Soulcalibur VI is a 3D fighting game where each character uses weapons, with their move-sets being specifically designed around their equipment. As expected, it plays very differently from other fighting games due to the extended range of these weapons.
Players have a horizontal and vertical attack, in addition to a standard kick and grab. You can also mash the two attack buttons for a short combo. The new Reversal Edge mechanic plays a key role in the battle system. When utilized, it slows down time and each character must select one of the face buttons, with the winner being decided based on rock, papers and scissors formula. Similar to the in-game presentation of Tekken 7, Reversal Edge looks great in action.
You also have access to a Soul Charge meter that gives you a buff as well as new moves. How you spend that charge is up to you and the results can drastically alter the direction of the fight, depending upon the gameplay decisions you make. The fighting in general feels stylish and impactful. Pulling off combos with weapons such as a giant spear is extremely satisfying, while reversal edge and soul charge add a unique thrill. Soulcalibur VI ships with two distinct story modes. Libra of Souls follows a created character and allows you to customise your complete look as well as the weapon style you wish to use. Think of this mode as a text based rpg. There is world map and you jump to different locations to initiate story events or take part in battles.
There are a shocking number of mechanics present here. You get xp for finishing quests, gain access to shops to buy weapons, use items for buffs, train at the dojo and so on. I love the idea as well as execution of Libra of Souls. It keeps budgets low but provides enough incentive, whether it be story or the rpg elements, for players to continue. You get to make choices that determine if you are good or evil, which later on unlocks unique missions. There is no voice acting in this game mode, but it complements the second major single player portion of Soulcalibur VI — Soul Chronicle. This plays like a standard story mode, and although there are no cut scenes, it is told via beautifully rendered images with voice acting. There is a time-line of sorts but you are mostly free to choose whichever character’s story interests you.
Soulcalibur VI is the perfect example of how to provide good single player content without going over-budget. Despite, or perhaps due to, the extremely basic presentation, they were able to spend time on making the modes more interesting and engaging for the consumers. The story modes in other fighting games simply boil down to watching cut scenes and fighting, and they are generally pretty short. While that still exists in Soulcalibur VI, Libra of Souls is addicting and goes hand in hand with Soul Chronicle, resulting in a grand tale unlike anything we have seen from recent fighting games.
Aside from this, you have access to arcade mode, training and online multiplayer. I did not face too many connection issues whenever I played online. If you are a fan of single player content in fighting games, Soulcalibur VI is a must play. The battle system itself is well-designed, and it feels just as fun to watch as it is to play. It is the most feature-rich game we have seen in this genre in many years.