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SOULCALIBUR VI Beta First Impressions

We were able to try the network test beta for SoulCalibur VI, and I have to say the word “try” in the most honest version of the word possible because oh my was it difficult to actually "play". First, let me say, I am very excited for this game, and I am a fan of the franchise. My favorite is always the unique other franchise cross over in the games. There is something about having Starkiller, Yoda, Vader, Ezio, etc battling in these games, and Soul Calibur VI does not disappoint bringing us Geralt from the Witcher series.

This network test was frustrating however, because it was honestly a disaster of a test. It would take absolutely forever for each match to occur. The beta network test only allowed for the online gameplay, nothing offline. It would take 20, 30, sometimes over 45 minutes for it find another player. Now, I don’t know if this was due to network problems on their servors during the test as it was not intermittent; it plagued the entire test over a few days. Now, I know it was not my connection as I performed multiple speed tests during the networks test and reliably got sufficient speeds. This network test got very little press, and I only heard about it a few days before it going live, so perhaps there was just insufficient players, but I set my settings to global. I wasn’t even able to play it the first day because I had it searching for an hour. The second day I finally got a match to load. Let’s hope they learned what they needed to learn for this test so that online matches can match within moments not 20+ minutes during launch, or else we might have a Sim City level debacle.

(Check out our pre-release gameplay)

As for the actual gameplay. There needs to be some improvements made still in patches. Graphics seem a little still unpolished, and the bokeh depth effect on the characters makes the whole screen a little to blurry and needs to be dialed in a bit. Hair textures still need a little work. Sophia and Geralt both seemed to have some odd looking hair. The actual balance of the characters seemed a little off, with some characters attack animations seeming too slow for faster close range characters and some characters seeming to have too much reach. Many times I would be overwhelmed because my attack animations were a half a second slower than another characters, or other matches I felt like I won too easy because my characters sword reach across half the map while the other character couldn’t get in close enough.

(See story trailer for SoulCalibur VI) The main screen menus cause some worry. If you have played a fighting game recently, you would expect a beautiful detailed 3D main screen and fighter select screen where you could see all or most of a character in 3D. For this test it only displayed a 2D face select screen. It looked low effort.

(see above for gallery of soul calibur pre-release screenshots)

It definitely seems Soul Calibur VI is unfinished and not ready, which is somewhat expect from a network test. While we only saw a small portion of the online segment with most of the game greyed out, it still causes some worry. That being said, the character models for the most part look amazing, and the game was still prety fun. I remain optimistic the game will still be great, but with only 15 days to go I worry how this game will play and look at launch. As for now, be hesitant of it at launch and stay tuned for our Game Infinite Review.

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