Koei Tecmo and Team Ninja revealed Dead or Alive 6 today, showing off a new trailer and an exclusive hands-on preview of the game with website IGN.
The trailer has many fan-favorite fighters from the franchise, including Kasumi, Zack, Jann Lee, Helena, Hayabusa, and Hayate make an appearance. Several new features are shown in the game's trailer, including a special attack meter, a new addition to the franchise. The justification for the addition is one of simply moving the franchise to a new direction, according to Team Ninja's Yosuke Hayashi.
"Before, super meters were considered as inappropriate for 3D fighting games. A 3D fighting game would have been frowned upon if it had the audacity to use a super meter,” Hayashi told IGN. “But times have changed, so when Shimbori came to me with the idea to implement meters, I thought the idea would work in a modern game. We had so many heated discussions about this during development of DOA5, but today the landscape is different. In the end, I’m glad we have a new generation of developers who are trying to move the series into a new era.”
This is not the only change found in Dead or Alive 6. Their famous, destructible environments also have gotten a facelift away from the more fantastical elements, such as falling off massive cliffs and rampaging dinosaurs, to something a bit more intimate and realistic. One stage shown in the trailer, the back alley, had spectators on the fringes grab and throw fighters back into the circle, temporarily staggering them giving the opponent the perfect time to attack.
The character designs have also been toned down from previous entries to the series, this time on purpose. “We wanted to make a more cool and mature Dead or Alive this time, and to that end we made a conscious decision to make the characters less sexualized.” Shimbori told IGN. This is seen in the costumes of Kasumi and Helena, with one taking on a look similar to Taki from Soul Calibur while the other wears a more traditional Chinese dress.
This will, of course, bring some minor tweaks to the franchise, such as the loss of exaggerated breast jiggle physics. To compensate though, characters are given more facial expressions and physical wounds when constantly attacked. The characters sweat and look visibly tired, sustain bruises and black eyes, even losing their masks in the case of Hayabusa and Hayate. Dead or Alive 6 is toning down the over-the-top sexuality, and instead increasing the more rounded, realistic approach to their fighters.
The final character roster is not set yet, but Shimbori is planning on adding some new fighters to the mix with some classic, popular characters. One possibility is to have guest characters from Virtua Fighter and King of Fighters thrown into the mix, but Shimbori wants to focus on Dead or Alive staples first, hinting at guest characters being possible content for the future.
No official release date has been given for Dead or Alive 6 other than early 2019, but it is likely Koei Tecmo and Team Ninja will reveal more about the game as we head into E3 this year.
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