dead or alive 6

Fight like an al­ley cat in the new en­try into the far-fromDead se­ries

XBox: The Official Magazine - - START - Chris Burke PUB­LISHER KOEI TECMO DE­VEL­OPER TEAM NINJA ETA 15 FE­BRU­ARY 2019

Dead Or Alive has grown up. Not only is the lat­est in the long-run­ning fight­ing se­ries – named 6, but ac­tu­ally, as­ton­ish­ingly, the 19th ti­tle in Tecmo’s fran­chise – the first on the Xbox One, it’s also at­tempt­ing to po­si­tion it­self as a more se­ri­ous fighter. That’s not an easy thing to do when most peo­ple’s as­so­ci­a­tions with it might be that of pneu­matic young ladies scrap­ping it out by the pool in the beach volleyball-meets-UFC stylings of Dead Or Alive 3 Ex­treme Volleyball back on the OG Xbox. But with an in­sis­tence that there is a story here (das­tardly plans of sin­is­ter cor­po­ra­tions), and by putting equal em­pha­sis on the fact that there

are male fight­ers here, DOA 6 prom­ises to be less about the t’n’a, and more about the ‘tri­an­gle’.

Fights in DOA are based on what de­vel­op­ers Team Ninja call a ‘tri­an­gle sys­tem’: strikes beat throws, throws beat holds, holds beat strikes. If you’re think­ing that sounds like rock, pa­per, scis­sors, you’d be right – al­most ridicu­lously sim­ple, right? But when you add to that a new spe­cial at­tack me­ter for DOA 6 called the Break Gauge sys­tem, mean­ing you can Break Blow, or Break Hold, to counter some of those moves, plus a mash-up of combo moves such as the new Fa­tal Rush, you’ve got a suf­fi­ciently com­plex fight­ing sys­tem to give you an arse­nal of mad skills to bring to the Tour­na­ment.

All fight on the night

Twenty fight­ers have been con­firmed so far, with only one new char­ac­ter con­firmed – Diego, a Mex­i­canAmer­i­can street fighter who en­ters the DOA Tour­na­ment to get money to help look af­ter his sick mother. So we al­ready know he’s one of the good guys. Re­turn­ing favourites in­clude ex-ninja Ka­sumi, as­sas­sin Christie, opera singer He­lena (opera singers are no­to­ri­ously good at fight­ing), wrestling stars Bass and his daugh­ter Tina, for­mer Rus­sian spe­cial forces sol­dier Bay­man, an oil rig worker called, um, Rig, and best of all Ryu Hayabusa – the ninja from the Ninja Gaiden se­ries.

New stages in­clude The Mus­cle (a wrestling ring), jun­gle arena Lost Par­adise, DOA Colos­seum (arena for the DOA Tour­na­ment it­self), and Road Rage – the scene of a hor­rific traf­fic col­li­sion. Mi­nus, we hope, any blood or bod­ies. There’s also a pi­rate ship­based arena called For­bid­den For­tune, the tran­si­tion for which in­volves get­ting your op­po­nent grabbed by a giant oc­to­pus ten­ta­cle and smashed through to the deck below.

En­vi­ron­ments are nicely de­struc­tible, and you can earn ex­tra dam­age by smack­ing your op­po­nents into boxes, jars and crates; or run around smash­ing them up be­fore your op­po­nent can use them against you.

The Throw­down is our favourite of the are­nas we’ve seen – a gritty, ur­ban back-al­ley in which the crowd gath­ered around to watch the fight even get in­volved, be­com­ing them­selves a part of your arse­nal of en­vi­ron­men­tal at­tacks. Sling your op­po­nent into the crowd, and they will push them back into the ac­tion, caus­ing that fighter to lose their bal­ance and stag­ger.

Team Ninja has set out its in­tent for the se­ries here, and have de­lib­er­ately toned down the sex­u­al­i­sa­tion of the fran­chise to fo­cus on the se­ries as a valid eS­ports ti­tle. They also prom­ise a “co­he­sive” sin­gle-player cam­paign that should ap­peal to west­ern Xbox au­di­ence as well as more tra­di­tional Ja­panese fight­ing game fans. And there’s not a volleyball in sight. The game’s ex­pected in Fe­bru­ary 2019.

A movie of the se­ries was made in 2006, DOA: Dead Or Alive. We don’t ad­vise watch­ing it, though

“The crowd them­selves be­come a part of your arse­nal of at­tacks”

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