Dead or Alive 6 Preview – Alive and Kicking. Punching Also

I’ve always been a fan of fighting games. I’ve not often been very good at them, but I’ve always really enjoyed them. From the early days of playing Street Fighter II on SNES with my dad, Soul Calibur II on Gamecube with my housemates, Injustice and even Smash Bros; I’m always ready to throw down.

One series I have very little exposure too though is Dead or Alive. I do remember spending a fair amount of time with DOA 2 on PS2, but I’m fairly certain that had more to do with the jiggle physics and less with the fighting. I was 15 at the time.


Obviously, I don’t have much knowledge of the mechanics and systems, but from the time I’ve spent with DOA6, it’s easily one of the most accessible fighting games available.

DOA6 Preview

First things first, yes, jiggle physics are still a thing, though it does seem to have been toned down. Most of the female characters look as though they have the proportions of women who could actually exist. It was a big surprise, especially considering DOA was a beach volleyball, bikini game for a while there.

Halfway decent depiction of women aside, the fighting in DOA6 is the real star. DOA6 uses, what Team Ninja calls, the Triangle System. 

strikes beat throws, throws beat holds and holds beat strikes.

It’s a strange way to think about it but for me, the easiest comparison is Fire Emblem‘s Weapon Triangle whereby Swords beat axes, axes beat Lance s and Lances beat Swords. It certainly helps to imagine this triangle while playing DOA6 too, because, without it, the fighting seems incredibly complex.

In reality, it’s not. Sure, there are ridiculous combos and moves to learn, but everything you do is simply about combining your different strikes. It’s definitely a breath of fresh air as compared to Street Fighter or Injustice where you need to memorise dozens of inputs.

To make things even easier, DOA6 includes the Fatal Rush. Activating this on PS4 is as simple as pressing R1 repeatedly. This creates a simple, yet powerful combo that can turn into a special Break Blow attack if your gauge is full.

Impeccable Fighting Systems

As with all fighting games, DOA6 lives and dies on its systems and as far as I can tell, they are peerless. The only limitations on how complex your fighting is are your knowledge of the characters, skill at chaining moves and your opponent. Honestly, I’ve not felt as good at a fighting game, while still learning how it works, ever before.

During my hands-on, I also got to give the Quest Mode a go. DOA Quest is similar to modes you’d find in other games like STAR Labs in Injustice. You select a Quest and are then given three missions to complete. These missions rank up in difficulty and if you’re able to complete them you earn points to purchase cosmetic items. 

I was only able to try three Quests, but each provided a different challenge. One required me to land multiple attacks as the opponent was sidestepping, another required me to finish within a certain amount of time while another simple required that I land a certain number of strikes. Quest Mode is definitely a boon for noobs like me. 

Learn While You Play

Firstly, it teaches you the mechanics and the techniques that are essential to becoming a good DOA6 player and secondly, it’s the perfect way to ease in and experience the learning curve. There look to be dozens of Quests in DOA6 and best of all, should you fail one of the missions, you’re able to jump directly into a tutorial that teaches that technique. 

My time with DOA6 was short, but it’s definitely made me keen for the full game. I don’t have long to wait and I’m looking forward to honing my skills and becoming a DOA master.

DOA6 will be available for PC, PS4 and Xbox One on March 1, 2019. Look for our review before release.

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Leo Stevenson
Leo Stevenson
I've been playing games for the past 27 years and have been writing for almost as long. Combining two passions in the way I'm able is a true privilege. PowerUp! is a labour of love and one I am so excited to share.

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