Bandai Namco’s upcoming fighter, Soulcalibur VI, just wrapped up its recent Online Network Test, which offered gamers a taste of what’s to come. After a few hours and plenty of matches, there is plenty to look forward to in this upcoming release. Many gameplay aspects return to the series, however, there are still new additions to help keep things fresh. Online Connectivity For starters, this beta only offered online play, hence its title. There were no available options for single-player, so anyone hoping to play against AI was out of luck. Connecting to matches seemingly took forever. It was hard to jump in and out of games when it could last upwards of ten minutes to find an opponent. Sometimes, I would even find myself booted back to the home screen due to “network errors.” This aspect of the test was unpleasant and cooled down a few hot streaks. Thankfully, once in a match, there were little to no lags or glitches that hindered the overall experience. Stages/Characters A few things that stood out before the matches began were its characters and stages. There were plenty to choose from both old and new, and of course The Witcher’s Geralt of Rivia. The Soulcalibur series has had its fair share of iconic playable guest characters such as Assassin’s Creed’s Ezio Auditore, The Legend of Zelda’s Link, and Star Wars‘ Darth Vader. Fans of the series are sure to notice familiar faces like Voldo and Nightmare, as well. Choosing stages was not an option and was selected at random. This was completely fine because it allowed players to focus on who would be the best pick rather than who suits a particular stage. Once characters were selected, a nice character artwork was displayed before the battle commenced. Combat The main focus of the test was, of course, its gameplay. Playing only ranked matches was intimidating at first but was quickly brushed aside. Battles could easily become very competitive while also feeling casual. Gameplay felt much more accessible than other titles found in the fighting genre. Never did I feel like I was at an unfair advantage because of my skill level or lack of knowledge regarding combos. In fact, many were simple to pull off and quick to master. Inexperienced fighters will be able to approach this title with ease. Soulcalibur VI’s newest addition to the series is its Reversal Edge system. Here, players enter a cinematic sequence with a rock, paper, scissors style of gameplay. Fighters are forced to commit to a certain attack or defense in order to perform higher damage. This is where things got a bit confusing and difficult to master. Whenever these appeared, battles slowed down a bit and got complicated, however, when I was able to button-mash my way through them successfully, the ensuing moments were epic. It’s a really neat introduction to the franchise that just needs more explanation to be fully enjoyed. Overall, this was an extremely fun network test for the upcoming Soulcalibur VI. Gameplay felt like a return to form in being fast-paced, easily accessible, and action-packed. Although connecting to matches was a hassle, in-game had seemingly no lag or glitches. Both longtime fans and newcomers will definitely want to keep an eye out for this latest addition in the franchise. Bandai Namco’s Soulcalibur VI launches on October 19 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.