Ahead of E3, Team Ninja revealed Dead or Alive 6, the first new numbered entry in the fighting game franchise in nearly six years (via an IGN exclusive). Dead or Alive 6 launches in early 2019 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
The reveal trailer above shows off the visual flourishes of the new engine, including detailed facial expressions, more fluid character animations, and an all-around eye-popping aesthetic
Besides the updated look, Dead or Alive 6 will be more approachable to new players. Fatal Rush, a new combo system, simplifies stringing together maneuvers so beginners can get in on the action easier. Break Gauge, essentially a super move meter, gradually charges as players land punches, kicks, and blocks. When the super meter is full, you have the choice to trigger one of two special moves: Break Blow or Break Hold. Break Blow is an offensive special attack, and Break Hold is a defensive move, which doesn’t deal a ton of damage but counters nearly all types of attacks. Both moves can be easily executed by pressing the special button and a direction on the controller in tandem.
Longtime fans may be dismayed that Dead or Alive will embrace simplified combat, but Team Ninja’s Yosuke Hayashi explained that 3D fighting games have evolved since Dead or Alive 5. At the time, the development team went back and forth on implementing a streamlined process for beginners.
“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,” Hayashi told IGN.
Even with the changes to simplify combat for novice players, the core gameplay remains in line with past entries, so Dead or Alive veterans should expect the precision fighting simulation the series is known for.
“It can feel disappointing if a game you used to enjoy no longer feels familiar, so we didn’t want to change the core mechanics,” game director Yohei Shimbori said.
So far, six fighters have been confirmed: Kasumi, Helena, Hayate, Hayabusa, Zack, and Jann Lee. More fighters will join the final roster, including both fighters from previous entries and completely new characters.
Dead or Alive 6 launches in early 2019 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.