A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that SoulCalibur VI is a violent fighting game for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PCs. It's the latest installment in the long-running fighting franchise. Players use a variety of weapons -- including axes, swords, spears, and even a pistol -- to battle both human and non-human enemies. They also punch and kick each other, and while some blood is shown (even one cutscene shows a character sitting in a pool of blood), there's no gore in the game. Some female characters are well-endowed, and show it off by wearing tiny outfits and by bending over seductively. There's also a moment when it's implied that one is nude, though nothing is shown, while the character creation mode allows you to adjust the size of a female character's breasts. The dialog includes such curse words as "ass" and "bastard."
- Parents say
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What's it about?
The story in SOULCALIBUR VI is somewhat really designed to set up fights between different characters. Set in the 16th century, the game follows a young man named Kilik who must do what he can to suppress the evil within him. That results in him getting into a bunch of one-on-one fights with people as he also takes on a journey of revenge against enemies that killed someone he cared about. Paired with this is a search for mythical swords and brawlers trying to prove themselves with various fighting styles.
Is it any good?
This long-running fighting series returns with fun gameplay, but its confusing storyline and outdated costumes for female characters may make this for hardcore fans only. Like other fighting games, Soulcalibur VI has you beating on other fighters that are human or computer controlled. What sets it apart from similar games is that it's not as gory as Mortal Kombat, not as reliant on complex button combos as Street Fighter, and not as overtly sexual as a Dead or Alive (though it's sometimes very sexual). More importantly, it uses all three dimensions, which allows you to change position based on your opponent. It also arms you with swords, spears, and other weapons, instead of just your fists and feet, all of which allow you to button mash your way to victory.
Along with the usual new characters and places for them to fight, this edition adds a defensive capability that lets you avoid a blow and then quickly counter-attack. This really comes in handy when you're badly hurt but your enemy isn't, giving you a chance to survive a bit longer. Unfortunately, this year's model still has some problems that made previous editions a bit irritating and/or tiresome at times. The story mode, "Soul Chronicle," is weighed down by an overwrought, convoluted narrative that's made even mushier by the game's overblown musical score. Also, some female characters' needlessly tiny outfits and augmented proportions seem even more dated and inappropriate now than they did when SoulCalibur V came out six years ago. But if you don't mind the terrible music, the silly story, and having to turn off your TV when your mom, girlfriend, or socially-conscious roommate walks in the room, then you might have some fun beating people up in SoulCalibur VI.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in SoulCalibur VI affected by the unrealistic amounts of damage that you can inflict on your opponents? Would the violence be intensified if the graphics and action were more realistic?
Some of the women in this game wear very skimpy outfits, but does this make sense to you? Do you think they're well protected in a fight? Then why do you think they do that?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Bandai Namco
- Release date: October 19, 2018
- Genre: Fighting
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts, Adventures
- ESRB rating: T for Blood, Mild Language, Partial Nudity, Violence
- Last updated: March 16, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.