Dead or Alive 6 is a 3D fighting action game for PC developed by Team Ninja and published by Koei Tecmo. It was released in March of 2019 and is the sixth installment of acclaimed Dead or Alive series, which started in 1996 on arcades. The game lets the player choose one of over 20 playable fighters, such as fan favorites Kasumi, Hayabusa and Tina, and take them through of several modes, including story mode, online and offline versus, survival and more.
Dead or Alive 6 is a fighting game set in a 3D environment. Players can freely move their characters around the field of battle, which is sometimes divided into levels, accessible by launching enemy character against the wall, out the window or into the floor. The arenas include what is called “danger zones”, located usually at the opposite ends of the stage, but also on the floor. If player or enemy fighter is launched into the danger zone they receive more damage. Danger zones are stage dependent and rage from breakable walls to exploding barrels and out-of-control cars.
DOA 6 retains most of the core combat mechanics of its predecessors adding a few new tools play with. Fighting is still focused on dealing damage through kicks and punches as well as timely countering enemy attacks. Game introduces a simplified combo mechanic called Fatal Rush, where pressing an attack button several times chains into a combination. Another new feature is Break Gauge, which fills in with time. When full, Fatal Rush ends with a powerful attack, similar to Dead or Alive 5’s Critical Blow. Last but not the least of new mechanics is Fatal Reversal, which reverses and stuns the opponent, leaving them open for a counterattack.
Dead or Alive 6 saw some improvement in terms of graphics as well. Certain actions trigger slow-motion mode when the camera focuses on cinematic blow landing on the enemy. Fighters receive visible battle damage, such as bruises and bloody scratches, are covered in dirt and sweat after an intense fight. Controversial breast physics on female character remains intact, contrary to pre-release information, however, it can be adjusted by the player, just like the level of violence.
The plot and playable characters
After the events of the previous game, Kasumi, a Mugen Tenshin clan ninja and one of the female protagonists of the Dead or Alive series lives as a recluse in a mountain village. However, a new threat throws the world into chaos and Kasumi must return to face it.
Dead or Alive 6 includes fighters returning from the previous games in the series, as well as a couple of new faces. The returning characters include fan favorites such as:
- Kasumi – a Mugen Tenshin ninja and the main protagonist of the series; her ninjutsu fighting style is both fast and deadly.
- Ayane – Kasumi’s half-sister and fellow Mugen Tenshin ninja; due to circumstances of her birth she both hates and admires Kasumi.
- Hayate – Kasumi’s older brother; former guinea pig of DOATEC research lab, he swears to avenge his treatment at the hands of its chairman, Donovan.
- Hayabusa – Hayate’s friend and rival and Kasumi’s mentor; Hayabusa is also the main character of DOA spinoff series, Ninja Gaiden.
- Helena – the current leader of DOATEC and young heiress to the Douglas fortune; she fights using the Pi Gua Guan style, easy for dodging and countering attacks.
- Tina – daughter of the legendary pro-wrestler Bass Armstrong and a capable fighter herself, Tina pursued various paths of life to step out of her father’s shadow. Her trademark wrestling style allows midair grapples and throws.
New fighters in DOA 6 are:
- NiCO – a codename for the genius scientist working on a new secret M.I.S.T. project; her analytical mind and natural talent at martial arts make her a foe not to be treated lightly.
- Diego – a street brawler from New York, he uses the money from illegal fights to support his sick mother; his style of fighting has little in the way of elegance, for which it makes up with brutality and underhanded moves, like headbutts.
DOA 6 received positive reviews from critics and players, who liked the refined graphics and gameplay mechanics as well as new modes. The game was praised for several gameplay improvements over its predecessors, detailed graphics and engaging story mode witch engaging plot and interesting characters.