PAX East: Killer Instinct: Season 3’s Mira Looks Rough in All the Right Ways

You probably don’t want to face off against Mira.

Killer Instinct is on season 3 now as developer Iron Galaxy has been steadily pumping out quality updates since the studio took over for Double Helix Games in 2014 after the latter developer was acquired by Amazon Game Studios. It’s a fantastic show of support for a game that has a solid, dedicated fan base, and Mira, a new character Iron Galaxy showed off at PAX East, looks like a great addition to the roster.

Alex Jebailey, Iron Galaxy’s PR and Community Manager who many players may recognize as the real-life inspiration for the big-headed “Jefailey” character in the developer’s Divekick, explained to me that Mira is a completely new character to the Killer Instinct universe. The developer has done a great job mixing in original creations that fit in well with classic revivals; Mira is yet another example as she slots into the universe well as Maya’s sister. While Jebailey isn’t saying much about Mira’s backstory right now, he was willing to reveal that Mira had sacrificed herself for Maya and presumed dead, but has returned as a vampire. “We like to go with a unique distinctive feeling for each character,” Jebailey said. “Now we have a vampire.” Mira’s vampiric nature is a mystery to the story for now but plays an obvious and significant role in Mira’s fighting style.

Mira is vicious. She’s a high-damage character who can put out a lot of punishment very quickly with a good mix of ranged and close attacks. She doesn’t have any kind of overhead attacks, but she can throw out bats at a distance to harass you. She can close the distance quickly with a spinning low corkscrew maneuver. She has a Castlevania-inspired “Mist Form” teleport she can use at any time, whether on the ground or in the air, making her the only character in the game with an air dash.  She can absolutely tear you up once she’s inside with heavy-hitting attacks that will carve away your health bar with her scythe before you know it. There’s only one problem with Mira, then: she hurts herself when she attacks you.

That’s the trade-off with Mira’s vampiric powers. She’s losing health throughout the match, so even though you can cause incredible damage in very little time with her, you’ll need to be careful and watch your own health bar, too. Mira’s lost health is represented by a grey bar extending from her standard red bar, and it’ll give players a chance to recover that health by executing a bite move on their opponent. If they get hit before they land a successful bite, though, they’ll lose all that health permanently. There’s no time limit to how long the grey bar will last, so players will want to choose their opportunity to bite wisely.

Mira is out today for Xbox One and Windows PC players. You can either get her through the $20 Season 3 Combo Breaker pack or buy her separately for $5, and the game does support cross-buy between the two versions. Iron Galaxy will also be putting out classic boss character Gargos next month as well as another character (rumored to be Gears of War‘s General Raam) in July with a new “Shadow Lords” single-player mode coming sometime thereafter.