PC gamers are plenty familiar with free-to-play models at this point thanks to the growing trend of MMOs with optional subscription benefits, but console gamers have yet to really experience the progressive financial model. When the Xbox One releases on November 22, fans of the Killer Instinct fighting franchise will get a chance to be guinea pigs for the franchise’s console-based progressive F2P model. The Double Helix Games developed fighting sim will offer players a number of purchasing options ranging from completely free-to-play (with a single “seasonal” fighter) all the way up to an Ultra Edition (which includes all launch characters, two post-launch DLC characters, and a bunch of extra costumes and accessories for $39.99).
The F2P approach will attempt to give the next-gen fighting sim an edge over competition like NetherRealm’s Injustice: Gods Among Us. The zero cost entry level access to the game will players a chance to throw down for free with Jago, before deciding if they want to commit $5 a pop for a la carte access to each individual character. A number of playable fighters had already been announced, but thanks to a new character trailer we are able to confirm the identities of two more brawlers.
The character trailer gives fans a look at what series vets Orchid and Spinal will bring to the Xbox One. The footage is Orchid-centric and highlights her speed and agility in battle. Orchid gives her brother, Jago, a serious beating in the trailer. The most exciting part for long-time fans of the franchise is most likely the updated version of her signature tiger morph attack.
Fans of Spinal might be disappointed that we don’t get too see him do much of anything in this trailer, but hopefully Double Helix will release more footage concentrating on him in the near future. The evil skeleton appears in the final moments of the trailer and fans will have to be happy with the teaser of the character’s redesign until more details about him are revealed.
In less official news, Penny Arcade’s limited edition display case for the physical copy of Killer Instinct seems to confirm rumors that the eighth and final playable character will be Fulgore. The Ultratech cyborg is one of the franchise’s most iconic characters, so it’s no surprise that he’s earned a roster spot in the reboot. The reveal seems to have been an accident and Penny Arcade has since censored the spot where Fulgore’s name appeared.
Orchid, Spinal, and Fulgore will join the previously announced lineup of Chief Thunder, Jago, Glacius, Sabrewolf, and newcomer Sadira. At the game’s launch, players will be limited to tutorials, practice modes, and local and online multiplayer. A story mode will be added to the game later, but the hope is that players will find enough entertainment in competitive online play at launch to keep playing and buying additional fighters.
Future seasons of the game will flesh things out, but the launch version is definitely banking on the draw of multiplayer competition. Does it bother you at all that season one of Killer Instinct doesn’t have much to offer the single player experience? Sound off in the comments.
Killer Instinct is an Xbox One launch title.
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