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Killer Instinct dev introduces new character Hisako and Drivatar-like Shadows feature

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Killer Instinct's newest character is a Japanese "ghost girl" named Hisako, and players will soon be able to play against virtual versions of themselves and their friends, developer Iron Galaxy Studios announced during a PAX East panel today.

"If you can't find the person you want to play at the skill level that you want, that makes the multiplayer experience a little tougher to engage with," began Iron Galaxy's Kraig Kujawa, introducing a feature the studio is calling Shadows.

Shadows analyzes the way you play Killer Instinct in order to create a virtual version of you, a fighter who throws particular combos with the same frequency you do and attacks and defends like you do. Kujawa explained that Shadows goes beyond tendencies to capture your specific behaviors: If you teabag your opponents between rounds, your Shadow will as well.

"It's a living representation of you on your best day," said Kujawa. The technology sounds similar to Forza's Drivatars, although Iron Galaxy wouldn't confirm that it's running on the Xbox One cloud. Shadows will be released in April.

After telling the audience about Shadows, Iron Galaxy moved on to announcing Hisako, a 19-year-old spirit woman who fights with her deceased father's weapon. Her default walking speed is very slow, but she's a powerful character whose strategy focuses on counterattacks. Hisako relies on keeping her shadow meter filled; when it's more than half full, she can cancel any of her attacks into a counter. Iron Galaxy showed off some gruesome attacks of hers, like her ability to "consume" an opponent, enter its body and break its bones, and jump back out. She brings her own stage with her, Village of Spirits, but the studio wasn't ready to show it off yet.

Hisako will be released at the end of March, while the Season 2 story mode, with narrated introductions for each character, will arrive in June. Iron Galaxy closed the panel by showing off a live demo of a battle between her and Jago, to the delight of the crowd. You can see a photo of the match above.