E3 2018: SOULCALIBUR VI Hands-on Preview – Ready Your Fight Sticks (PS4)


SOULCALIBUR is a storied franchise at this point, from its humble beginnings in the arcade circuit in 1995 as Soul Edge, to becoming a common couch tournament game of choice for fighting game aficionados worldwide, including a famous cast of guest characters in later entries, from franchises as far-reaching as Star Wars, The Legend of Zelda, and now, The Witcher. We managed to deal serious damage with some HORI arcade sticks (okay, mashed buttons pretending like we knew all the combos) while playing SOULCALIBUR VI at E3 2018, and have our preview ready for you below.

Keep the Hits Coming

SOULCALIBUR VI doesn’t need to do a whole lot to ensure that fans line up to buy it, being well-established at this point. But including guest characters from other popular franchises is always a surefire way to shore up those numbers, to be sure! In case you hadn’t heard, Geralt of Rivia of The Witcher fame is making his mark on the series this time around. During our hands-on time with the game, Geralt felt almost a little too powerful, though his moves could be countered by a comparatively-skilled opponent.

The new Reversal Edge mechanic in SOULCALIBUR VI is a way for newer players to attempt to come back in a round where they are struggling. Similar to Injustice’s wager system, or Tekken 7’s Rage Art mechanic, it gives hope to those who are outmatched in a round. Giving new players slight advantages may be seen by seasoned players as unfair. While details on this new system were scarce, it was quickly described as a rock-paper-scissors kind of mechanic, where guessing your opponent’s move within a short, time-slowed sequence could make the difference between victory and defeat. During our time with the demo, it did appear that blocking was a valid move to pull, which will hopefully act to counteract those who may figure out a way to spam the move.

A Comfortable Cast

SOULCALIBUR VI includes many familiar characters, including but not limited to Ivy, Kilik, Maxi, Mitsurugi, Nightmare, Siegfried, Sophitia, Taki, Xianghua, Yoshimitsu, and Zasalemel. They are instantly recognizable to fans, dressed in their traditional clothing (or lack thereof, as would be Ivy’s case). Again, the Unreal Engine 4 allows the design of each character to really come to life, with intricate details amidst quick action and large backdrops.

When it comes to fighting games, fans don’t really want drastic changes. They tend to favor light touches and modifications, along with prettier graphics as technology moves right along. Old, trusty combos should still work, and mechanics to new newbies should be counterable by veterans. It looks like a few returning strategies can be countered by those who put in the time to learn the systems in place, and old combos and moves still work just fine. SOULCALIBUR VI is barreling towards its October 19th release date, and we’ll be sure to let you know how well it has fared with a review.

Keep the combo going by clicking to all of our E3 2018 coverage here!