King of Fighters XV will launch on Feb. 17, 2022, after being pushed out of 2021 due to ongoing issues with COVID-19 in Japan complicating development, SNK announced today.
This news was confirmed along with several new fighters being showcased for the game’s final roster, which the developers hint will include 39 characters at launch in the new trailer.
SNK revealed that Ash Crimson and “all past heroes” from the KoF franchise are making a return to the ring, regardless of what previous story implications might have meant for those characters.
There were also two entirely original fighters shown during the trailer. SNK said the newcomers will be “key characters” in KoF XV’s story.
Once the base game is available, SNK has already confirmed that there will be two sets of post-launch DLC, with each featuring two full teams of three characters, though no further information is available yet.
As expected, the game will feature three-vs-three team battles and many improvements, such as an updated character select and additional UI changes. Shatter Strike, MAX Mode, RUSH combos, Special Moves, and more were also detailed in an extended breakdown on SNK’s YouTube channel.
And if you listen closely in the original Gamescom trailer, you can actually hear someone unplugging a controller from the testing rig.
The developers are calling this the “most comprehensive battle system in KoF history.” SNK is also heavily pushing the game’s story mode as a climax to the unraveling KoF saga.
SNK continues to push the fact that KoF XV will have rollback netcode included at launch for online play, though we still don’t know how well it will function. The game will feature multiple online battle modes too, including Ranked, Casual, and Draft, along with additional modes like DJ Station and Missions.
KoF XV will launch on Feb. 17, 2022, and players who pre-order it on PlayStation 4, PS5, or Xbox Series X|S will get early access starting on Feb. 14.