Killer Instinct - Arbiter (Xbox One, PC)

Arbiter Revealed For ‘Killer Instinct’, Lack Of Keith David Noticeable

A new Killer Instinct trailer was released Sunday during the Halo World Championships to reveal the previously teased Arbiter from the Halo franchise. The iconic character is being introduced into Season 3 of the free-to-play Xbox One fighting game along with a dynamic new stage. However, some fans are finding the change in voice actors to be jarring.

The Arbiter is but the latest crossover character coming to Killer Instinct Season 3. Rash from Battletoads was previously revealed when the third season of the fighting game was announced back in August 2015.

The classic Halo character comes equipped with his signature Energy Sword, Prophent’s Bane, along with the Covenant Carbine. Developer Iron Galaxy hasn’t given any details yet, but it is possible players will be able to change stances to switch between the two weapons.

Other Arbiter abilities revealed in the Killer Instinct trailer include the use of a plasma grenade to stick to opponents and cause damage. The active camouflage ability was also put on display to help deliver a finishing blow.

Killer Instinct - Arbiter (Xbox One, PC)
[Image via Killer Instinct]
Perhaps the only thing missing in the Arbiter’s repertoire is the original voice actor. Keith David’s baritone voice has given life to the character since he first appeared in Halo 2, released to the original Xbox in 2004. While it is understandable the Emmy award winning voice actor might have been outside of the budget and/or development scheduled for Killer Instinct, it is jarring to hear a different voice. This was something fans picked up on immediately.

“All that amazingness falls flat on its face because it’s not Keith David. It just pulled me out of the moment for reasons I can’t explain,” Reddit user Bleep_Bloop_Unlocked said in response to the video.

“Disappointment in not being Keith David aside. Arbiter looks fantastic. I’m so excited,” added NeoGAF user Snackawho.

The new Killer Instinct stage is set on the Arbiter’s homeworld of Sanghelios, which was featured for the first time in Halo 5. The civil war between the Arbiter’s Swords of Sanghelios and the remnants of the Covenant rages in the background. Opposing forces fire at each other behind cover while ships shoot around the arena, causing damage, and even crashing into it.

Killer Instinct Season 3 will debut on the Xbox One sometime in March with a Windows 10 release also scheduled. The game will support cross-play between the console and PCs running Microsoft’s latest operating system. The third season of the fighting game also features a heavy amount of balance changes meant to encourage player creativity, different playstyles, combos, and setups.

Killer Instinct - Arbiter (Xbox One, PC)
[Image via Killer Instinct]
Characters confirmed for Season 3 so far include the aforementioned Arbiter and Rash, plus a host of characters originally featured in the Killer Instinct 2 arcade release. Kim Wu was last announced while Tusk and Gargos appear set to make appearances as well.

The Arbiter trailer for Killer Instinct Season 3 is also missing something else other than Keith David’s voice. The usual character tease that comes at the end of a character reveal video is also missing. The game is expected to be part of the Windows 10 event Microsoft has planned for Thursday, February 25.

The Windows 10 event is expected to heavily focus on devices such as the Surface tablet and Windows Phone, but gaming will have a big presence as well. Microsoft recent announcement of cross-buy with Quantum Break for Xbox One and Windows 10 was a surprise. More titles are expected to have some sort of cross-buy or cross-play promotion with them in the future to match similar features with the PlayStation 4 and select games on Steam.

What do you think of the Arbiter in Killer Instinct Season 3? Sound off in the comments below.

[Image via Killer Instinct]