Editor's Choice - Dead Or Alive 5 (Preview)

Editor's Choice

Dead or Alive 5 on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 at GAME

The fnarr-fnarr-fighting series is back in Dead or Alive 5. But, what's this? Developers Team Ninja has taken the focus off 'babes'? And put the fighting itself front and centre instead?

Let's be frank - the DOA series has been raising pulses of a certain type of fighting fan since 1996. With its liberal use of female anatomy, you sometimes wondered whether you were supposed to be playing or simply gawking at the screen. And when the DOA: Xtreme series touched down, such confusion reached epidemic levels as you sat there buying skimpy bikinis for your volleyball-punching 'beach babes'.

This time round though and Team Ninja has made a 'readjustment'. While 'realistic and sensual graphics' remain (their words, not ours), it's the gameplay that now grabs you, with absurdly-dressed female characters dialled back enough not to be a complete embarrassment if your partner/parent/anyone happens to walk in on you while playing.

Five Alive

All your favourite DOA elements are still here though but now cranked up to the max - for instance, the fantastic multi-tiered stages will see you pummelling someone into a subway carriage or dropping them 50 foot off the side of a building. The roster of characters has also swollen, introducing Akira and Sarah Bryant from the Virtua Fighter series plus two newcomers, the grizzly Rig and MMA fighter, Mila; all depicted in silky smooth, fluid graphics that make you really feel that barrel exploding in your face.

Dead or Alive 5 on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 at GAME

Most importantly, DOA's accessibility remains. While other titles revel in their fan service to the hardcore, the DOA series remains the best of both worlds; plenty of button mashing to appease the casual gamer but with enough depth to satisfy any wannabe tournament player.

And with the latest instalment, a host of new moves, counters and martial art styles have been introduced including the brilliant Power Blow that lets you gut-punch your opponent into, say, the nearest collapsing glacier. Framing these improved game mechanics is a wildly comprehensive set of game modes from a deep solo mode and training programme through to tag team and online play.

While the DOA series will be forever associated with heaving lady bits by some, this latest instalment shows that Team Ninja has finally taken its eye off cleavages and put its focus firmly on fists and feet instead. About time, we say...

SKU: Previews-183527
Release Date: 27/09/2012