Soul Calibur is a weapon-based fighting game that takes place in a 16th-century historical fantasy setting and its been sorely missed. Now, six years after its predecessor, the beloved fighting game franchise is making a welcome return. We gave the upcoming Soul Calibur VI and all it’s characters a test drive to see just where they stand. While there’s still a lot of blanks, so far the updated roster includes favorites Kilik, Xianghua, Nightmare, Mitsurugi, Sophitia, and newcomer Grøh.
Searching through History
Soul Calibur VI will take warriors back to revisit the events of the original Soul Calibur to uncover hidden truths, but now, the series’ ancient environments look better than ever thanks to the Unreal 4 engine. The special effects from weapon clashes, guard impacts, and Critical Edge attacks are flashy and intuitive.
Despite the new lick of paint, Soul Calibur VI still captures the essences of previous entries. New additions like Reversal Edge have both combatants clash in an attempt to create an opening in the others guard. Reversal Edge attacks use a weapon triangle system. Vertical strikes out range horizontal, horizontal swings out range kick attacks, and kicks are faster than vertical strikes.
Critical Edge attacks work a bit differently from the past. The resource gauge appears to fill slower than previous entries and from my matches maxed out at 2. Like previous entries, gauges fill through the course of combat primarily by dealing or receiving damage. A player also gains a full critical gauge when the opponent is at match point. This gives the losing player a chance to mount a comeback in the following round. Activating Critical Edge attacks consumes a gauge and on hit unleashes a flurry of attacks dealing high damage. The inputs for these attacks are a bit more modernized to make it easier for anyone playing to access them.
New Battle, New tricks, Same Soul Calibur
We gave each character a test drive and here is our idea of where they stand so far. The game is still early in development so character balancing is likely to change as we get closer to launch.
Mitsurugi is fast and powerful, his lightning-fast combos and wide hitting strikes have enough range to deal with any character. Although fast his attacks are predictable which can leave him vulnerable to guard impacts. His defense feels a bit on the low end, but if you’re hitting your opponent you don’t need defense right?
Sophitia is back once again and remains one of the most balanced characters in terms of stats. She is middle of the pack in just about all aspects so she is never a bad pick. Sophitia’s above average speed compensates for her shorter range for attacks.
The man who can reach every corner of the arena. Kilik’s Bo Staff has always given him superior range to most characters and that hasn’t changed. He looks to have a slightly shorter range than before but moves a bit faster and hits harder to compensate. His attacks and combos also look to have fewer frames on startup making them easier to land.
Speed and agility is Xianghua’s bread and butter. Her combos are fast and chainable to keep her opponents on the defensive. She appears to have a weak spot in the defense and Health department. So perfecting guard impacts and sidesteps to close in on your opponent is a must.
Nightmare almost feels like a new character compared to his past appearances. He is faster than ever and still hits just as hard. Nightmare’s ability to knock opponents out of the arena reigns supreme so far. Also, his ability to feint and swap his attacks mid-combo are sure to keep the best opponents guessing. If you’ve never used Nightmare before now is the time to test him out.
Finally, our newcomer to the roster, Grøh uses two swords attached at the bottom of the hilt. He is the flashiest of the roster so far with vertical and horizontal spinning strikes. One of the fastest characters announced and his combos have moderate to high power. Like Mitsurugi, his attacks are a bit predictable leaving him vulnerable to guard impacts.
Namco Bandai and the Project Soul team have modernized Soul Calibur quite a bit since its last release. These upgrades and optimizations will go a long way when competing with the current fighting game giants. Only time will tell if SCVI will prevail in the tournament scene among Street Fighter, Guilty Gear, and Tekken. Regardless the action is paced perfectly and battles are flashy and fun to play or watch. With all the improvements shown so far one thing is for sure, Soul Calibur VI has studied its history books.
Soul Calibur VI is scheduled to release sometime in 2018 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC via Steam.
Jada Griffin is the Community Manager of Gaming at Fandom. She’s an Avid Gamer who roots for villains in Games & Movies. Her main Fandoms are Zelda, FF, DMC, D&D and most things Marvel/DC. She always Maxes STR & LCK and lives life on hard mode while searching for Pizza & the next difficulty level