about popular fighting games from the early part of the 10’s decade one of the few titles that instantly comes to mind is Killer Instinct from 2013. Many people were presently surprised to see the Killer Instinct series make a return and it felt like one of the biggest comebacks in relation to the fighting genre of gaming since Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate Of Two Worlds from 2011. Killer Instinct was initially developed by Rare along with Helix Studios while Iron Galaxy worked on seasons two and three and published by Microsoft Studios. Even though, Killer Instinct was a Xbox One exclusive it was still a game that provided many long time fans of the series with a sense of nostalgia. Also, Killer Instinct ’13 was the first major game within its series since ’96 when the world got to see the release of Killer Instinct 2/ Killer Instinct Gold for Arcade/N64. Unlike, previous installments Killer Instinct ’13 utilized high quality 3D graphics and visuals opposed to 2D sprites. The visuals in Killer Instinct ’13 looked betty than Super Street Fighter IV from 2010 and the combo system in this game was better than ever.
Along with the return of Combo Breaker gameplay mechanic Killer Instinct ’13 included features that we have never seen in any of the previous games within the series. During season two of Killer Instinct we got to see environmental finishing moves along with stage ultras which was somewhat reminiscent of what was included in Mortal Kombat IX. Another noticeable feature that was included in this game was “Instinct Mode” which served multiple purposes as far as helping players achieve victory during battles. Instinct Mode was useful for stopping Ultra Combos in addition to increase a character’s immunity as it related to receiving damage from opponents. As far offline gameplay in general was concerned Killer Instinct ’13 had a slew of game modes than just about an other fighting titles from the early 10’s. There were game modes such as “Dojo” which emphasized tutorial gameplay for beginners along with “Shadow Lab” AI studied how players fought and created a challenging opponent based on their techniques.
Also, the “Shadow Lords” Mode that was added in Season 3 during Fall 2016 was very interesting especially considering the fact it was the first time that we saw a story mode in any Killer Instinct game since its inception back in ’94. There were so many items to be unlocked within Killer Instinct ’13 from costumes to music and players were generally rewarded for their progress in game modes such as Shadow Lords which added to the game’s overall replay value. The online multiplayer game mode was organized in the form of a monthly tier system which included classes such as: Gold, Silver, Bronze and Killer. On a monthly bases online players were rewarded for ranking within the top 30 within the Killer class and motivated others to try and achieve top status for gaining PRO Status.
As a fighting game there is almost no question that Killer Instinct ’13 was of better quality and had more depth than Super Street Fighter IV and even Mortal Kombat IX to sone extent. However, the Killer Instinct series had been absent since the mid 90’s and had definitely lost a lot of momentum prior to the release of KI ’13. As popular as the series was back in the 90’s or even the early to mid 10’s the Street Fighter & Mortal Kombat series have always seemed more mainstream than Killer Instinct in general. Either way, Killer Instinct ’13 was definitely a game that ended up succeeding the initial expectations of many people in general. As far as quality and overall replay value is concerned Killer Instinct ’13 was quite possibly one of the best fighting games of the 10’s decade overall.