One of the things that has always set SoulCalibur apart is its character creators. Entries can include Create-a-Soul functionality that allows you to use bits and pieces to create your own characters that use existing characters’ weapons and movesets. SoulCalibur VI is no exception. While it could use a lot more item parts, it is very easy to make some detailed characters with what is present and the range lets you bring your own characters to matches and play through Libra of Soul. Our characters can feel like actual members of the cast, rather than some cobbled together avatar we occasionally use.
The custom characters come into play in two modes. One is Libra of Soul. Here, you make a Create-a-Soul character whose appearance and activities are limited to this section. This character found by Zasalamel after escaping being linked to the Astral Chaos, finds themselves traveling alongside Maxi, and encounters characters like Groh as they travel around the world, determining their alignment. It is essentially a means of seeing how your avatar might affect the world around them, taking part in expeditions, fighting NPCs, gaining experience, earning gold for weapons, and perhaps even snacking on food to increase skills before a match. It is a way to establish yourself and connect with the world. I also found it was a good way to check out Tira’s moveset without buying her, since some of the NPCs may use her weapons, and a good way to earn Soul Points for the items in the creator mode or museum, since you can exchange earned gold there to SP (and vice versa). The downside here is, you do not have the full creation suite tools available and there is no export option. Here, it is best to make an entirely original avatar, rather than attempt to bring someone like Fire Emblem’s Lucina into the world.
Character creation itself is usually rather accommodating in SoulCalibur VI. You have 16 races to choose from, which determines what a character’s general appearance looks like. (Hidden village people are elves, outcasts can be used to make furries, and so on.) Once you have a character’s species set, you choose which original character’s weapon and style will be used, pick a body, assign equipment, pick the color schemes and possible patterns for each person, maybe set battle comments, take a picture for the character select image, and assign the person a name. There could be more actual bits and pieces to use for each person, but the starting offerings are adequate, and the ability to choose which colors can be used and option to add three accessory items that can be placed almost anywhere helps. I do wish that it was more clear about where facial hair options were for men and that there was an option to adjust the ears with the outcast animal people, but it tends to work out rather well. Since facial features or other options may be limited with certain races, it might be best to choose one race and look at the body options before starting to commit to any creation, to be certain you can create the vision you have in mind.
When I started playing with SoulCalibur VI creation options, I tended to first look for one piece of clothing or part that I thought might work with a particular character. When I decided to make Dead or Alive’s Kasumi, it was because I saw her exact dress was already present in the editor and noticed how easy it would be to the bird design to it with stickers. (Sure, they are doves and not cranes, but it was close enough.) I made FIre Emblem: Path of Radiance/Radiant Dawn’s Tibarn after deciding to see how customizable the Lost Soul species’ wings were. Fire Emblem Heroes’ Laevatein came about when I wanted to see if I could make her pigtail hair accessories in the game. I then had to make Lucina, because she just finds her way into everything now. Dragalia Lost’s Euden is incredibly easy to make, given how basic his official uniform is in the game. I even made Valkyria Chronicles’ Largo Potter, because even though he is a soldier known for using guns, he is still a “Lancer.” As long as you can find two pieces of a costume that work with a character’s official design, I feel like it is possible to perhaps recreate them in SoulCalibur VI.
So, how do you see other people’s original creations in SoulCalibur VI? Well, that part of the game is left to fate. When you head into the Creation section and choose Original Character Creation, you can choose between Unique character or Customize. Selecting the second option will bring up one of the characters someone else has made and chosen to share. You don’t know what will come up and there is no search function. If you like the character you see, you can save it to your system. The randomness and lack of search functionality is disappointing, but at least we can share what we have made. I would like to hope that eventually some sort of search functionality might be implemented, perhaps to at least allow you to search by creator or a character name.
The SoulCalibur VI creation options feel like a good start. It does not give people lots of items to choose from, but those who get creative and are willing to practice might find a way to make some of their favorite famous characters. As for original ones, what is there can make it easy to bring people you have in your mind’s eye to life. It would have been nice if Libra of Soul had an export option or it was easier to look through others’ uploaded creations, but this creation suite is a good first step.
SoulCalibur VI is available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.