Soul Calibur V - Preview

Soul story

After a break of almost four years on home consoles, Soul Calibur V brings the popular weapons-based historical fantasy fighting series up to date with a new story, returning and fresh characters, refined battle systems, improved visuals, plus expanded online and character creation modes.

Kicking off 17 years after Soul Calibur IV, the story continues the tale of the two swords, the legendary blade of evil Soul Edge, and Soul Calibur, the holy blade later designed to create a balance. It follows the journey of Patroklos, the latest character to wield the cursed weapon, in what leads to an epic showdown between good and evil.

With more emphasis on the single player story mode than in previous series entries, Soul Calibur V's campaign is longer than usual for a fighting game. Featuring plenty of characters and cinematic cutscenes between fights, which take place across 20 gorgeous backdrops, it does a really good job of introducing the game's characters and fighting styles by switching player control between a good chunk of the roster.


Soul Calibur V's action is as extravagant and over-the-top as fans would expect, but its fighting system has been reworked to offer quicker and smoother combat, removing the sluggish gaps found between moves in previous instalments, when the gameplay was arguably a bit too heavy, especially online, with players not feeling an instant reaction to their moves.

There's plenty of care and imagination evident in the game's varied weaponry, which largely dictates the fighting style of each character, with spears used for jabbing from distance, nunchuks for getting in close and giant hammers that are awkward but brutally effective.

Speed, lateral movement and carefully timed single blows, rather than long combos, are the key to success. The defensive game has evolved to introduce a quick side step move, while the basic guard button operates as it used to, with players needing to block incoming attacks at the correct height, and requiring precise timing to parry or counter moves.

Masters of battle

Soul Calibur V features a character levelling system which works across its various game modes, including training and arcade, to rank up your fighter while also unlocking customisation options and items, most of which are used in the character creation mode, which sees players select a basic fighting style or character template and fiddle with the presets to make their own combatant.

In series tradition, Soul Calibur V also features a guest character from outside the franchise. Following in the footsteps of Star Wars' Yoda and Darth Vader, and most recently God of War's Kratos, is Assassin's Creed star Ezio. A rounded fighter who's powerful from far, mid and close-range, he has a number of tricks up his sleeve, including his trademark hidden blade, a crossbow and a Roman longsword.

From our limited play time with Soul Calibur V, it's clear the game puts up a great fight. With quicker and smoother combat than ever before, and without losing any of its trademark style, it's also set to be a more immediate and accessible experience than its predecessors.

SKU: Previews-162295
Release Date: 17/01/2012