SoulCalibur VI is a game developed before 2014 using Unreal Engine 4 with the focus on its story elements. This feels more akin to the first SoulCalibur as it retells the story of old while unveiling hidden truths behind the timeline and introducing new scenarios. The main story revolves around the battle between the cursed sword, Soul Edge and the spirit sword, Soul Calibur while also including individual storylines for each character.
Developed by Project Soul and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment, a game celebrating the franchise’s 20th Anniversary. This involves two weapon-wielding combatants battling each other in a fight to the end in the 16th century. And along with the well-loved characters in the franchise, we get to see Geralt of Rivia from the Witcher series as he tries to cast signs to love-struck the ladies as well as beheading his enemies. Grøh would also be debuting in the series as part of the mysterious Aval Organization and wielding a double saber.
And because it’s focused on story elements, Bandai Namco didn’t hold back in giving us that much content and delivered on their promise. Having both Soul Chronicle and Libra of Souls, this retells both the main storyline along with individual characters and a separated story mode that let’s loose your created character as it embarks on an epic journey respectively. Libra of Souls is a rather interesting approach to the series as you get to play a custom character and have it play out on a journey which introduces other characters in the series as well as letting you take advantage of each weapon’s playstyle if you choose to do so. This way you get to learn each individual’s strengths and weaknesses before you tackle the online portion of the game. Switching from one weapon to the other is as easy as purchasing the specific weapon from the blacksmith so there’s no reason not to try them out. It’s an amazing mode to introduce new players into the game as well as an entertaining mode to the series veterans who just want to get away from the countless ranked battles.
Character creation makes a return and with more creative options to give you the freedom to look what you like. It’s a robust creation mode which allows you to change races be it a lizardman, a skeleton or a mummy. Obviously there’s a lot more but honestly what more do you need? Tweaking the body sizes, picking undergarments, tops and bottoms already sounded good to me but choosing headpieces, belts and arm guards to even boots is beyond what other games are capable of. And before I lose my voice here, (sorry I meant fingers!) choosing solid colors for my gear would’ve been plenty but having to choose what sticker to put or among the patterns with customizable colors remind me so much of Gundam Breaker 3 before it went “New” as I spent tons of hours just creating new builds. There’s no doubt that I’d be spending my sweet time going through tons of options to make my characters look unique or look similar to well-known characters from other franchises like I always do. Get ready for some joke characters in ranked matches!!!
Game mechanics offer both new and returning features. Reversal Edge being what I consider during my BETA test as an advanced mode of rock, paper and scissors as both players try to read minds and predict actions. This involves players to choose from three offensive options like horizontal and vertical attacks or kicks and five defensive options ranging from side step, crouch, back step, guard or guard impact with each one being a counter to the other or simply neutral. But other than that what reversal edge can do is the slow-mo moment that is both good to watch during tight competitive matches or just simple casual plays in the couch. Guard Impact as I mentioned returns to the game and is free of any gauge cost. Soul Charge, Armor Break and Critical Edge also make a return from SC III, IV and V respectively.
Online matches are there both ranked and casual to satiate the hunger for a clash on both levels of expertise. While most matches are stable and smooth, there are some rare instances that it becomes laggy and slows down for a moment. Not a game breaking deal as matchmaking itself is fast enough to get into new people without having to check my facebook and twitter notifications or update my status while I wait.
Graphics look sweet! Sophitia is as good as I imagined and Ivy is as bouncy as she is voluptuous. Map design goes from a simple snow-capped field into the stunning view of Kaer Morhen from the witcher. There’s a lot of eye-candy which is always a good thing until you get distracted by some bouncing balloons during a ranked match. Menu-wise it’s simplistic which just gives emphasis on the action more than anything which is very important on a fast-paced game where the slightest of delays can cost you the win. The announcer is as epic as ever! He’s as cool as he is calm and his poetic voice gives you the chills before and after a match while the soundtracks allure you into the world… a world of hurt!
All in all, it’s a game that simply goes above and beyond what normal fighting games do. From the overall aesthetic to the fluidity of its unique combat. The two-story modes offer unique experiences and online matches give the game value in replayability. And I’m probably a broken record at this point but Libra of Souls is definitely the star of the show as it encourages players to be creative while also experimental. Learn the game from the bottom and work your way to the top while finding the fun along the way. You get to explore the world as you see fit to discover missions and hidden surprises. And did I mention you can hire mercenaries? It comes at a price but nothing is too steep to give yourself a break from fighting. They say you can never please everyone but that means nothing to games. SoulCalibur VI is definitely a game that should please both newcomers and veterans.