Welcome back to the stage of history
I’ve played Soul Calibur VI and goddamn is it good. I’m very lucky to have played the game twice, once at EGX 2018 and the other being the Online Beta.
I spent a good amount of time with Soul Calibur VI at EGX. I took part in ten matches, I won five and lost five. Now I know what some may be thinking, “ew what a scrub, he lost five matches”. First of all, I haven’t played Soul Calibur in years so, me getting a 50/50 result isn’t bad. Secondly, this is a new fighting game and there are new mechanics and characters have new moves. Learning the new moves and mechanics takes time, time I didn’t have at EGX. I wanted to play other games at the event and it wouldn’t be fair on other people at the event if I hogged the demo.
The Online Beta, however, was a different experience. I played the game for several hours and got in a lot of matches, most of which I won. I was also able to learn how the new mechanics work and some of the new moves.
I thought I would combine both of my experiences with Soul Calibur VI and write about them. So let’s talk about the tale of souls, eternally retold.
The clashing of swords, the sound of competition
I played 10 matches of Soul Calibur VI at EGX and each one was a blast. Every person I went against was eager and pumped up with energy. I went against casual players, experienced players and even some people who had never played a Soul Calibur game. Obviously, Soul Calibur veterans knew what they were doing and were having fun but so was everyone else.
I fought against people who had no past experience with a Soul Calibur game and even though they lost, they were raring to go, pumped up with adrenaline ready for another match. If a fighting game can do this to people who haven’t even the series before, you know you have a winner on your hands.
The atmosphere at the Soul Calibur VI area was incredible, it felt similar to Tekken 7’s booth at EGX 2016. Crowds of people gathered around each screen, watching two people competing against each other and their reactions throughout the fights increased the energy, making players fight harder and better. It’s a fantastic feeling and one that I only get when I play and watch people play fighting games.
The EGX demo didn’t have a full roster to play with but Soul Calibur VI already brought an incredible level of skill and emotion out of people. I didn’t see one sad face at the booth, everyone was happy and I think if they had their way they wouldn’t go home, they’d stay at the NEC (where EGX was held) and play the game all day and all night. I wanted to do that myself but I had a train to catch.
Warriors from around the world battle for gold
The Online Beta was good and was predominantly stable. I had a few hiccups here and there, some matches had lag but it wasn’t so bad that it was unplayable. I was expecting some lag during the beta because well, it’s a beta. It wasn’t going to perfect, it was always going to be rough around the edges. I do have to say though I was surprised by how stable it was, given it was a beta I was expecting more turbulence.
There were a couple of problems, small problems that could easily be fixed by the time the main game launches. It took a while to find my first game but once I did, it didn’t take long for me to connect to matches after that. Sometimes I had to wait a minute, other times I had to wait about 3 minutes. I found a fix that reduced the waiting time by a lot, I had to change my settings so that that I would play anyone in any region and with any connection.
The other small problem was that the connection bars made no sense whatsoever. I fought against a player with a one bar connection and it was smooth as butter, however, I had one match against someone with a four bar connection and it was laggy. These are only small problems from what was a very good and enjoyable Online Beta and these could possibly be fixed by the time the game releases.
Flashy, slashy and stylish
In this section I’m going to cover some of the game’s mechanics, three to be exact; Critical Edge, Soul Charge and Reversal Edge. There are more systems in play in the upcoming fighting game but I think, that these three gameplay mechanics will be the ones players will experience the most.
Critical Edge is effectively a super move (special move) that you can do by inputting A+B+K (Square, triangle, circle on PS4. A+B+K is mapped to R2 on PS4). These special moves are cinematic, flashy and can deal quite a bit of damage. They can be used at any time during the match as long as you have at least one bar of meter, however, you cannot spam them.
Whilst Critical Edges are powerful they can be blocked and side-stepped. If you activate your Critical Edge and your opponent blocks it, you leave yourself wide open for attack and your he or she can take the advantage. Critical Edges can be used as a way to get back into the round. You may be having a particularly bad round but a successful Critical Edge can bring you back and it could possibly turn the tides into your favour.
Soul Charge is where your character imbues themselves with some kind of energy and if your opponent is nearby, it can actually knock them back. Activating Soul Charge gives you access to new moves and abilities, allowing you to pull off flashier moves and longer combos. Much like the Critical Edges, you need at least one bar of meter to activate Soul Charge.
Reversal Edge is a new mechanic that allows you to evade attacks in a rather slick way. Holding R1 (RB on Xbox One) will put your character into a stance that will let you dodge nearly every kind of attack. When you let go of R1 you will do an attack and if successful, you will then enter the Reversal Edge mini-game.
The Reversal Edge mini-game is effectively a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors and when activated the game slows down and it looks incredibly stylish. There is one downside to Reversal Edge, it can be spammed. During my time with the Online Beta, I had one match where a guy spammed it and it got annoying. Luckily though that person wasn’t very good and I was playing as Maxi so he didn’t stand a chance.
The soul is back
Soul Calibur VI is quite simply, fantastic. Every fight was fast, fun, flashy and entertaining. It felt great to play as Kilik once again after Soul Calibur V ruined him. Maxi was incredibly fun (as usual), Nightmare is bloody crazy, Taki is awesome and Groh has some sweet moves.
I’ve only played against other people in Soul Calibur VI, I’ve not even tried any of the offline content such as the story modes and character creation. However, I can already tell that this game is shaping up to be something special. Soul Calibur is back! Man, it feels really good to say that.
Before you go I do have one question, does your soul still burn?
Soul Calibur VI releases on October 19th for PS4, Xbox One and PC.
Are you excited for Soul Calibur VI? Let me know in the comments below or you can tell me on Twitter – @ThatGreenDude95