Soul Calibur 5
Since the beginning of fighting games with the birth of the Mortal Kombat series and the Street Fighter series, respectively. There has been a real struggle with those trying to create a new IP in this oversaturated market. To stand out in this genre, a game has to have a great roster of characters, a good narrative, a USP and also, be a mechanically sound fighting game. This can be tricky but one series that broke the mould was Soul Calibur and Soul Calibur 5 would be the 2012 iteration that would aim to continue this trend.
This particular fighting game has made a name using a rock-paper-scissors type approach to combat and the fighting styles are all weapon-based. However, aside from these assets, the game plays very similar to titles such as Dead or Alive, Tekken, God Hand or Injustice: Gods Among Us.
Accessible for Newbies
Fighting games are one of those types of games where you either have the aptitude or you don’t. However, with the changes made in Soul Calibur 5, there is an entry point for newcomers that was perhaps missing from previous games in the series. This comes through the Critical Edge system which acts a focus meter or spirit level often seen in the Dragonball-Z or Street Fighter series.
Combos and tactically positioning yourself can be tough, so this method allows you to fill the meter with hits inflicted and hits taken, so when the chips are down, you have a chance to spring into life and get yourself back into the fight. Plus the moves you can pull off with this are pretty sick into the bargain.
Content is lacking
One thing that a fighting game needs along with great gameplay are a great story. This wasn’t always the case but since Tekken redefined the genre with great narrative, it is now an expectation of any game series within the genre. Soul Calibur 5 fails to deliver in this department sadly. The storyline consists of a handful of cut scenes but mostly storyboards to push the story forward which, in 2012, just screams lazy.
Then the story itself is overdramatized, has a rather unlikeable protagonist, supporting characters that don’t fair much better and most importantly, youre locked to the protagonist, Patroklos for almost all the battles. Which is a shame considering that he has move sets that would bore you to tears they are so basic. Overall, its a terrible plot, with terrible characters with terrible voice acting.
Looks the Part
The game does deliver on its past successes in the art department with visuals that raise the bar once again from the previous sequel. The environments are stunning, the character models are excellently designed with a new level of polish, the animations for each character are fluid and varied.
Then into the bargain, you have the character creation system that makes a return from the previous iteration and ups the ante with more classy customisation options. The only issue is that the characters can’t have their own custom move sets but its still a very welcome mode to have.
A beautiful let-down
As far as the gameplay goes, aside from more accessible assets for newbies, it’s very much more of the same. The graphics and animations are better than ever and the sound quality to fine also. Where the issue lies with Soul Calibur 5 is its lack of game modes and abysmal story.
The characters introduced are weak, unlikable and not even fun to play as. All in all, it looks great but aside from that, we don’t see any other reason to stop playing the fourth in the series in favour of this.
- Visually stunning
- More accessible for new players
- Creation mode returns
- Really weak story mode
- Lack of varied game modes
- Weak main characters with boring move sets