Name: SoulCalibur VI
Developer: Project Soul, Dimps, Bandai Namco Studios, Namco
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Released: 19.10.2018
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4 Pro
Acquired: A copy of this game was provided by a publisher for review purpose

I actually dare to say this, SoulCalibur VI might be the most exceptional fighting game of this generation. Let me tell you why I think so.  

Story

This section is actually one of the hardest topics to discuss and score. Why do I think so you say? Well, I will try to explain it this way; If I look at it objectively it’s awesome, but if I look at it from our own policy, which says that our reviews are one hundred percent personal, I might get some problems.

Let’s dig in from what SoulCalibur VI has to offer. Like previous titles, SoulCalibur VI comes with two different types of campaign modes, “Libra of Soul and Soul Chronicles”. Soul Chronicles continues the story of the Soul Edge, where we follow characters from the series in their journey of obtaining the Soul Edge. We don’t exactly follow a linear story here as many other titles do. We’re given the option to play the main story alone, where we follow Kilik’s journey, or we can choose a whole another character and see their perspective inside the story. We’re given a timeline, where we can choose what episode we want to play, following the main story or maybe see what Sophitia was up to before and after the encounter from the main storyline.

Libra of Soul hasn’t changed, as this mode is perfected from before. You create your own character and head on to take part in the Evil Seed, tasked to remove Astral Fissures from the world that are corrupting the minds of the innocent citizens.

The story itself might not be Oscar-worthy material, but it’s interesting, intriguing and compelling. And it is here where my problems occur, the story is great, but it is the way the story is presented I got issues with. The story is presented with still-images, with minimum effects to bring “life” to the story. If it wasn’t for the great voice acting (English) and epic music, I would struggle to get through the main story. By presenting the story this way is emotionless in my opinion. I did get a few seconds of cutscenes sometimes, but this was extremely limited. The story would have been even better and more compelling if they would present in another way.   
7/10

Graphics

The colors, oh the colors!
Let’s get the negative parts away first, some of the textures within character models and facial animations aren’t that great, it might even be a bit blurry sometimes. But that are just some minor issues. Because the overall look in SoulCalibur VI is impressive, especially for a fighting game. Character models are well detailed, and I can assure you, you will use a lot of time within the “Creation” section of this game. Creation lots of different characters, with options to unlock the different type of outfits etc. And did I mention the colors? During fights, especially if someone uses the new features in “Reversal Edge” or “Critical Edge”, there is a lot of beautiful, bright colors. At some point, it gave me an extra adrenaline rush, as the colors also indicated that there was a lot of things happening at the battlefield.

Besides the great overall look of the characters, the different stages also have their own unique environmental look. Some minor blurry textures on small objects and buildings in the background, but nothing that really stood out as negative. Sound-design and music are on point, and I especially love the “The Witcher” tune while playing on the stage created from the Witcher universe.
9/10

Gameplay

The soul still burns!
[Multiplayer opinion will appear here, once tested, goes live on launch day in my region]

So I’ve talked about the story, I talked about the graphics, and by now it might not seem to be “the best fighting” game yet. Those topics might help boost the overall look, but it’s the gameplay itself that really puts SoulCalibur VI on the map.

Libra of Souls follows the same gameplay mechanic as before, with a narrative delivered in an old-school, text-based way. This might not be something for everyone, but it’s been perfected.
The fighting mechanic or the basic gameplay itself as you might see it is one of its kind in a positive way. SoulCalibur VI runs extremely fluid and plays excellently. The fighting is fast, and I couldn’t find any excuses why I kept losing to my girlfriend when we play in versus mode. On that note, I didn’t exactly find any huge unfair balance between the characters just yet, as each character has their own set of abilities and fighting style. Even the guest character Geralt from The Witcher series feels a lot more balanced now than from my preview.  

SOULCALIBUR_VI_Geralt_Screen_02_1520956461

One other topic that many have complained about was the limitations when it came to guarding attacks, especially in SoulCalibur V. Now with the ‘Reversal Edge’ even more implemented, players, will have a more competitive fight ahead. As this provides more counterattacks while staying in guard. This really improves the balance a lot of the community was complaining about regarding accessibility. But then again, if lured into the “Guard Impact” trick, you will be punished hard. (Guard Impact – Pressing towards your opponent and block at the same time)

I mentioned the creation mode above, I spent a lot of time in here creating a different type of characters. The limit of your own creativity might be the only thing stopping you, and by joining online matches with unique characters will be really interesting in the future, seeing what other people have created. Beside this creation mode, story modes and online multiplayer, we also have a few offline choices, such as Arcade mode, Training, and Versus. The only thing I want to complain about is the loading times, hopefully, this is something that will be fixed in the future. Loading between episodes in the story, loading between the roster menu to the actual fight can take up to 30 seconds sometimes. Besides that, SoulCalibur VI delivers a hell lot of fun and the minor issues aren’t something that would bring my score down.
10/10

Controls

Is there one thing I always struggle with when it comes to fighting games, it’s the controls. Not that the control schematic is hard to understand, take Tekken 7 or even Mortal Kombat, the basic is easy to learn. But remembering all the combo’s, finishes, blocking etc is challenging for me. I remember from my childhood when playing Tekken against my friends, I always got a blister on my thumb, because I spammed buttons all over. This is not the case in SoulCalibur VI.
The combinations, special attacks, blocking, using Reversal Edge and so on are easy to learn and remember. The challenge is to use it properly.    
10/10

Replay Value

SoulCalibur VI will be my “go get to” fighting game if I want to play a fighting game against my friends. I will also return multiple times to go even further into my story in Libra of Souls as well. The content might seem love, but as a fighting game, this title provides an excellent experience that really will get you hooked for a long time, even years from now. Hopefully, we will get more characters on to the roster in the future.
9/10

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Overall
9/10
9/10
  • Story - 7/10
    7/10
  • Graphics - 9/10
    9/10
  • Gameplay - 10/10
    10/10
  • Controls - 10/10
    10/10
  • Replay Value - 9/10
    9/10
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User Review
0 (0 votes)

Verdict

There are a lot of different choices in the fighting genre this generation. There has been released a lot of fighting games this year as well. But between the lot, SoulCalibur VI is the best choice in my opinion. Strong and fluid gameplay that really builds around the strengths of these games. Not only did this title provide me a lot of fun by playing for myself, but also against my friends in versus mode. I can’t wait to see what other people have created from the creation mode in online matchmaking.

Pros

  • Great Roster
  • Fluid and fun gameplay
  • Easy to learn, challenging for veterans.
  • Fights feel epic and provide an adrenaline rush when playing against friends or online

Cons

  • Loading time
  • Presentation of story
  • Some blurry textures

 

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