Bandai Namco's sword-based fighter is back

Written by techgoth

It’s been a very long time coming, but a new SoulCalibur is on the way! Six years after SoulCalibur V worked its way onto PS3 and Xbox 360, SoulCalibur 6 is finally a reality.

Inventively named SoulCalibur VI, it looks like a glorious return to form for a series that arguably lost its way after the highs of 2002’s SoulCalibur II. Revealed at The Game Awards, and then further detailed at PlayStation Experience 2017, the SoulCalibur 6 teaser trailer gives very little away about what fans can expect from the long-running fighting series.

If you were hoping the initial reveal trailer would let you know what to expect, think again. The only real gameplay shown came from a clash between series favourites Sophitia and Mitsurugi on a typically SoulCalibur-style stage. So far, so good. It’s also built in Unreal Engine 4, and therefore looks absolutely gorgeous in motion.

At this point, details about who’s starring are unclear, but if the titular sword features you can almost certainly expect Siegfried and Nightmare to return. It also looks like it’s shaping up to be a retelling of the series’ age-old tale of swords and souls, as the evil SoulEdge clashes against its righteous counterpart the SoulCalibur. In fact, at the very end of the reveal trailer, a character is teased wearing a gauntlet and wielding what looks to be a double-bladed sword.

Thankfully, the ten-minute long gameplay trailer shown at PSX 2017 revealed a lot more details on what we can expect from SoulCalibur 6. Poised as a ten-minute gameplay reveal, it was actually a recurring battle between Mitsurugi and Sophitia as game producer Motohiro Okubo explained what we can expect from SoulCalibur 6.

We’ve broken down Okubo’s explanation into a more digestible format below, but you can watch the video to see what he has to say in full.

SoulCalibur 6: Everything you need to know

SoulCalibur 6’s release date will be 2018

As SoulCalibur 6 is designed to be the celebration of the series’ 20th anniversary, Bandai Namco’s new entry will arrive in 2018. When in 2018, however, is less clear. Speaking at PSX 2017,  Okubo explained that “we are working very hard to get this game out,” and that he and the team would like to say it will be arriving as soon as possible. However, “within the 2018 year is the best answer I can give right now.”

At least we won’t have to wait that long, especially as the year should tick by rather swiftly thanks to a regular trickle of information from Bandai Namco about what we can expect from SoulCalibur 6.

SoulCalibur 6’s has a new Reversal Edge technique for fights

The series’ 8-Way Run movement system makes a triumphant return and, fans will be pleased to know, combat has generally returned to its roots. However, Okubo has introduced a new Reversal Edge technique into play.

On paper, it sounds a bit like a flashier Guard Impact move, allowing you to either counter or parry your opponent’s attack. Bandai Namco describes it as a way to “land a counterattack while in guard”, while Okubo describes it as the recreation of the “feeling of becoming a swordsman or really epic weapons fighter”.

“There are these certain moments where you’re fighting, when the opponent’s sword is coming down at you and everything goes in slow motion,” he explained. “After that, you parry it, dodge it, and go immediately into a counterattack. That’s the feeling we were trying to recreate and it ended up becoming this Reversal Edge mechanic.”

If that wasn’t clear enough, Okubo summarised it as a system that’s designed to be easy to execute even if the opponent is attacking high or low, allowing you to parry and counterattack. The idea behind this sort of countering technique is to enable newcomers to understand the general attack triangle that the series has had for what moves can usurp other moves.

SoulCalibur 6 could be a retelling of SoulCalibur

Story details around SoulCalibur 6 are scant, but it looks like it could retread the tale of the original SoulCalibur that came out on the Dreamcast in 1998.

Bandai Namco has already stated that players will “revisit the events of the original SoulCalibur”, but as it’s planned to feature a “diverse lineup of new and returning characters”, it clearly has to tell a different tale. It’s also clear that it’s taking place before SoulCalibur V, because Sophitia is in the game and the aged Mitsurugi is looking incredibly youthful.

You can also see that this is a return to form for the series as, visually, it looks much brighter and fresher than later entries. For some reason, unbeknown to most beyond the Project Soul team, more recent SoulCalibur titles have been decidedly dark in terms of tone and visuals. This looks exactly like as you’d expect a modern retelling of the classic SoulCalibur to look.

If this is indeed the retelling of the original SoulCalibur, I’m seriously hoping they bring back the series’ absolutely sublime Weapon Master mode, which has been absent from every entry since SoulCalibur III. Other entries have tried to make up for the lack of an incredibly enjoyable single-player campaign for the beat-em-up, but none have succeeded in any way comparable to the brilliant Weapon Master mode. Even the initial PlayStation entry, SoulBlade, featured it in a rougher Edge Master mode, which I’d happily take in SoulCalibur 6.

SoulCalibur 6 will bring back series favourites, but don’t expect everyone to star

Seeing as SoulCalibur 6 is reportedly set back when the original SoulCalibur took place, don’t expect it to feature all of your favourite characters – especially if you’re a fan of 2012’s SoulCalibur V.

Due to its setting, younger characters such as Patroklos, Pyrrha and Natsu are unlikely to return. This also means Talim from SoulCalibur II and Tira from SoulCalibur III are also unlikely to feature. However, it could mean the return of lost favourites such as Seong Mi-na, Kilik and Xianghua, so all is not lost.

We’ll keep you updated on everything you need to know about SoulCalibur 6 as and when new information arrives.

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