The lights are on
Right now, we know of three characters from Killer Instinct's character roster. We spoke with Torin Rettig, the game's producer at Microsoft, to learn more about the new incarnations of Jago, Saberwolf, and Glacius.
Rettig broke down each of the revealed trio as far as who they are, how they play, and what unique traits they bring to the game's combo system. Here's what he had to say:
JagoProfile: "He’s a Tibetan monk. His story from the first couple of games is that he had this thing called the Tiger Spirit, and it was what gave him all of his special abilities. Eventually that Tiger Spirit corrupted him though, and he figured out that he was being manipulated by one of the bosses, Gargos. Now he wants to redeem himself. You can actually see it in his outfit. He’s got a Tibetan monk outfit, but it’s kind of half off of him, and he has a tiger tattoo that shows his conflict with the Tiger Spirit. We wanted that to come out with each of the characters; we wanted their costumes, when you looked at them, to tell a story."
Style: "He’s kind of a hybrid rushdown-zone type character. He has tools to do both pretty well, but not as awesomely as other characters. So he has fireballs, which he can use to zone a character out and keep him at bay, but he also has really, really powerful combos. He can get in and when he starts comboing he has some of the best juggles in the game. Once he knocks you into the air, he can keep you in the air, he can kick you, throw fireballs at you, do uppercut after uppercut at you."
Combo quirk: "Inside the combos, every Killer Instinct character has the standard opener, double, linker, double, ender kind of paradigm, but each character has a little different take on it. Jago’s little different take on it is that he has this thing called around the world. What that is, you can keep doing doubles instead of having to keep going back to your linker. It’s kind of technical – if you aren’t familiar with the game, it might sound like Greek. But it’s actually pretty cool. He can keep doing these doubles, which are double hits that you get with one button press, and he can keep doing those like 'boom boom boom' like crazy. Unfortunately, it’s also very breakable; you have to go down the buttons in order to do it."
SaberwolfProfile: "He’s a tormented scientist who got turned into a werewolf. Much of his struggle in the first Killer Instincts was in trying to turn himself back into a human. Now, he’s more embracing the werewolf within him and trying to control it and trying to come to terms with it."
Style: "He’s a pure rushdown style character. He has really fast moves, he can get in really quickly, and he can dash through you. Most characters, when they dash into you, they get blocked by your character. That doesn’t happen with Saberwolf. He will dash through you – like front, behind, whatever. He’ll knock you down, and then he’ll be back, forward, back, forward – you won’t know what side he’ll be on. He’s definitely about speed and keeping you on your heels and being in your face. But his thing is, he has to get in. If he can’t get in, he can’t do any damage. He doesn’t have any projectiles; all of his moves are melee-style moves."
Combo quirk: "His unique trait for combos is he has this thing called rabid doubles. Normally when you do a double, you press once and you do two moves. But you can keep pressing the same button and he’ll keep on doing increasingly faster and faster hits where he’s biting or scratching you, and it looks insane. The trade off is that they’re very easy to break. The way breakers work, now you can actually break anything. Before, you could only break doubles, but now you can break anything. The way they work, is that if you’re in the middle of a combo – someone is comboing you – you can break the move that they’re doing against you. You do that by matching the power level of the attack they’re doing on you. So, if Jago is doing a medium double, if I press medium punch and medium kick at that time, then I’ll do a combo breaker. Rabid doubles are fun, and they’re great for a newbie kind of player to get in and feel like they’re doing a lot of damage – even if they may not be. It’s really gratifying and people really get into it."
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I am not into the Fighting genre, but this game may get me on board... It look really cool to me... seems like Double Helix is working in depth the mechanics... looks polished
saberwolf sounds like my kind of character
I wish this was going to be on the PS4. Glad to see it coming back though. Just hope it sells well.
I have been meaning to into a fighting game for a while so i think after i get into mk and tone up my skills this will be a game on the top of my list
I always loved the accessibility of KI, hope that remains.
I really hate the redesigns for these characters... well, Sabrewulf is okay. I'd say he's hard to screw up, but I figured "a ninja" and "ice man" were hard to screw up too, and Double Helix found a way to screw those up.
Jago... I don't care about this nonsense, "telling a story", Pfft. He looks like John Cena with tribal tattoos and crazy hair. It's pretty dumb, in a completely different kind of way than the original Jago costume was dumb (because it was). Just make a cool-looking ninja guy with Jago's color scheme! That's all you have to do to update Jago. Look at Strider or Ryu Hayabusa for influence, THEN add all your stupid storytelling nonsense. Tiger stripes or whatever. I mean ***, DOUBLE HELIX IS DOING THE NEW STRIDER TOO! They updated Strider the RIGHT way! Clearly, two teams are working on the two different projects; but the Strider guys should walk across the hallway and slap the KI guys in the face. Show 'em how it's done.
And Glacius... he looks dumb as an alien. Weird and just awkward. Wasn't he NORMAL at E3, in the reveal trailer? Did they change him in the past 4 weeks just to piss people off? Ugh.
I think KI looks really fun. But they really need to stop doing dumb things. I'm really, really not looking forward to Double Helix's reveals for TJ Combo, Fulgore, Black Orchid and the rest of the KI roster. Eh... it'd probably be hard to screw up Spinal.
Not digging the Character re-designs. Glacier is now a frozen treeant and Sabrewulf looks much less "mystic" or creepy...just a werewolf. Looks like it plays amazingly smooth tho. Maybe costume sets will be available to make them more "classic"