Soul Calibur 5 sees the triumphant return of one of the most adaptable and easy to get into fighting games out there. With revamped graphics, added characters and an entirely new storyline, it looks to be an exciting successor to a fan favourite.
The new game is set 17 years after the original and acts as a true sequel to last in the series, bringing with it all the bizarre characters and somewhat, shall we say, Japanese approach to storytelling. The Soul Swords are now single handed affairs, something which is yet to be explained but will likely make sense once we learn about the entirely new storyline.
Whilst we didn't get a chance to actually play the game ourselves, we were treated to a series of battles fought out in what is the most up to date version of code. The first thing that struck us was just how incredible the lighting engine looked, which has clearly seen a lot of work. Character models have highly detailed shadows, interrupt lighting in the background and the female cast in particular are subjected to all sorts of shininess.
On the subject of characters, the Soul Calibur cast has been updated with new male and female fighters. We got to take a look at Zwei, Natsu, Patrokolus and Sophitia. All of them had their own unique abilities, with Zwei being a personal favourite, making us think a bit of Noob from Mortal Kombat, firing out what looked like ghosts at the opposition.
In terms of the fighting itself, things are definitely keeping to the Soul Calibur tradition of big weapons and painful looking combos. We witnessed series favourite Ivy smash Mitsurugi to pieces using her chain whip and taking full advantage of the new Street Fighter style moves that break up gameplay with a powerful attack and animation.
Button mashing may still be commonplace, but there was clearly a wider range of moves and a better flow to the fighting. Then again we didn't get to give things a go ourselves, so it may be that the game handles differently with a controller in our "expert" hands.
Sadly our brief demo of Soul Calibur 5 came to an end much quicker than we had hoped, expect plenty more details of the game to emerge as we head towards this years IFA. There is also, unfortunately, little to go on in terms of a release date other than sometime in 2012.
Soul Calibur fan? Or is Tekken your thing? Or Street Fighter? Or Mortal Kombat?...