The queue for Soulcalibur 6 ar E3 2018 was an interesting experience for two reasons. The first being how startlingly short it was, and the second being Gage boasting how good he was and how much he loved the series. Gage is an old hand when it comes to Soulcalibur with countless hours under his belt, whereas I’m just a button mashing rookie who hasn’t played since Soulcalibur 4 and even then, not all that much. I was expecting to get my arse best in 3 straight rounds, after all I’d be a rookie going up against a master and I’d have to content with a wealth of new features and mechanics.
A simple fact that I feel is a testament to the accessibility of Soulcalibur 6. Old hands would have felt right at home as they stepped up to the fight pad, something I have no experience with, and even though it came down to the wire I still managed to triumph (they had to know, buddy). The new mechanics and features are integrated into the old familiar chassis of the series expertly. It’s hard to see them as “new” given how seamlessly they fit with the rest of the game.
The first of the new mechanics we got to try was the Reversal Edge, a powerful, cinematic combo designed to bring you back into a fight when you look to be down and out. You need to have at least one full gauge in order to trigger the reversal edge attack, which if it lands can deliver a devastating series of blows, closing the gap and giving you a chance to bring the round back. Timing with this technique is key, it can be used to interrupt your opponent’s combo, however doing so is a huge risk but with huge rewards if executed properly.
The other new feature we were able to test out was the Lethal Hit sequence, a powerful cinematic final blow style attack. Each Lethal Hit is unique to each character and shows off their individual talents to great dramatic effect. Geralt, for example, combines the use of his blades and signs in order to obliterate his opponents. The Lethal Hit will also cause armour break on the target.
Soulcalibur 6 makes a great first impression, welcoming old hands and inexperienced rookies alike with welcome arms. Whether you’re a newcomer to the series or a seasoned veteran you’re going to have a great time! Soulcalibur titles have always been known for their fluidity of movement and polished visuals, something Soulcalibur 6 delivers in spades. Character movements are crisp and responsive, any false inputs are your mistakes and yours alone, there’s no pinning it on the game itself.
First impressions are strong and if the Soulcalibur 6 demo build we got to play on the show floor is a good representation of the finished product then the final release is set to be a fantastic entry into the Soulcalibur series, maintaining the high standards we’ve come to expect from Soulcalibur titles.