The Soul Calibur series makes its long awaited return in 2018, after a six-year layoff. Soul Calibur V featured brilliant gameplay, and an all-star cast, and included fan favourite Assassin’s Creed character Ezio Auditore – joining a long line of guest appearances from the likes of Heihachi Mishima, Darth Vader, Spawn, Link and Kratos. Known for its sheer ridiculousness and over the top action, the newest Soul Calibur retains all the things you know and love about the series.
Thanks to the beautiful people at Bandai Namco, I was able to get a glimpse of Soul Calibur VI, and stumble my way through a few rounds of frenetic, fast-paced fights. A range of characters were available in our demo, including returning favourites Xianghua, Sophitia, Mitsurugi and the always frightening Nightmare.
In my first fight, I chose Mitsurugi, because he looked like a good lad, and had a cool sword. The fight itself played out like this – I prodded my opponent Nightmare with a few well-placed attacks after feeling out the controls, did a couple of rolls on the floor, and was then promptly murdered by Nightmare’s big ass sword. It was fantastic.
Combat is smooth and allows you to perform a variety of special attacks, including charged power moves that deal devastating amounts of damage. Each character has their own move set, so it’s important to find one that works for you. While I tried out all of the available characters, I eventually settled on Mitsurugi, because he sword attack seemed to be the most powerful, and allowed for some (unfortunate) move spamming.
As you battle through various rounds (three victories are needed to win), you have the opportunity to knock off pieces of armour from your opponents. Knocking off armour will allow for more devastating and damaging moves, and this often manifests itself in strange ways. In the case of Sophitia, ‘knocking off amour’ somehow means ‘cutting off her stringy bra straps’, leaving ‘the girls’ to bounce their way across the screen willy-nilly. It was moments like this that made me all too aware that I wasn’t exactly the target audience for the series.
I would like to make mention of one other tiny detail that struck me while playing – and that is that the jiggle physics on Sophitia and Xianghua were both fascinating and ridiculous. While playing the demo, my fighting partner and I were quite amused to discover a glitch with Xianghua’s victory pose – her boobs appeared to move of their own accord, as if there were something else shuffling around inside her chest. It was rather like a scene from Alien, and we both become incredibly concerned for Xianghua’s wellbeing. Thankfully, the glitch only happened once, but the moment will live on forever.
What struck me most about my time with Soul Calibur VI was how beautiful the whole game is – fights took place in two locations, a palace and a snowy mountain (with several other areas locked off). Both locations were spectacularly beautiful, and made for grand stages to fight in. More than once, I was distracted by the shimmer of snowflakes, or a particularly well-rendered cloud.
While what I played of the title was limited, it was enough to excite me about the full release. Gameplay is smooth and fun to play, with each character having their own quirks and flourishes, and the graphics were simply stunning. It’s been a long wait between Soul Caliber titles, but if the demo was anything to go by, it’ll all have been worth it.
Soul Calibur VI is currently dated for release in 2018. For further news on the title, check out Bandai Namco’s Soul Calibur hub.