Dead Or Alive 6 is the latest fighting game to offer a cut-down free-to-play version on PC - a big demo, if you will. Koei Tecmo launched the full game two weeks ago, but today's Core Fighters edition of DOA6 gives players access to four characters - Kasumi, Hitomi, Diego and Bass - and several play modes, including the DOA Quest mode and the character-customising DOA Central. It's a respectable slice of free fighting, although the a-la-carte pricing for character and feature unlocks is brutal. Check out the launch trailer for the Core Fighters edition below.
While the series has always been better known for its comical bouncing boobs than its action (an image they're half-heartedly trying to get away from in this game), the Dead Or Alive series has a very distinct feel. Similar to Sega's old Virtua Fighter series, but with more of a focus on parries, counters and defensive reactions. It's a fast, snappy game, more agile and aggressive than Soul Calibur, with less combo memorisation than Tekken. If you've never tried a DOA game before, now would be the perfect time to try, and the four characters in the free version offer a broad range of play-styles.
The Core Fighters version also includes a brief peek at the story mode. This being a Koei Tecmo flagship game, it's complete nonsense, but at least it gives Ryu Hayabusa (from the Ninja Gaiden series) something to do in-between games. There's your basic arcade mode, quest mode, a well-featured training mode to practice your inputs with and full online play. While you only get four characters, you can at least least unlock some extra outfits for them in DOA Central, although the most ridiculous (like a range of wedding-themed outfits for all characters) carries hefty premium price-tags, unlike the generous Tekken series.
Dead Or Alive 6 - Core Fighters is out now on Steam, free. Individual character unlocks are £3.29/€3.99/$3.99, the full 20-character Core Fighter set is £50/€60/$50 and unlocking Story Mode for Core Fighters costs £16/20/$20. Honestly, you're best off just buying the full game if you like the demo, which costs £55/€70/$60 - a rough price for Europe. How are they even calculating these exchange rates?