Monday, October 08, 2018
Potentially the last SoulCalibur game we'll see if it fails to do the numbers at retail, SoulCalibur VI could well be the sharpest the series has been in a while. We might need to make the most of this one too, so perhaps the game's two story modes and generous roster of characters will help in that regard.
Libra of Soul is one such story-driven mode, putting your very own created character at the centre of a plot that sees you bumping into different faces from the main roster, and making your way from point to point across a world map, engaging in swashbuckling battles as you go. It's the closest SoulCalibur has come to an RPG, beyond the previous games' dungeon-based Tower of Lost Souls or Weapon Master mode.
There are items you can acquire and use as pre-fight buffs, different types of rival, built using the character creator, to face that fall into conventional SoulCalibur weapon archetypes or styles, and various challenges that aim to keep things fresh. As far as story modes are concerned, Libra of Soul appears to have a nice bit of depth to it, even if it does ultimately boil down to fighting a succession of opponents over and over. But then, what else did you expect?
Soul Chronicle is a little more conventional, adopting an arcade-like template in which you choose a character from the established roster and go through a series of bouts against a range of different opponents. The difference is that each battle is connected by illustrated cut-scenes with dialogue exchanges between your chosen fighter and their foe, so you have a little bit of a background as to why you're crossing swords.
Each character's Soul Chronicle chapter spans a certain period of time within SoulCalibur VI's timeline, but every member of the roster has their very own episode to play through, even The Witcher guest star, Geralt of Rivia. Between Libra of Soul and Soul Chronicle, you'll have plenty of narrative-based content to work through, then, and loads of fights to indulge in. By the end of it all, you'll be a wise old Edge Master. Maybe.
Outside of the game's core story modes, SoulCalibur VI has all of the conventional arcade and versus modes you'd expect too, while the roster takes in practically every one of the series' best-loved characters. New mechanics like the Reversal Edge actually inject a little bit of drama into proceedings too, its rock-paper-scissors clashes resulting in some hairy moments at times, even if it can seem a little arbitrary, especially for a fighting game.
Flashy finishers also make you look like a god at the touch of a button, when you've filled your Critical Gauge, that is. But overall, this is the SoulCalibur series as you know it, all clashing steel, flying sparks and fast-paced swiping at one another until one of you falls over. Or gets knocked off the stage in a dishonourable, disgraceful 'Ring Out'. It doesn't count. Not really. Regardless, SoulCalibur VI is shaping up to be a real return to form for the sword-swishing series, and if this does end up being the last one we'll ever see, then at least it should go out with a bang.
SoulCalibur VI is out for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC on 19th October.
Monday, October 08, 2018 @ 06:51 PM
Tuesday, October 09, 2018 @ 09:57 AM