New fighters, balance changes and the launch of the Windows 10 version of Killer Instinct are nice and all, but its the single-player Shadow Lords game mode coming later in the year that excites me most about Killer Instinct season three.

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Battletoad Rash, barbarian Tusk, former teen fighter Kim Wu and Halo’s Arbiter headline the big season three update for Iron Galaxy’s fighting game, available now as a 21GB download on Xbox One or via the Windows 10 Store. Along with the characters all of those gigabytes include lighting changes, balance tweaks, stages, and the ability for Windows 10 newcomers to fight against Xbox One veterans, which should be highly entertaining. Check out the patch notes for a full accounting of what’s been added.

The feature I’m jazzed for isn’t in the game yet. Leaked earlier this month and officially outed today, Shadow Lords is a single-player game mode that developer Iron Galaxy calls part arcade mode, part ladder, part story mode and part roguelike. I need whatever that combination adds up to.

From the official announcement:

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  • Your ultimate goal is to beat Gargos and his forces before he takes over the world. How fast that happens is completely up to how you play!
  • Choose any character to “main” and assemble your team from across the entire roster of KI characters. Uneasy alliances abound!
  • As characters are added to the game after launch, they’ll also come with new Shadow Lords content.
  • There’s a lot of stuff to earn and craft in this mode, all of which can be obtained by playing. KI Gold will allow you to accelerate to get to some rarer stuff sooner to help in your fight against Gargos and his minions.
  • The game features persistent items and elements that carry across multiple playthroughs.
  • The new multiplayer mode we mentioned in the launch trailer ties into this mode and some of the things you can craft. We’ll be talking more about this later on in the season!

You can catch a glimpse of the new mode (a work in progress) in the trailer above. Whatever it is, it’s sure to be a damn sight better than the solo content currently in the game.

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Now I just download all of the gigs and wait.