Here’s what you need to know about the upcoming fighter.
It’s been six years since the launch of Soulcalibur 5, but this legendary fighting franchise is finally returning. Launching on October 19, Soulcalibur 6 is looking to bring the franchise back to former glory by bringing together a mix of old and new things. As its imminent release draws closer, let’s take a look at fifteen vital details about the game that you need to know of before you jump in.
With Soulcalibur 6, developers Project Soul are, in many ways, looking to start afresh and give the franchise a new lease of life. One of the ways they’re doing that is by treating it as a reboot of sorts. Rather than continuing or expanding the story that they’ve told in previous games up until this point, Soulcalibur 6 will instead go back to the very beginning, and look at things from a new perspective to, in the developer’s own words, “reveal hidden truths”.
Soulcalibur 6 will retell the story of the very first Soulcalibur, but it won’t be a remake – obviously. Rather, it’s retelling the same story, but adding on new elements while also looking at already known events from different perspectives to offer a new and unique tale that fresh and familiar at the same time. The story will take place between the years 1583 and 1590, and will once again focus on the battle between the two legendary blades – Soul Edge, the cursed sword, and Soul Calibur, the spirit sword. Things will will begin as Kilik sets out on his quest to steal the Soul Edge, while the developers have also said that players will be able to see the story from the perspective of multiple characters.
Guest characters have long been a tradition of the Soulcalibur franchise, with each instalment pulling in well known and famous characters from other franchises to its roster, from The Legend of Zelda’s Link in Soulcalibur 2 to Star Wars’ Darth Vader and Yoda in Soulcalibur 4, to Assassin’s Creed’s Ezio Auditore in Soulcalibur 5, and so many more. Soulcalibur 6 is going to continue that tradition, by including Geralt of Rivia, protagonist of CD Projekt RED’s highly acclaimed The Witcher trilogy, in its roster of characters.
There’s going to be several familiar faces in Soulcalibur 6’s roster, and a few new ones as well. Groh, armed with dual sabres, and Azwel, armed with some sort of gloves, are new characters, while the likes of Cervantes, Mitsuguru, Kilik, Astaroth, and Voldo are all returning. Some returning characters, such as Tira, are also going to be exclusive to DLC- which brings us to our next point.
One piece of information that Soulcalibur 6 that understandably bugs some people is its season pass, which will consist of several content drops. These will be bringing four characters to the roster, in addition to two armour packs, and over a hundred customization items. Of these four characters, the first has been confirmed as the fan favourite ring blade wielding mentally unstable Tira, who was first introduced in Soulcalibur 3 and also appeared in Soulcalibur 4.
Soulcalibur 5’s character creation will be making a return in Soulcalibur 6, but it’s going to be more expanded than it was in its previous appearance. For instance, there’s going to be more customization options than before, such as even being able to choose your character’s race this time around, while even more options will be added on as DLC, as we’ve already mentioned. Additionally, for the first time in the series, a guest character’s fighting style will also be available as one of the options available to players.
LIBRA OF SOULS
Created characters will have much more use this time around, too. In Libra of Souls, which is an entirely separate story campaign from the main one, players will play as their own created character. While the main story mode will have a focus on retelling the story of the original Soulcalibur, Libra of Souls will act as a second story mode that sees players embarking on a completely different journey as their very own character.
One of the biggest new mechanics being introduced to the fighting in Soulcalibur 6 is Reversal Edge, a timing based block of incoming attacks which triggers a slow motion effect and is intended as more of a defensive option. When the bullet time style effect is triggered, both fighters will engage each other in a single button exchange with each other, with the winner being determined based on a rock-paper-scizzors strengths and weaknesses system.
Another new mechanic is Lethal Hit. While Reversal Edge is more of a defensive option for players, Lethal Hit is almost the exact opposite, as the name suggests, resulting in attacks that can literally send the enemy flying. Very particular and specific conditions have to be met for players to be able to use this attack, which will also vary depending on which move is being pulled off,. What this means is that players can’t spam the new mechanic (thankfully enough- or well, that’s what we hope for anyway).
Soulcalibur 6 introduces many new mechanics to the series’ fighting style, a couple of which we’ve just discussed, but it’s also bringing plenty of stuff back. For instance- Soul Charge, which was last seen in Soulcalibur 3. However, given just how different Soul Charge is going to be in the upcoming sequel, it might as well be a new mechanic. Thanks to Soul Charge, players will be able to transform into entirely different versions of the characters they’re playing as, which will grant special abilities and other powerful attacks to let loose.
Another mechanic that’s returning in Soulcalibur 6 is Guard Impact, which is a defensive move that allows all characters to either counter or parry attacks. But though the fact that Guard Impact is returning may not be all that notable, what is notable is that in while in Soulcalibur 5 each Guard Impact would drain 25% of your critical gauge, this time around it will have no gauge cost at all.
Also returning in Soulcalibur 6 is Critical Edge. First introduced way back in Soul Edge, Critical Edge was never seen again right up until Soulcalibur 5, where it was heavily altered to become more of ultimate moves that consume the entirety of the Soul Gauge, dealing ultimate attacks of massive damage similar to, say, Ultra Combos in Street Fighter. In Soulcalibur 6, these will largely remain unchanged.
Yet another mechanic that’s returning is Soulcalibur 6 is armour break, which fans might remember from Soulcalibur 4 and 5 as well. Armour breaks in Soulcalibur 4 will allow players to deal damage to separate sections of armour. Interestingly enough, though, it will also have an effect on characters’ hair, of all things, as well.
THE FATE OF THE FRANCHISE
While fans of the Soulcalibur series will obviously be absolutely thrilled that they get to experience another entry in this series, the future doesn’t look all too secure for it. Recently, Motohiro Okubo, who serves as the game’s producer, confirmed that Bandai Namco wasn’t all too keen on bringing back Soulcalibur as it is, and had low expectations from the franchise, and that getting Soulcalibur 6 greenlit was a struggle in and of itself. He then went on to confirm that if the game doesn’t sell too well, it’ll probably end up being the final game in the series.
NINTENDO SWITCH VERSION
Though Soulcalibur 6 is for now only releasing for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC, a Nintendo Switch version of the game isn’t completely out of the question. While right now the development team at Project Soul remains completely focussed on the game’s launch, they have stated that the Switch is a great piece of hardware that they might possibly be interested in bringing their game to. Bandai Namco also have enjoyed a great relationship with Nintendo for years now, so if Soulcalibur 6 does well at launch, who knows, we might actually get to play it on the Switch at some point in the future.