Dead or Alive 6 PlayStation 4 Review

Dead or Alive 6 does not represent a revolutionary leap in the franchise and is limited to offer more of the same but with a few new features.

By RON, Posted 21 Mar 2019

Beautiful women, sculptural bodies, improved physics for bouncing breasts, pronounced cleavages, tight suits, and the words “fan service”; all of these might be the first things that come to mind when thinking about the Dead or Alive series. Since its debut, the fighting series developed by Team Ninja was infamous for its copious amount of fan service, a waifu factory if you will. For some, this might be the only appreciation for the franchise, but behind that thick curtain of intense sexualization, we can find a unique saga with fun game mechanics that keeps delivering every time.

Dead or Alive 6,DOA6,PlayStation 4,PS4,Review,Gameplay,Female,Character,Kasumi

At first glance, it would seem that this will be an entry with little more to offer dedicated fans, with barely any significant changes compared to its predecessor; at least that was the vibe we received from the game’s presentation last E3; however, since then, Koei Tecmo emphasized that it would have several important changes with which it would seek to position it as a more serious fighting game, with the necessary to catch both expert and novice players.

The basic concept of Dead or Alive, that of a 3D fighting game based on a Triangular System, has remained identical since the very first game in the series. This fighting system relies on different types of moves that counter each other. Namely, the controls are made up of four basic commands, hits, kicks, grabs, and counters. The player is able to combine these moves with each other in in order to create dynamic combos. A set of new simple mechanics was added to the basic formula, which results in gameplay enrichment and gives fights a lot more dynamism. Let’s break it down. The first addition consists of a special attack which stuns the adversary and can be sequentially chained in a basic combo with the potential to leave them defenseless for a short time. The second, and most important, is the Break Gauge, a bar divided into two sections that is filled according to the damage caused to the opponent, as well as the damage received. This can lead to two more skills: The Fatal Rush, which is a very showy devastating attack, and Break Hold, a counterattack which returns upper, middle, and lower attacks.

Another aspect that adds to the Dead or Alive experience are its stages that, beyond being a simple ring, come out as arenas with Danger Zones, interactive areas in which unexpected things can happen and influence the fight, from wall breaking and electric fence zapping to dinosaurs chewing up fighters. This has been a standard for some game series now, and has been present in some way or the other in the past; from the crates in Street Fighter II all the way to the multilevel scenarios from Mortal Kombat. Although DoA has used this mechanic in the past, it is pleasing to see them make a return, for they tend to shake things up. There is however the small gripe of having some animations that are rehashed from previous entries.


In regard to music, the game’s soundtrack spans several genres, which range from rock or electronic music to jazz. These musical pieces are good, but nothing too memorable or catchy. The menus are simple but colorful and are easy to navigate. It is a pity that these are harmed a little by their loading screens that, although not unnecessarily long, do tend to appear constantly. Finally, the graphic department delivers a game to the standards of the current generation. Bright colors, smooth textures, and very polished renders, which is especially important for game famous for its looks.

Dead or Alive 6 is a game with a simple but quite complete and deep control scheme that leaves room for some experimentation. However, the game at its core remains simple enough so it is also very accessible to new players. You could say it has a light entry barrier but the road towards mastery can be a hard one. And that is exactly what you want in a fighting game series that wants to reinvent themselves while not betraying their essence.

Having said that, Dead or Alive 6 isn’t without gameplay issues. One of the most notable is the ease with which you can generate combos or attacks that might be extremely difficult for the opponent to set themselves free from, even with the counter system. This might leave a player in a rather unpleasant and frustrating scenario in which they can lose more than half of their life bar without being able to do anything about it.

Dead or Alive 6,DOA6,PlayStation 4,PS4,Review,Gameplay,Female,Character,Kasumi

DoA 6 Story Mode is composed of several personalized chapters for each fighter, which present different parts of the same narrative, a story regarding a threat to the world at the same time when a new Dead or Alive Tournament takes place. While fighting games aren’t exactly known for their stories, one would expect developers to try a bit harder. All the narrative seriousness that one might want to imprint in a game like this goes down the gutter once clichés, bad dialogue, and fighting for no apparent reason comes into play. However, playing a fighting game for its story mode is like watching porn for its deep and complex narrative; it’s just not what you came for.

One very disappointing aspect for this game is its roster. Only 24 characters are playable and, of those, only two are newcomers: scientist NiCo, and street brawler Diego. It is 2019 and it is utterly unacceptable that a AAA fighting game sold at a regular price tag has this low playable character count. It feels like a rip-off and, probably, can be read as the precursor of a series of DLC including character packs, which, again, should come in the base game.

Dead or Alive 6,DOA6,PlayStation 4,PS4,Review,Gameplay,Female,Character

To sum things up, Dead or Alive 6 does not represent a revolutionary leap in the franchise and is limited to offer more of the same but with a few new features. While some might like consistency, others might think it lacks originality, and both might be right. Playing Dead or Alive is fun; its combat system is sufficiently entertaining and accessible so that anyone can enter without much trouble but also so deep for loyal fans of the franchise and seasoned players. Although it practically bears no surprises, its polished gameplay with interesting new mechanics such as Break Gauge and Fatal Rush, alongside its wide variety of modalities and collectibles and functional online mode are enough to keep players entertained, and that’s what really counts.

Sarwar Ron, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): PS4
Publisher(s): Koei Tecmo
Developer(s): Team Ninja
Genres: Fighting
Themes: Fighting
Release Date: 2019-03-01

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