The SoulCalibur franchise finally makes its triumphant return, but can it stand with the other numerous fighting games that have been released over the past few years on our current-gen systems? It’s been 6 years since the last mainline SoulCalibur game was released, and this is our first look at the franchise on current-gen systems. SCVI takes us back to the start, retelling the story that has been built upon over the years; it's the perfect start for newcomers of the franchise and there is still plenty new content for those familiar with SC lore.
SCVI has 2 story mode options. The first is Libra of Soul; players will play through the SC timeline with their own custom-made character - an RPG-esque type mode that involves levelling up your character as you travel through the map, obtaining new items that can be used in combat, granting you various perks. This also lets you obtain new weapons as well as comrades who will fight with you in battle. This particular mode lets you forge your own destiny with your character and gives you various choices that will tip the scale towards good or evil, altering how the story plays out as well as the weapons your character acquires.
Main quests and side quests are scattered around the map; side quests require you to travel around various points on the map, and doing so will cost the player gold, which can be earned in combat, to travel to these points. As you level up, you gain additional health as well as being able to equip higher level weapons assisting you in combat. Weapons also have various attributes such as their damage output, as well as special attributes like health recovery or additional critical hit damage, which can all be enhanced or combined to create new weapons with various attributes. It’s quite an enjoyable mode where players will find the most depth in terms of single player content. However, it is heavily text-based and unlike the other mode, has very little voice-over dialogue which did get a bit tiring for me at times.
The other story mode is Soul Chronicle, the retelling of the main story which follows a few of the cast members while also integrating other characters as you progress through the timeline. This mode is fully narrated and is accompanied by some of the best artwork you will find in any game. There are 20 chapters within the mode, but in addition to this, every character also gets their own timeline you can go through, telling their story of where they were and what they were doing during a specific time. It all comes together to re-tell the great story of SoulCalibur. Each character has about 6-7 chapters to get through within this mode. Completing these also rewards players with SP currency which can be used to purchase additional items for use in customization.
SCVI allows for 100 custom characters as well as 100 player downloaded characters to be saved. Best of all, everything can be customized, from hair and outfits to colours and pattern designs - even blood type.
The most important part of a fighting game is its combat, and SCVI is better than ever.
Geralt’s Kaer Morhen level is a great addition to the game and features one of my favourite soundtracks to fight to.
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Bandai Namco Studios, Project Soul, Dimps
Bandai Namco Entertainment
PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
19 October 2018
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