“In­tro­duc­ing a brand new char­ac­ter into a very well es­tab­lished se­ries is al­ways a dif­fi­cult task”

XBox: The Official Magazine (US) - - SOUL CALIBUR -

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.

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