As a long time fan of the Soulcalibur franchise, it was my pleasure to try out Soulcalibur VI at this year’s E3. Now powered by Unreal Engine 4, the game looks and feels absolutely stunning. The game aims to visit points from the original Soulcalibur game, which should lead to lots of interesting story-based information and possible easter eggs. The story mode itself, named Chronicle story mode, is said to be the largest story mode experience in a Soulcalibur title. It allows every character in Soulcalibur VI to have their own story, which is told throughout the game and using both 2D and 3D animated cutscenes.
Guest characters will make an appearance in Soulcalibur VI, as reported earlier this year with Geralt from The Witcher series. Geralt offers a unique mix of close quarters and mid-range combat allowing him to keep distance with other fighters. Guest characters have played a big part in the series, with such iconic characters such as Yoda from Star Wars or Link from The Legend of Zelda showing up in past games.
Some large improvements have been made to the battle mechanics, assisting newcomers and veterans to perfect their game. One brand new battle mechanic that piqued my interest was Reversal Edge. This mechanic allows players to slow down time if only briefly, to connect a powerful strike that can change the outcome of the battle in seconds, although it is a double-edged sword. If anticipated correctly, your opponent can dodge and counter provided they are quick enough. While reversal edge is brilliant for new players and helps them get past some difficult challenges in single player mode, I speculate that it may prove to be more of an issue if it is not perfected in time for online play. This Rock, Paper, Scissors gameplay allows the tides of battle to change in a flash.
Another fun mechanic introduced in Soulcalibur VI is Lethal Hit. Lethal Hit is somewhat based on the player’s reactions and is used in response to another player’s attack. Lethal hit only applies to, from what I understand, specific moves under certain situations. It can be considered a counter, should the player react quick enough, but if all the conditions are met, the character will react using a powerful attack that can stun and break an opponent’s armour. Lethal.
Soul Charge returns to Soulcalibur VI, but it has been overhauled since it’s last appearance. Now, it is easier to use, as players must build up their soul gauge until it reads at least “1”. Once unleashed, Soul Charge works as a buff and is used to increase speed, strength, and other various stats. Each character works slightly different than others when their Soul Charge is active, with some gaining different attacks or longer buffs.
The improvements made in Soulcaliber VI, along with its new mechanics feel great, with more polish to be added prior to its official launch. Veterans will feel that the game plays like Soulcalibur IV, more than it’s fifth installment, which is what I prefer as I felt Soulcalibur IV was a better game. I’d highly recommend all fans of the series to try out this game as soon as possible and let it speak for itself. Newcomers are welcomed with open arms to the series, so they should be in for a treat as well.
Soulcalibur VI releases October 19th, 2018, for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.