Hands on with SoulCalibur VI, the latest entry in the long running weapon based fighting game

When I was 16, I was introduced to the game SoulBlade at a friend’s house; a weapon based fighting game sounded awesome, but since my fighting game peak was the SNES Street Fighter II, I was not expecting to play long before we booted something else up.

Instead we played for hours, and I managed to get quite a few wins. Something about the slower and more tactical pace clicked with me, and I’ve preferred the Edge/Blade/Calibur series ever since.

Total wins = 1! Total human opponents = 0!

With the recent announcement of Geralt of Rivia as a playable character, I was excited to see if I could get my hands on with SoulCalibur VI at PAX East. Thanks to a friendly Brand manager at the booth who discussed the age-old question of Witcher Vs Dark Souls with me, I got to jump in and check out this latest entry.

My first impression was that this game is beautiful. Seeing Kilik and newcomer Groh in 4K on the title screen was impressive, but seeing them actually move and fight? Unreal. This game is smooth and gorgeous, and the pictures I took do not do it justice.

I don’t think anything else at PAX was as good looking as this game

With Geralt not playable in this current build, I figured I’d try out the newbie Groh, and his double saber – a weapon of two swords connected by the hilts. The controls feel just as solid as any Soul entry, but the counter and timing blocks felt very specific. My many hours of parrying from Dark Souls and BoTW came in handy here as I used the new Reversal Edge quite a few times to keep my opponent at bay. I managed to win my first match just barely, mostly due to my complete unfamiliarity with Groh’s skill set.

I might be maining Geralt for this game, but Groh plays very well

For my second match, I went back to one of my mains – Kilik – and destroyed Sophitia in short order. I did not see his new possessed mechanic, where he seemingly glows with barely contained power, but I did get a Ring Out, which is my absolute favorite thing to do when playing against a human opponent.

EAT STICK!

One key-note here – the booth staff let me play against the computer so I could focus on the visuals and learn the controls. I fully expect to spend weeks learning the ins and outs of all these systems, and then getting utterly dominated online from the jump, so this might be my last Ring Out for a while.

As someone who usually refuses to pre-order games, it’s looking like i’m going to be breaking that rule as I want this in my hands as soon as possible. SoulCalibur VI releases in 2018 on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.