Update 1 – Time played: 10 hours, 45 minutes
Here’s something I haven’t written about in a while. Finally took the chance to sit down and play a fair amount of the three major single player modes in this game, and I’m ready to give everyone my impressions! Between the Arcade Mode, the Soul Chronicle, and Libra of Souls, I have to say that overall I’m very impressed with Soulcalibur VI’s single player content. However, some modes are much better than others.
I’ll start with the Arcade Mode first, as there really isn’t much to say. You pick a character, fight a number of battles, and you’re scored on your performance in the end. That’s it. Not something I’d invest a lot of time into, but if you’re into the score attack thing then there you go, I guess. The Soul Chronicle is Soulcalibur VI’s main story mode. Here you’ll experience the rebooted lore of the first Soulcalibur game through the perspective of Kilik, Maxi, and Xianghua. This main story will only last you maybe an hour or so of playtime, but thankfully every character will have their own story unlocked after completing the main story. They’re all fairly short, but they all have unique encounters each with different modifiers to the rules as to not make things super repetitive. These rules are things like fighting a gauntlet of multiple enemies, or starting the fight with 25% less health. I found some of the fights to be pretty challenging too as a filthy fighting game casual, like Geralt’s final boss fight vs. Mitsurugi for example. The way the story itself is present is kind of bland, with the vast majority of the story being told through still images of characters (with admittedly nice looking art) talking to one another for a few minutes before a fight starts. Hard to care about the lore when it’s just cards talking to each other. There is a lot of content in the story, so you won’t be bored if you want to learn about Soulcalibur’s lore.
The real meat and potatoes of Soulcalibur VI’s single player is the Libra of Souls mode. In this mode you create your own character and embark on your own story throughout the world, fighting monsters and other evil beings. For my story, we began the tale of Filipe: a naked purple and yellow lizard man with a giant scythe. Truly the defender of Earth that that people everywhere have cried out for. Since he’s using a scythe, that means I’m playing Zasalamel’s fighting style for the Libra of Souls mode. The mode itself has a lot of depth to it at first glance. It’s structured through a world map with a series of missions you can complete to gain items and experience, complete with town nodes with shops. On top of the areas on the main pathways, there are also areas you can only reach through expeditions. These are risky to go on, as the further away you go from your point of origin, the more money you spend, and you don’t recover your health after every battle like you do normally. If you die while on an expedition you’re forced back to your departure point with no rewards and all money spent on the expedition lost. The better you are at the game and the stronger your character is, the longer your successful expeditions will be. Character progression is impressive as well. You have style levels and character levels to gain, weapons to upgrade with extra abilities, and a morality system to manage. The mode reminds me of the old Weapon Master mode from Soulcalibur II, which was what made me fall in love with the series to begin with.
I’m excited to play more of the Libra of Souls mode, but I’m even more excited to start playing online against other players, and messing around with the character creation more. What will I have to say about the online? How creative can I be with the character builder? Stay tuned for the next update!