(Originally published on MyIGN on April 9th, 2014)
Today saw the release of the long awaited final batch of content for Double Helix’s Killer Instinct reboot for Xbox One, including the eagerly anticipated eighth and final season one character, Fulgore, and the accompanying season one arcade mode.
I’ve taken Fulgore for a bit of spin, and he operates and feels very different to the rest of the cast. Complete with his own character-themed industrial stage ‘Ultratech Industries’, the main distinguishing feature Fulgore brings to the table is his own unique ‘nuke’ meter resource. Unlike the other characters which accumulate shadow meter used for powering souped-up versions of their special moves by both attacking and taking damage, Fulgore can only gain meter by manually performing a reactor charge in between bouts of fisticuffs. The strength of the charge move determines how long he is locked in the charging state, open to attack, with light kick and quarter-circle back charging the least but with the fastest recovery, medium kick charges a bit more and is slightly more vulnerable and the heavy version can be held down to charge the meter up fully, but likewise is the most vulnerable of the charge moves.
Once you actually have meter though, you can really see what this metal behemoth can do. Fulgore can teleport, fire multiple projectiles, shoot off eye lasers, rocket forward with his plasma wristblades and, when he’s in instinct mode with a full meter, can unleash an ultra (pun very much intended) powerful, full-screen devastator beam. Fulgore operates as somewhat of a zoning character, in a similar vein to long range defensive character Glacius in some ways. His particular combo trait is the ability to string together special moves immediately after the other in certain scenarios, which can lead to some clever set-ups and punishing combos in the right hands (clearly not mine). I’ve included some videos below of me in action using Fulgore (poorly, I might add), and how he handles as a ‘hard’ level A.I. opponent:
The new arcade mode (available to everyone, even owners of just the base free version of the game) is a simple, survival-like progression mode, with multiple endings for each of the eight characters depending on your performance. What little story offered here is scant, and not always well explained, but will no doubt be of great fan-service to old school Killer Instinct fans. There are a few teasers of what’s to come in season two, which presumably will include the remaining characters from Killer Instinct 1+2 alongside whatever new additions new developer Iron Galaxy (taking over future Killer Instinct duties after Double Helix were bought by Amazon) bring to the fray. The arcade mode A.I. is particularly impressive, culminating in a difficult final boss fight which adapts to your combos and breaking patterns, and teases some new combo mechanics and finishers which hopefully will make their way into the game for the other characters at some point.
Have you tried out Fulgore yet, or battled through arcade mode? Let me know in the comments below, and I’ll have more to write about Killer Instinct soon!