There was a six year gap between SoulCalibur V and VI. Plenty of time for people to forget what is going on in the story, who everyone is, and what they are trying to do. Though, considering the fifth installment took place seventeen years after the events of the fourth one and replaced veteran characters like Taki, Xianghua, Sophitia, and Setsuka. SoulCalibur VI is an opportunity to go back and center people. It retells the original game’s story, reintroducing people we know, bringing in some newcomers, and tying it all together in a story mode that makes sure you know what’s going on, who is involved in each segment, when it is happening, and how things might all tie together.
SoulCalibur VI takes a different approach for its Soul Chronicle. After an introduction that establishes Cervantes once held Soul Edge, Sophitia broke it, Taki defeated Cervantes, and Siegfried is its new master, we have a chance to see the Main Story, as well as what Mitsurugi, Taki, Kilik, Maxi, Xianghua, Groh, Azwel, Ivy, Cervantes, Seong Mi-na, Astaroth, Nightmare, Siegfried, Sophitia, Voldo, Yoshimitsu, Raphael, Talim, Zasalamel, and Geralt are up to. Each segment has voiced story segments and fights against major characters or NPCs that may or may not have additional criteria attached to them.
In the case of The Chronicle of Souls, it is about following Kilik, Maxi, and Xianghua as they seek out information about Soul Edge. We see what happens at Kilik’s temple when the Evil Seed appears, see him meet up with the other two characters, fight against the corruption within him, and destroy Soul Edge. They meet up with many different heroes in the series, which is accompanied by fights and artwork showing characters together. It can be rather enlightening and educational, though people do need to turn to specific character storylines to find out what everyone else is up to.
The specific character segments help explain what people were doing and explain why they are critical to SoulCalibur VI’s experience, even if we do not always see them around. Let’s use Talim as an example. In her segment, we learn a piece of Soul Edge came to her people’s village. The people can not have such a dangerous “charm” in their town. As the Last Priestess of the Winds, she feels it is her duty to take this piece away, back where it belongs, but she needs to prove herself first. Her side story gives her a chance to establish herself in a larger story where such a character might be overshadowed by larger personalities like Kilik, Ivy, Xianghua, and Nightmare.
With the case of Groh, we learn about someone whose mission it is to fight and defeat Nightmare, so the spirit sword could be returned to their king. The first fight against Nightmare nearly kills him, but he survives due to Azwel’s intervention. An agent of the Aval Organization’s punitive force now being consumed by an evil force, he continues to fight for its mission while fighting what is inside of him. It is an interesting look at another area of the game world’s lore, while also giving us an interesting weapon to use.
Even a guest character like Geralt, from The Witcher, gets an story that establishes his appearance in the world and reasons for being there. After being teleported to this other world by a witch who had sensed Soul Edge’s evil, he finds himself in a Kaer Morhen different from the one he knows and needs to explore and fight his way through enemies until he finds a way home. It takes place as a side story, which is appropriate given the nature of his inclusion, but still feels like it fits due to the appearance of a main SoulCalibur VI character. Plus, the nature of the story does make it fit within The Witcher canon.
SoulCalibur VI does its best to act as a good introduction point for people new to the series, while refreshing people who have been following along for years. It tells the story of the original game in a new way, with a story mode that shows what all characters were up to at certain points of the timeline, deals with a conflict occurring now that Nightmare has the Soul Edge, and brings in new characters in a way that makes sure they fit within the story structure we were familiar with before. People picking it up should hopefully easily figure out where everyone stands and use the campaign to find their bearings both with the lore and characters’ movesets.
SoulCalibur VI is available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.