- Game: Dead or Alive 6
- Consoles: PS4 (reviewed), Xbox One, PC
- Publisher: Koei Tecmo
- Developer: Team Ninja
A Dead or Alive 6 review code was provided by the publisher.
3D fighting games are constantly evolving. Genre stalwarts such as Tekken and Soulcalibur have introduced new elements to its complex gameplay systems in order to bring more beginners into the fold. A few of these mechanics have also made both games far more exciting to follow in a tournament setting. Team Ninja must have been taking notes during the launch and post update periods for both games. With everything that’s been featured in Tekken 7 and Soulcalibur VI, Dead or Alive 6 has been given those same fresh features. And with the franchise’s solid fighting systems still at play, this entry proves to be one of the best evolutionary sequels in the series.
Dead or Alive is known to most fighting game fans as being one the best most visually striking brawlers on the market. Dead or Alive 6 maintains its franchise’s signature honor, thankfully. The varied collection of characters still look amazingly photo-realistic. The sweat that drops from their bodies and the damage that becomes visible as their clothes begin to deteriorate do an awesome job of putting the strong graphics engine on display. The close-up camera shots make it a habit of showcasing the hard work put into the visible damage system, which is a plus. Everything else, including the huge stages and story mode cinematics, puts Dead or Alive 6 above its genre rivals in the graphics category.
In the audio department, this sequel performs at a level that’s slightly below its visuals. The hard-hitting blows and wild stage elements still provide the powerful sounds you’d expect to hear. The new tracks are a bit too generic to matter much, but at least the presence of more memorable tracks from the series’ past pick up the slack in that department. One audio issue that’s hard to ignore is the iffy lip-synching that pops up during the story mode cutscenes. The English voice acting is solid enough, but witnessing characters’ mouths continue to move even after their dialogue has come to a close is jarring.
When it’s time to throw down, Dead or Alive 6 provides experts and newcomers with a fulfilling experience. The easy to understand, hard to master Triangle System still makes up the bulk of the incredibly rewarding gameplay. A couple of new elements offer an even deeper experience that makes this entry more accessible and entertaining.
The added meter mechanic lets you utilize a super combo (Fatal Rush), a special counter to that maneuver (Break Hold), and a devastating move that sends your opponent flying (Break Blow). These fresh mechanics build upon the franchise’s solid foundation and make each match enthralling to watch and play. Longtime fans will find new ways to pull off their best combo strings with legacy characters and fall in love with the new tricks the two newest characters bring to the fold. Diego and NiCO are fine additions to Dead or Alive’s growing roster and huge collection of combat stylings.
Dead or Alive 6 certainly gives you plenty of modes to busy yourself with. There’s a massive Story Mode to comb through, of course. And legacy modes such as Arcade, Survival, and Time Attack make their return. The most puzzling omission happens to be the fan-favorite Tag Team battle mode. The joy that comes from mixing up your favorite characters and discovering their signature tag team holds is missing from this entry, sadly. One of the newer modes provides a more interesting way to learn the game’s ins and outs, though – DOA Quest. This mode’s mission-based structure will gradually push you along as you master the game’s deeper mechanics and each character’s unique approach to combat. DOA Quest provides a seemingly endless bout of fun that’s figuratively and literarily rewarding.
As you fulfill the three goals tied to each objective, you’ll be rewarded with classic tunes, online match titles, and in-game currency. The best rewards you’re granted are costume pattern parts, which go towards unlocking the game’s array of attires. Getting better at the game’s mechanics and receiving all types of assorted goodies for your efforts is one of the better features making its debut here.
The only problem that lies within the reward system is the method in which costume pattern parts are applied. Once you acquire them, they’re automatically put towards whichever random costume that needs to be unlocked. This system could have been better implemented if the costume pattern parts were represented as a usable currency that allowed you to choose which costumes you’d prefer to use them on. Tinkering with the game’s character customization system is a blast. The fact that you can’t select which costumes you’d prefer to unlock over others is a bit of a sore spot, though.
Dead or Alive 6 Takeaways
Team Ninja has definitely taken notes on how to improve its fighting game franchise. The climactic close-up camera shots, new use of meter, and crowd-pleasing maneuvers make their way from other fighters into this sequel. Their implementation fits in perfectly with the franchise’s already tight combat mechanics. The high visual fidelity, a nice offering of single-player/multiplayer modes, and strong character customization feature all provide a ton of replay value for this high-octane fighter. Even with the lack of a tag team mode and the issues present in how costume pattern parts are utilized, Dead or Alive 6 still stands as the most refreshing entry in the series.
Our Dead or Alive 6 Review Score: 8.5 out of 10