While PS4 owners looking for a cheap (or free) thrill have been staying busy playing Warframe, thrify Xbox One owners have had access to the next-gen reboot of classic fighter Killer Instinct since Microsoft’s newest console launched. In order to make free-to-play console games financially successful, developers need to provide frequent and enticing microtransactions to keep players hooked. So far, Killer Instinct is off to a strong start.
Two weeks ago, the first major Killer Instinct patch was released to rotate the seasonal free character and implement a fairly substantial list of changes to the game. Now that major bugs have been addressed and characters have been buffed or nerfed appropriately, players can start looking forward to the release of the first group of additional playable characters.
We’ve known since summer that classic Killer Instinct fighter Spinal would return for the reboot, but up until this point we hadn’t seen what the skeleton brawler’s eighth console generation makeover would look like. Thanks to Play XBLA, we now have three screenshots to droll over until the character is officially released.
Like just about all of the reimagined Killer Instinct characters, Spinal looks pretty great. The skinless, muscleless DLC character is still rocking his iconic shield and sword like he did back in 1994’s original game, but twenty years of progress in graphics has the fighter looking a whole lot more intimidating than the original stack of bones.
Although there isn’t any official word on when players can get their hands on Spinal, it is safe to assume that he will be available a la carte for $5. Gamers who purchased one of the larger Killer Instinct bundles already, will likely have access to Spinal without any additional cost (assuming that he is one of the first two DLC characters released).
Hardcore Killer Instinct fans are still frustrated that a patch hasn’t been put in place to stop players from rage quitting before the completion of a Ranked Match, but aside from that complaint the game is turning out to be a lot of fun. The lack of a campaign mode is somewhat replaced by the Survival mode, but the never-ending string of AI competition doesn’t offer quite the same level of satisfaction as a basic narrative would.
The real attraction of the game is the online play. The ranking system still has some flaws that make falling back down the rank scale a lot easier than climbing to the top, but so far it isn’t game breaking. We’ll be interested to see if the game remains popular enough to justify additional DLC packs over the course of the next year, or so.
Have you spent any real money on Killer Instinct yet or are you still happy with the rotating seasonal characters?
Killer Instinct is available now, exclusively on the Xbox One’s Games Store. No release date for the Spinal DLC has been announced.
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Source: Play XBLA