Koei-Tecmo’s fighting franchise returns after a hiatus- here’s what you should know about the upcoming sequel.
It’s been a few years since the release of the last Dead or Alive title- well, a proper, fighting Dead or Alive title at any rate. The fifth entry in the series launched in 2012 and was met with less than stellar reception, following which the series went on a break. Now, nearly seven years since the last of the previous mainline game in the series, Dead or Alive 6 is almost upon us, and it’s looking to bring a few changes to the series with it. In this feature, we’ll be taking a look at fifteen things you should know about the upcoming fighter.
While there aren’t a lot of concrete details to give us a clear idea of where the game will pick up in terms of its narrative setup, there are some things that the developers have shared so far. We know that Kasumi has fled from her clan and is living in the mountains as a “runaway ninja”, while we also know that things – some things – are set into motion after “a sinister incident in a village”, and an incident involving Helena Douglas, president of the new DOATEC.
Dead or Alive 6’s roster currently has 26 confirmed characters. Of these 26, the vast majority are returning characters, including the likes of Kasumi, Ayane, Ryu Hayabusa, Tina Armstrong, Leifang, Honoka, Christie, Hayate, and many others. Two characters from SNK will also be featured as guest additions, including Mai Shiranui, who also made an appearance in Dead or Alive 5- Last Round.
While the vast majority of Dead or Alive 6’s roster is comprised of returning characters, that doesn’t mean there won’t be any new faces whatsoever. Two new characters have been confirmed for the game- there’s Diego, a Mexican-America street fighter who enters the tournament to win some money for the treatment for his sick mother, and there’s NiCO, a M.I.S.T. scientist from Finland who can also use lightning infused attacks on top of being an accomplished martial artist.
NO MORE TAG BATTLES
The tag battle mode won’t be making a return in Dead or Alive 6. Developers Team Ninja have explained that they’re pooling all their resources and energies into focusing on the game’s 1v1 modes, and as such, couldn’t find the time to work on the tag battles mode.
Dead or Alive 6 is bringing a few new mechanics to the table- the first of these is Fatal Rush. Fatal Rush has been described as a mechanic that is geared more towards beginners, as it allows you to press a single button multiple times in a row, which then unleashes a simple combo attack.
Another new mechanic in Dead or Alive 6 is the Break Gauge. As its name suggests, this is a meter that constantly and gradually fills up as you unleash attacks with your fighter. Once the meter is full, the Break Gauge facilitates other mechanics in the game- which brings us to our next point…
CRITICAL BLOW (PRETTY MUCH)
Combining the Break Gauge with a Fatal Rush combo – both of which we’ve already spoken about – is something that players will doubtless be doing a lot of. Why? Because if your Break Gauge is full and you perform a Fatal Rush combo, your character will unleash a more powerful critical hit, which will essentially be equivalent to the Critical Blow from Dead or Alive 5.
Yet another new mechanic in the game – and perhaps the most interesting of the bunch – is the Fatal Reversal. Using the Fatal button along with a directional input, players basically swiftly move around an enemy and quickly reappear behind their backs, allowing for a window for a powerful and unexpected attack. Each character will have a unique animation for performing a Fatal Reversal- for ninjas, this obviously means that they’ll disappear and reappear behind an enemy’s back.
Fighting games often prove to be a bit intimidating for those who aren’t too familiar with the genre, but Dead or Alive 6 is attempting to curb those issues somewhat. The developers are looking to design the game in a way that it’s more accessible – the Fatal Rush mechanic should be ample evidence for that. Hopefully, they’ll manage to strike the right balance, and won’t end up alienating the series’ core, veteran fanbase.
ENHANCED JUGGLING ATTACKS
Juggling combos are a staple of the fighting genre, so it really goes without saying that Dead or Alive 6 will be bringing these back. What’s notable, though, is that the developers are looking to enhance these combos even further, to allow players to use the ground bounce system to extend their juggle combos even further.
For the first time in the history of Dead or Alive, DOA 6 will also have cosmetic character customization tools. Using these tools, players will be able to customize the look of any character in the game’s roster including the clothes they’re wearing, their hairstyles, and more. That said, how extensive these options will be remains to be seen.
VISUAL DAMAGE TO FIGHTERS
As fights progress, the fighters will also show visual wear and tear as a result of any injuries or damage they have sustained during combat. While these changes will be cosmetic only and won’t effect gameplay, players will nonetheless be able to see bruises, scratches, bloody injuries, and more.
Team Ninja and Koei-Tecmo have plans for DLC following the initial launch of Dead or Alive 6 as well, of course. So far, three characters have been confirmed for DLC, including Mai Shiranui – whom we’ve already spoken of – Nyotengu, and Phase 4. Additionally, more characters from Ninja Gaiden might also be added on down the line, including the likes of Momiji.
Dead or Alive 5 offered players a free-to-play version of the game, called Core Fighters, which featured fewer fighters and less content than the paid version of the game. Team Ninja have confirmed that Dead or Alive 6 will be getting a similar free to play version as well. While details on what content it will include haven’t been released yet, we can probably expect it to be similar in nature and scope to Core Fighters.
PARITY ACROSS ALL VERSIONS
Developers Team Ninja have stated that they’re looking to have parity across all consoles for the game, which means that they won’t particularly be enhancing the game on more powerful hardware, so to speak. That said, players can expect the game to perform better on the likes of the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One X (with the developers targeting a 60 FPS), which is obviously going to be very important, given that this is a fighter.