Soul Calibur VI is looking to bring back what was once lost in the series. Can the Tale of Soul be bought back to life? Find out now!
Soul Calibur has been a part of my life for some time. 22 years ago, I played Soul Edge at a local arcade and I fell head over heels in love. It was like no other fighting game I had played before. The dynamic fighting styles, scenery, and overall character design were truly spectacular. Now, here we are in 2018 with, possibly, one of the most beautiful, fast-paced, content-stacked fighting titles that I've ever played. Today we're here to review Soul Calibur VI, so let's dive in.
THE STAGE OF HISTORY IS WAY MORE CUSTOMIZED
I'd like to discuss the character creation system. As we have seen over the last few years, more companies are implementing character creation systems in their games. Soul Calibur has had character creation before but not to this extent. Not only can we give our character their own look and our favorite fighters' play style, but we can also choose a multitude of races, skins, clothes, weapons, and more.
This is something we have been able to do in the series before but now we have a much deeper customization system that lets you changes the smallest detail at your will. This is a dramatic improvement from games in the series like Soul Calibur 3, which only let you customize their clothes, height, the color of hair, and voice. I spent a good 40 minutes creating my character (although he still looks super basic...) and found myself still making changes as I played the game. The customization is a great addition to the game, and really take a huge role in the newest mode, Libra of Souls.
STORY CONTENT IS EVERYTHING!
Libra of Souls is a cool concept for the game, but it wasn't really my cup of tea. This mode is pushed as an RPG style Soul Calibur story, but I couldn't help feeling underwhelmed while playing it. Yes, you create a character and basically start your own Tale of Souls adventure, but the main amount of the story is all text-based and made me not care about the journey of my character as much as I wanted to.
The storytelling aspect is very basic with run-of-the-mill characters that become your befriend you during your adventure. The dialogue can be somewhat repetitive and I felt like I was doing all the same missions over and over again. As you go along, I felt the gameplay cutscenes, with my custom character on the forefront, helped me get into the story a bit more. Although the cutscenes made the story more interesting, I still was not really connected to the character like I wanted to be.
As you go along your adventure, you have the freedom to either stay on the main story or explore certain areas. With that comes more challenges and side-quest, but eventually, you have to continue the main story to get the most fulfillment. You can also choose the path of either good or evil, which can somewhat change the story (as in most RPG titles). If you’re an old school RPG player you will really appreciate this mode, but I just couldn't get into it as much as I did with Chronicle of Souls!
Chronicle of Souls is the main story mode for Soul Calibur VI. This is probably the most detailed story mode for a fighting game I have ever played. This is basically a relaunch of the Soul Calibur story, dating back before even Soul Edge! We not only got the main story that features Kilik, but we were also able to stop at any time and play the side stories of the whole roster! Doing this adds so much depth to the main story, I truly almost felt overwhelmed, but in a good way.
I decided to do one main mission, then go down the list and do a mission of each side-quest story that was in the same timeline. I felt it really help me keep up with the story for all characters much easier. The coolest thing about the side missions was seeing the character's backstory come to life, but also see the timeline from their perspective.
The overall content shoved into this mode and even the Libra of Souls mode (yes, the one I didn't like much) really shows how much Bandai Namco cares about their fans. It also gives you a reason to replay the story when more character come out. I was a huge fan of the story modes of Mortal Kombat X and Injustice because the cinematic style, but the story for Chronicle of Souls is everything I have ever wanted in a fighting game story mode.
SOUL CALIBUR HAS NEVER BEEN MORE SOULFUL
The graphical presentation of the game is a jaw-dropping experience in itself. This is the first Soul Calibur title to use the Unreal Engine and it has definitely paid off. The series has always looked amazing, but Soul Calibur VI feels like the Stage of History is in my living room! Clear and beautiful backdrop stages, no screen lag, extremely colorful and unique character designs. I am honestly just floored by how good it looks!
Modes like Museum and Versus have been in the series for some time, so we knew they would return, but one thing that really stood out to me was the roster. There are twenty characters out of the box with two new characters, Groh and Azwel. There is also one pretty special character and that is the Witcher himself, Geralt of Rivia. This roster placement feels perfect for the style of game Soul Calibur VI is. With Geralt being a monster-slaying Witcher, his supernatural abilities, intuition, and mastery of the sword make him the perfect guest for Soul Calibur VI. I actually would love to see him as a regular character on the roster from now on because he meshes so well with the overall style and story.
I CARE ABOUT COMBAT MORE THAN ONLINE
I was somewhat disappointed in the online feature, but there is a good reason. In the last few days, during my play time, the network mode was pretty barren. There were a few matches I was able to hop in, but the main people I fought against were in the European regions and had very poor connections. Another reason I didn't play much of this mode was mainly the wait time. I found myself waiting around 20 minutes just to get in a match, but is also because this was an early review copy and no one being on the servers yet. I will say it needed a bit more stability online, but Bandai Namco knew that and added a patch very quickly to help the situation at hand.
Lastly, I would like to take a quick moment and talk about the combat. This is literally the easiest I have ever picked up a fighting game. The move sets and overall combat is the same it has always been and that is a really good thing. Critical Edge is back, but this time we have a new addition to the edge system, Reversal Edge. This is the new parry system in the game and it really comes in handy when in the heat of battle. When you hold and releasing the right bumper, you have a slow sequence that activates giving you a few seconds to do a heavy attack, light attack, block, or dodge. I found this addition not only useful but fun as hell when you playing with friends. There is nothing better than a perfectly times combo with Reversal Edge and Critical Edge!
Everything about this game has truly stunned me. I have been a Soul Calibur fan for many years and I have to say this baby takes the cake! This is by far one of the best fighting games I have ever played and I am confident enough to say it is the best in the series. Not only do we get two story modes, online play, versus mode, and much more. We got probably some of the best visuals and music I have experienced in some time. Over the next few months, as more DLC characters release, we will return to talk about this title...but until then don't pass up on this title. Go buy it now!