Tuesday, February 27, 2024
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Review: SoulCalibur V

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For as long as any gamer can remember, the fighting genre has been a staple of pixelated violence and virtual fisty cuffs. Many franchises and titles have tried (and failed) to bludgeon their way onto the market, but besides to Tekken, the SoulCalibur series has kept on fighting.

A screenshot of SoulCalibur V character Ivy (image: Namco Bandai)

Fans will know despite the title, SoulCalibur V is actuallt the seventh title in the franchise. Ironically sharing sharing a character from Tekken.

Set 17 years after the denouement of the previous title, in which protagonist Sophitia died. Gamers should not be dejected by her omission though. Her spirit is kept alive via her children — protagonist Patroklos and sister Pyrrha. They are but two of six new characters in the dual to the death, and you can create your own.

A rudimentary creation system, but a fun one none the less. Gamers can modify their character using an original fighter as a base, or crafting a new warrior with plenty of customisable objects. Assassin’s Creed hero Ezio makes an appearance as a bonus character.

Loyalists will have to get used to the new control system, but for fanatics it should be no problem. The 8-Way-Run has remained, but players can side-step opponents by tapping in a direction. Great for going on the defensive. Each character has their own move list, so make have before returning to battle. The controls are easy to grasp and soon you will execute some hard-hitting punches.

Visually there is a significant increase in detail. The norm of games released post-2010. Evidence to this is the costumes which have remained unchanged, but the graphic boost adds dimension and depth to previously lifeless fabric.

There’s once again the single-player storyline. The campaign is short-lived and almost feels as if it was tacked on as an afterthought. It’s worth checking out, but essentially a drab. The multiplayer (both online and offline) is where the title shines. Players can face off against friends on the same console or duel strangers in the online lobbies from across the world.

As a whole SoulCalibur V brings lots of new additions and tweaks to the franchise, but old-timers might be slightly disappointed with the title. The new changes surround what at heart is the same as previous instalments.

A must-buy for fervent supporters and refreshing to newcomers to the franchise in a genre dominated by sub-par fighters and brawlers. The series has truly stood the test of time, and while it might not be as great as previous offerings, gamers will be hard-pressed to find a better title.

Our rating: 8/10

Charlie Fripp – Online editor

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