E3 Hands-on – Soul Calibur VI

The Soul Calibur series is easily my favorite fighting series of all time, and that obviously means I was really excited to be able to test its new iteration at Bandai Namco’s booth at E3 2018. I played the game on a PS4 with a Hori Hayabusa arcade stick and left the session feeling really confident about the game. I can’t wait for the full release! Soul Calibur VI might not exactly look and sound as well as other games in the franchise used to, but it plays as well as its predecessors, if not better.

Physics-wise, I was expecting Soul Calibur VI to feel just like Tekken 7 seeing as both games share the same engine and this is mostly true: the framerate, the character movement, the attack velocity, everything felt like Tekken 7 and given the fact I downright loved that game, that’s actually a huge point of praise.


Ivy and the power of fan service.

One thing that’s equally a big positive and a point of (very slight) concern is the fact character animations looked identical to previous versions of Soul Calibur. My second favorite character, Maxi, still retains the same intro animation, the same sidestepping movements, everything from Soul Calibur II was still there. Would that be considered a negative? I’d actually say that this is a statement of how ahead of its time Soul Calibur II was. The game looked fantastic back then, and its animations still look good to this day on much more advanced hardware. One thing I could notice while playing the game was that you gradually break your opponent’s armor the more you attack him/her. I truly noticed that while I was fighting against Ivy and realized she looked even more naked than usual.

During my short session with the game, I’ve decided to play mostly with the characters I was already acquainted with, but don’t you worry, I did test Geralt and oh boy, is he awesome. Are you worried Bandai Namco would nerf his abilities just like they did with Vader and Yoda? Fear not, as he’s as powerful as ever. His sword combos are easy to perform and the integration with his magical abilities reminded me of the good old days when my Link holding a Megaton Hammer would be the stuff of my friends’ nightmares. In fact, not only is Geralt easy to control; just like Tekken 7, everyone feels easy to control. The new “Reversal Edge” mechanic is easy to perform, but it’s balanced enough not to feel like a cheap method of counter attacking everything your opponent throws at you.


How does Nightmare use the toilet?

Despite not being present in the demo, I’m already aware the game will feature more than one single-player mode, as well as the return of the Character Creator mode. I can’t wait to create the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles once again!

I was already hyped for Soul Calibur VI prior to E3, and now I’m even more hyped for it. This is a great return to form and a game that can easily turn out to be as good as Tekken 7 was last year. I still want to know more about its roster and its list of single player modes, but the demo I played at E3 was enough to convince me that, at least gameplay-wise, the game is going to be great.

By the way, where the heck is Raphael, Bandai Namco?