dead or alive 6
Fight like an alley cat in the new entry into the far-fromDead series
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”