Namco’s Soul Calibur fighting franchise has always thrived on its superlative presentation: gorgeous environments, slick animations, and distinctive characters. Soul Calibur VI looks to continue that tradition, though at the same time, it will break new ground: the veteran series is bringing the fight to PCs for the first time.
As a fighting title, the actual gameplay takes place in a contained 3D space. Only two players go head-to-head against one another. In other words, there’s not all that much for the graphics engine to worry about. Where other games need to deal with a huge variety of characters, or a massive open world stretching off into the distance — or both – Soul Calibur can just concentrate on making a small number of elements pop with relentless style. Every move, every attack, and every throw can be crafted and enhanced to the very limits of the developers’ imaginations. At any given moment, your screen will be filled with lightning, flame, wind, or unclassified energy effects, all at the same time, with a bursting exaggeration worthy of the craziest anime fight. Which, in a very real sense, is what this entire franchise is.
While you won’t be exploring the environments, they are beautifully rendered and, once again, are focused on size and scope that go beyond any pretense of realism. Soul Calibur VI has no intention of being subtle: it wants to be more. That goes for framerate, too, as 60fps is the target even when running at 4K.