Dead or Alive 4 - PS4 Review
Posted on: 2019-03-15
Has the Dead or Alive series matured a little? Sam Coles thinks so!
Our resident gamer, Sam Coles, reviews Dead or Alive 4 on PS4. It receives a healthy 4/5! Find out why below.
Dead or Alive has been around for over 20 years, and is mostly known for its scantily cast of women. Dead or Alive 6 takes strides to push the series in a more grown-up space - well with their default costumes, anyway. You just have to look at the alternative ones to see the roots of the series, but I digress. Beneath the over the top raunchiness, this is a genuinely good fighting game. It has tight and solid controls, which I would recommend giving a go.
Surprisingly Dead or Alive 6 has a story mode, is it any good? No, but it’s good they made an effort. Though, it is the most convoluted story I have ever played in a fighting game as it jumps all over the place. It jumps from a plot to syphon power from certain fighters to resurrect dead people, to bizarre rivalries. Honestly, though I don’t really play fighting games for the plot (except for the Mortal Kombat games), it is baffling how much of a mess Dead or Alive 6’s story is.
The story is a total mess, but the gameplay, on the other hand, is fantastic! The hand-to-hand combat is so much fun; I've not been invested in a fighting game this much since the release of Mortal Kombat X back in 2015. The combat is meaty, brutal and cathartic, coupled with intense speed. The game requires quick reflexes because you can’t just spam punches, as your opponents can dodge and counter your attacks by grabbing your arms or legs to then throw you across the arena. It feels great to turn tables in a fight where you are getting pummelled, allowing you to counter their moves to deliver a final blow.
Throughout a fight, you build up a power meter, which can be used to do enhanced dodges and manoeuvres which will use a fraction of the bar. However if you build the bar up to full capacity you can unleash a devastating special move, this is so brutal that I almost feel sorry for my opponents with their teeth, blood and bits of their clothes fly across the stage. I think it’s the intense close-ups and sound design is what makes me wince, with bone-crunching sound effects as each punch lands.
Visually, the game looks great for the most part; character models have exquisite detail although their faces are a bit too clean. They lack blemishes. Each stage in the game is varied and unique, although some areas in the game look as if they are from an early Xbox 360 title with washed out, drab colours that make me wonder what year it is. I love capturing the fights in the game’s photo mode, and I feel that I spent way too much time in this mode - if you follow me on Instagram, you would know that I captured an insane amount of shots. It makes you see the game in a different light, where you can see the amount of work that went into character design and animations.
Despite Dead or Alive’s raunchy past, the 6th entry in its franchise tones it down a bit - well, with the default costumes. Under all the titillation is a genuinely good fighting game that I would recommend to fighting game-enthusiasts, just not in front of your parents or spouse. It has tight controls, beautiful visuals and excellent sound design. Despite the messy and absurd story, it remains a fantastic game that I've invested an insane amount of time into.
Sam has lived in Bristol all his life. A keen cyclist he speeds around the city but video games are his bread and butter. Whether the old Nes and Snes games or the XBox One and Playstation releases he loves them all. Sam runs his own gaming blog called Bristolian Gamer where he had been reviewing indie games, doing retro reviews and venting his anger at the industry when it does wrong since 2010. Sam joined the 365Bristol team in December 2014.