“Introducing a brand new character into a very well established series is always a difficult task”
such a huge fanbase, there’s a lot of expectations to fulfil so there’s surprise that CD Projekt Red are feeling the pressure, as Marcin explains: “Introducing a brand new character into a very well established series is always a difficult task. In this case, it’s even more challenging because there are two audiences you need to keep in mind: Soulcalibur fans and The Witcher community. The former don’t necessarily have to be familiar with Geralt or know anything about our games, but should still feel comfortable with the addition of a new character. The latter have certain expectations that must be met, and we really want to deliver.
“Like I already said, I really love fighting games — I’ve been playing them since the early ‘90s, and
Soulcalibur has been one of my favorite series. I can’t wait to be able to play as Geralt. I won’t venture into spoiler territory, but I love the way his appearance has been woven into the game. Geralt really feels right at home in Soulcalibur.” SoulCalibur VI’s producer Motohiro Okubo is feeling a completely different kind of expectation: “We have not felt pressure, but more so a sense of mission,” he tells us. “There are many fans of Witcher and it’s the best game featuring a Middle Age-style world. It’s just natural for gamers to think ‘I’d like Geralt to fight in a weapon action game.’ We have to meet their expectation.”
Of course, Geralt isn’t the only piece of The Witcher that will be appearing in Soulcalibur VI, you’ll also be able to knock people off the edge of Kaer Morhen. “There’s a lot of history to the place,” Marcin tells us. “It’s where Geralt trained to become a witcher, the keep played host to a lot of important events throughout the series. The stage is also complemented by ‘Hunt Or Be Hunted’ from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt soundtrack playing in the background, adding that extra layer of The Witcher feel to it.” Ring out The rest of Soulcalibur VI’s cast seems to have been given the same level of attention as Geralt, each of the characters we’ve played so far feels
distinct yet familiar—from Killik’s pole skills to the simplicity of Sophitia’s sword and shield combos. Newcomer Groh is particularly fun to play with: He’s incredibly fast, and has a moody streak that gives a lot of his moves an edgy flourish. He mostly uses a pole with a blade at either end for big, arching attacks, but he can also split it into two daggers to quickly get behind opponents.
Nightmare is still a pain in the butt to fight, with his giant sword that whacks off huge chunks of health. He’s not very nimble so you can outmaneuver him, but if you get caught by even just the tip of his blade it’s absolutely devastating. Returning BDSM fan Ivy does look absolutely insane, but within the context of the game her outfit is thankfully a lot less ridiculous. You never feel like the camera is leering at her or that she’s vulnerable—she owns it, and will crush you. She also doesn’t lose it when breaking her armor (not that there’s a whole lot to lose)—her arm coverings break instead. However, samurai Mitsurugi will give you quite the show, his armor being cut away until he’s hopping around the stage in nothing but his pants.
Combat is very quick, and combos don’t last as long as in games such as Tekken, which can leave you frustratingly locked in if you get struck by one. There’s a lot more back and forth, and more chances to slide in for a counterattack. It’s also much more approachable compared to other fighters, with as much focus on your positioning and movement as there is on your ability to pull off flashy moves. If you find yourself backed into a corner, you’ve got a Reversal Edge to help you break out of it—a move that slows things down a little and sees you enter a rock-paper-scissorsesque face-off where you and your opponent choose an attack or guard to see who prevails. Used smartly it can turn a match around, but can can devastate if you guess incorrectly when it’s used against you. It keeps the fights exciting, but it’s not the only way the energy is maintained.
Over time you can fill up a gauge that will let you use a ‘Critical Edge’— basically a super powerful, cinematic move that will do a ton of damage.
above It might not look super comfortable, but Ivy’s armor makes sense in context. below There are still plenty of spectacular moves on show.
Above Fun fact: Xianghua’s sword is one of the three sacred treasures of Ling-Sheng Su, Krita-Yuga. below The team worked hard to recreate Geralt in an authentic way that fans would recognize.