|Publisher(s)||Namco Bandai Games|
Soulcalibur V (ソウルキャリバーV Sōrukyaribā Faibu?) is a fighting game developed and released by Namco Bandai Games for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2012. The sixth main installment in Namco's Soul series of fighting games, Soulcalibur V is the follow-up to Soulcalibur IV and retains the weapon-based combat that characterizes the series but follows a new character, Patroklos, who aims to rid his sister of a curse brought upon her by an ancient weapon. The game was positively received, but was criticized for the removal of fan favorites and for a presumably lackluster story mode.
Like the previous games in the series, Soulcalibur V is a weapon-based fighting game. Players use high and low vertical and horizontal attacks to damage opposing player characters and can block incoming attacks or parry enemies' moves to gain a tactical advantage. The game features a tweaked "Critical Edge" system, allowing players to fill up a meter and unleash powerful special attacks.
The game features a variety of gameplay modes. In Story Mode, players take control of the game's protagonist Patroklos and various supporting characters, guiding him through a series of battles divided into 20 episodes. Unlike previous installments, not every character is playable in Story Mode. The game's arcade mode allows players to control any of the game's characters and face six opponents in time trial matches. In addition, the game features Quick Battle mode, which allows players to unlock titles for their online profiles and an extra "Legendary Souls" mode. Like its predecessors, Soulcalibur V also sports variety of multiplayer modes, allowing players to face each other both online and offline. The character creation mode from previous games has also been retained.
The game takes place 17 years after the events of Soulcalibur IV and centers around the children of Soul series veteran Sophitia. The protagonist is her son Patroklos and his estranged sister Pyrrha is a supporting character. The two siblings journey across Europe in an attempt to rid Pyrrha of the "malfestation", a curse that is bestowed upon whoever comes into contact with the evil weapon Soul Edge.
The game features 28 playable characters, including 10 characters that are new to the series. The new characters include two versions of Pyrrha and Patroklos. The game also introduces the mysterious Z.W.E.I. as well as Viola, a fortune teller. Several new characters use the fighting styles of previous characters in the series: Taki's student and successor Natsu, Xianghua's daughter Yan Leixia and Xiba, who uses Kilik's fighting style.
The game's guest character is Ezio Auditore da Firenze from Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. The game also features a number of returning characters, such as Siegfried, Voldo, Ivy, Tira, Algol, Hilde, Kilik, Maxi, Mitsurugi, Raphael, Yoshimitsu, Cervantes, and Nightmare. Dampierre, who first appeared in Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny, became a playable character.
A petition for Soulcalibur V posted on Facebook caught the attention of Katsuhiro Harada, producer of Namco's Tekken series. He accepted suggestions and promised to lobby on behalf of fans for the creation of a new Soulcalibur game. The game was teased as early as 2010, when game director Daishi Odashima tweeted "SC is back!". On December 25, 2010, a new Soul series project was announced to be under way, led by a new director. In late April 2011, Odashima tweeted again saying "Hopefully I will be able to announce something mid May." Soulcalibur V was officially announced by Namco Bandai on May 11, 2011.
Development of the game's story mode was outsourced to CyberConnect2, developers of the Capcom game Asura's Wrath. The story was originally planned to be four times longer, but was cut back because of time and manpower restraints.
Pre-order bonuses included the playable character Dampierre from Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny. A collector's edition of Soulcalibur V was released along with the standard edition in a book-like package containing the game, CD game music soundtrack, art book, making-of DVD, and exclusive White and Dark Knight character creation downloadable content.
Namco has released additional downloadable content for the game. The first "Launch Day" pack includes a set of character customization items described as "exotic" as well as music from Soul Edge and Soulcalibur. The Valentine’s Day February 14 pack includes customization items described as "fearsome", along with music from Soulcalibur II and Soulcalibur III. The February 28 pack includes more customization items and music from Soulcalibur IV and Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny. The music tracks are also available individually. Further DLC packs were announced and planned to be released once a month.
Critical reception of Soulcalibur V was generally positive with average Metacritic scores of 77 (Xbox 360) and 81 (PS3). Jose Otero of 1UP.com criticized the story mode, but was overall positive in its review, stating that the game "reinvents the series again". Adam Biessener of Game Informer called it "the best Soulcalibur ever." On the other hand, IGN's Steven Lambrechts wrote that Soulcalibur V "feels like more of the same" and was disappointed by the game, especially criticizing its story mode. Jordan Mallory of Joystiq claims that Soulcalibur V "is simultaneously one of the best Soul Calibur games ever made, as well as the worst Soul Calibur game ever made." Besides the story mode, many disliked the absence of the series's stalwart characters such as Sophitia, Talim, Cassandra, Taki, and Seong Mi-na.
- Steven Lambrechts, Soulcalibur V Review, IGN, January 31, 2012
- McGarvey, Sterling (2012-01-31). "Soulcalibur V review". GamesRadar. Retrieved 2012-03-19.
- "SoulCalibur V". GameSpot.com. 2012-01-31. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
- "Soul Calibur V Review (Xbox 360)". Team Xbox. 2012-02-05. Retrieved 2012-03-19.
- Basile, Sal (2012-01-17). "SoulCalibur V New Characters". UGO. Retrieved 2012-03-19.
- Gilbert, Henry (2011-10-21). "Assassin's Creed's Ezio joins the Soulcalibur V roster in new trailer and screens". GamesRadar. Retrieved 2012-03-19.
- "Twitter feed for Daishi Odashima". 2010-12-25. Retrieved 2010-12-25.
- Gantayat (April 26, 2011). "New SoulCalibur Info Possibly Coming in Mid May". Andriasang. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
- VG247 Staff (May 11, 2011). "Namco nukes Dubai: SoulCalibur 5 announced for 2012". Vg247. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
- "Train2Game interview: SoulCalibur V game director Daishi Odashima | The Train2Game Blog". Train2game-news.co.uk. 2012-03-27. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
- Hilliard, Kyle (2011-10-22). "Unlock Dampierre When You Preorder Soulcalibur V". Game Informer. Retrieved 2012-03-19.
- Fletcher, JC. "Soulcalibur V Collector's Edition: the pages of history". Joystiq. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
- "Soulcalibur V DLC Announced - News". www.GameInformer.com. 2013-08-16. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
- "SoulCalibur V for PlayStation 3". GameRankings. 2012-01-31. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
- "SoulCalibur V for Xbox 360". GameRankings. 2012-01-31. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
- "SoulCalibur V Critic Reviews for PlayStation 3 at". Metacritic.com. 2012-01-31. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
- "SoulCalibur V Critic Reviews for Xbox 360 at". Metacritic.com. 2012-01-31. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
- Jose Otero, Review: Soulcalibur V Redefines Namco's Flagship Weapon-Based Fighter, 1UP.com, January 31, 2012
- Rich Stanton, SoulCalibur V Review: Ivy league, CVG UK, 31 January 2012
- Andrew Fitch, EGM Review: Soul Calibur V, EGMNOW, February 3, 2012
- Matt Edwards, SoulCalibur 5 Review, Eurogamer, 31 January 2012
- Daniel Maniago, SoulCalibur 5 Review, G4tv, February 2, 2012.
- Adam Biessener, Soulcalibur V, GameInformer, January 31, 2012
- Daniel Bischoff, Does the Soul Still Burn?, GameRevolution, 02/03/12
- Sterling McGarvey, Soulcalibur V review: Refinements and revamps help restore the lustre to the series, GamesRadar, January 31, 2012
- SoulCalibur V review, GamesTM, 31 January 2012
- "SoulCalibur V Article Review and Ratings". GameTrailers. 2012-01-31. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
- Nic Vargus, SoulCalibur V review, Official Xbox Magazine, 01/31/2012
- SoulCalibur 5 Review: A slick, underwhelming return to the stage of history, Official Xbox Magazine UK
- Jeremy Jastrzab, Soul Calibur V Review: The burning soul will never extinguish!, PALGN, 07 Feb, 2012
- Jesse Lord, Soul Calibur V Review (Xbox 360), TeamXbox, February 5th, 2012
- Sal Basile SoulCalibur V Review, UGO, January 31, 2012
- Mallory, Jordan (2012-01-31). "SoulCalibur 5 review: The old flame still burns". Joystiq. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
- Nick Dinicola, 'SoulCalibur V' Is a Very Vibrant Game, PopMatters, 6 February 2012.
- Evan Narcisse, SoulCalibur V : The Kotaku Review, Kotaku, Jan 31, 2012.
- "Top Ten Lamest Video Game Characters - Cheat Code Central". Cheatcc.com. 2012-03-19. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
- "Financial Highlights for the First Quarter of the Fiscal Year Ending March 2013 (April-June 2012)" (PDF). Namco Bandai Games. Namco Bandai Holdings. August 2, 2012. p. 3. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
- Phillips, Tom (2012-08-03). "Soulcalibur 5 sales are a million less than Soulcalibur 4's • News •". Eurogamer.net. Retrieved 2014-02-05.