Besides the sales of the highly praised Mortal Kombat X and semi-popular Dragon Ball XenoVerse, there has been a dearth of new fighting games in 2015. So far, there have only been whisperings of release dates for other in-demand titles, like the rumors of Street Fighter V coming Spring 2016, and the possibility of a Tekken 7 launch for this year. But aside from those options, there is really not much for buffs of the genre to write home about.
Thankfully, Microsoft and Iron Galaxy have kept fighting game fans fed with a steady supply of fresh characters for Killer Instinct. So far, the developers have offered up a golem, a frightening Japanese ghost named Hisako, and throwbacks like Cinder, among others. Now the artificially intelligent CEO of Ultratech, the sponsor of the KI tournament, is joining the game’s ranks as the final fighter for Season 2, and her name is ARIA.
ARIA is nothing like the any of the other Killer Instinct characters thus far. What makes her so special is that she is assembled from three different drones, which have their own individual life bars. Essentially, players can cycle through the distinct variations during matches, which will force a shift in tactics and strategies to suit the form in which she is currently operating. And in an even cooler additional feature, the two bots not in use will float around ARIA as she fights, giving her extra combo assists, not unlike those of the Marvel vs. Capcom series.
Adam Isgreen, Microsoft Studios’ creative director, gives a further rundown of the character’s abilities and notes the differences between the variant combat forms, calling them the Booster Drone, Blade Drone, and Bass Drone. Using “prototype sonic technology to help ARIA hover”, the Booster Drone gives her an aerial offensive, whereas the Bass Drone keeps gamers on the defensive with “high, low, and anti-air multi-hit projectiles”. The best choice for players looking to stay balanced in battle might be the Blade Drone, as it is basically a body capable of slashing at opponents with a sword arm.
Since Killer Instinct‘s release, the players who have purchased Season One and Two of the “Combo Breaker Pack” have been blessed with loads of new characters. And even though the game is packed to the brim with fighters, it’s hard to imagine that Iron Galaxy and the aforementioned developers are completely finished updating Killer Instinct with supplementary content.
Is ARIA soon to be your go-to pick for Killer Instinct? If not, which character is your favorite for unleashing crushing combos on the screen?
Killer Instinct is available now exclusively on Xbox One.