The official PlayStation YouTube account has gone up with a 10-minute gameplay video and interview with Soulcalibur VI producer Motohiro Okubo, who discusses the development and mechanics of the newly announced fighting game.
Here is the footage and interview in full:
Regarding the start of the project
The development of Soulcalibur VI relaly began because this year marks the 20 year anniverasary for the franchise, and there’s a team inside of Bandai Namco called Project Soul, and we weren’t sure where this was going to go. So that’s when we decided to launch Project Soul, and the brand was at a crossroads if you will, so we wanted a new game to refresh and celebrate the 20th anniversary.
Regarding know-how carried over from Tekken 7
So, of course, Soulcalibur and Tekken are both developed in-house, and we have extremely talented teams and members working on this, but the funny part about that is both teams almost see themselves as rivals of each other. So there are going to be some good and challenging elements that come from this. One is they always try to one-up each other, which is good for innovation. But there are some difficult aspects of that as well. But having been involved in both teams, it puts me in a position where we can really share the best information to help both worlds. So if Tekken is trying to develop a game system or mechanic a certain way, we would say, “hey, Soulcalibur, why don’t you try it this way,” and it really kind of leads to a really good environment I think. And I think the other aspect of being in the unique position of overseeing both Tekken and Soulcalibur franchises is that it allows me to differentiate between the use of weapons vs. non-weapons combat. And I think it’s very iconic that Tekken is a sort of brute force hand-to-hand type of fighting game, whereas Soulcalibur focuses a lot on the weapons. So being able to see both sides really puts me in a good position to develop a great game.
Regarding graphics and rending technology
In terms of engine and graphics, we did a lot of exploraiton in-house and tried different combinations of rendering, but in the end we settled on using Unreal Engine 4 because it worked very well for our project. And a big transition and shift in Soulcalibur VI was the art depiction, art direction in general, and this is going to go into a little bit of the development backstory, but the code name for this game is “Luxor,” and we’re actually using—it’s kind of a play on words—ith “Lux,” which of course means light, so lighting was a huge challenge for ourselves in developing Soulcalibur VI. And we wanted tor eally bring back that feel that we had in Soulcalibur I where it felt a little bright overall, but it wasn’t hitting everything and overexposing everything, because that’s a challenge when you light the stage or the scene up too much, you tend to have that effect. So we wanted to brighten things up a little bit with the art direction. That was kind of a challenge we wanted to tackle with Soulcalibur VI.
Regarding the Reversal Edge mechanic
So to kind of summarize, with the Reversal Edge system and mechanic, what I wanted to recreate was that feeling of becoming a swordsmen or really epic fighter with just weapons, and in doing so there are these certain moments where you’re fighting, I can only imagine how this works, when the opponent’s sword is coming down at you, and everything kind of goes in slow motion. And after you parry it, dodge it, and go immediately into a counterattack. That was the feeling we were trying to recreate and it ending up becoming this Reversal Edge mechanic. So the Reversal Edge system is designed to be something very easy to execute. And whether the opponent is attacking with a high, medium, or low attack, it is able to parry the attack and transition into a counter. And in Soulcalibur, there is the sort of balance of three powers, one beats another move, and I wanted the people who are playing Soulcalibur for the first time to really understand this triangle balance where this move will outdo this move. And I think it will be very easy for those who aren’t too familiar with the Soulcalibur franchise to pick up and understand what the system is designed to do.
Regarding the fundamentals of the control system
Soulcalibur is definitely going to feel very familiar for those who have played and experienced the franchise in the past. And going into a little more depth, what we wanted to recreate was some of that fast responsiveness that you would see in Soulcalibur II, as well as what we believe is kind of the completed form of balance in character interactions and mechanics that you saw in Soulcalibur V. So kind of merging those two into a single experience.
Regarding things that Soulcalibur fans may notice when playing Soulcalibur VI
So in terms of the mechanics and returning veteran players, I know we talked a lot about the good aspects of the mechanic, Reversal Edge, but there is also going to be a lot of risk in using this move. And I think the players as they play around more and experience Reversal Edge, they’re going to understand the risks and transition into a more traditional Soulcalibur type of feel in gameplay. And, of course, that doesn’t mean to say there aren’t any new mechanics. There are going to be more new mechanics as well, but I think it will kind of help educate people in this learning curve that we designed through Reversal Edge.
Regarding Okubo’s all-time favorite Soulcalibur character
As someone who is born and raised in Japan, I feel an obligation to answer Mitsurugi as we all wanted to become a samurai at some point during our childhood. And I do have a lot of other characters that I like and I can pick out, but if I reveal too much right now, I think that will tip my cards.
Regarding the release date
So we are working very hard to get this game out, and I would like to say as soon that as soon as we can, but within the 2018 year is the best answer I can give you right now. But we are working hard so please stay tuned for more information on a release date.