Developer 343 Industries has opened up about the opportunity they were given to work with Iron Galaxy in bringing the Arbiter to Killer Instinct Season 3. They address not only the logistics of getting a Halo character into the world of Killer Instinct, but also discuss integrating Halo’s iconic weaponry and customization into the fighting game.
“I was asked before we’d launched Killer Instinct if I had thought of any guests that would fit well into the game.” Says Adam Isgreen, the Creative Director at Microsoft Studios assigned to the Killer Instinct franchise. “Without hesitation, I said ‘Well Arbiter, of course… but we’ll never get him.’ Over two years later, you can’t imagine how happy I am that he’s finally here!”
The Arbiter in Killer Instinct isn’t THE Arbiter, as in Keith David’s Arbiter from Halo 2 onward. Instead it represents Arbiter’s throughout the history of the Halo universe, sent to conquer new challenges.
The default Arbiter wields the Prophet’s Bane sword, though a retro version will have a regular Energy Sword. Every version though will use the T-51 Carbine. The default armor layout will be Thel ‘Vadam’s in Halo 5: Guardians, with a retro version recreating the Arbiter’s look from Halo 2: Anniversary. Color combinations will also be available for players to utilize. Some other costume customization includes the combat harness version from Halo 2: Anniversary, Storm from Halo 5: Guardians, Ranger from Halo: Reach, Commander from Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians, Zealot from Halo: Reach, and Ascetic from Halo 3.
Type-51 Carbine: The Type-51 Carbine holds 18 rounds of radioactive ammo and fires three-shot bursts. Once the magazine has been emptied, gunshots are replaced by melee attacks.
Plasma Grenade: Sticky anti-personnel plasma grenade that detonates after a three-second delay. Throwing distance can be changed by pressing Forward or Backwards. Grenade blast can harm both players. The Arbiter carries three grenades, replacement grenades are salvaged over time.
Energy Sword: The Arbiter carries a master-crafted Covenant Energy Sword or Thel ‘Vadam’s personal blade – the vicious Prophets’ Bane.
Combat Evolved: Arbiter can tack on a Plasma Grenade or fire his Type-51 Carbine to deal additional damage after performing a Throw, Energy Sword strike, or any Ender.
Lastly some concept art for the Arena of Judgement state was shown, and 343 teases there will be lots of Halo Easter eggs for players to catch as they fight, “cyborg raptors, skeleton pirates, and talking frogs.”
The Arbiter’s stage is the Arena of Judgment, located near the ruins of Nuusra. In the distant past it was a place of discussion and debates on matters of Sangheili honor, hosting Kaidons and Arbiters competing in a battleground of ideas and philosophy. But time is cruel, and now this forum hosts a different kind of judgment.