Well pick me up from the floor! It is nearly incomprehensible that the last time we saw a Dead or Alive game on a Sony console was twelve years ago (that game was Dead or Alive 2: Hardcore on the PS2 - we're ignoring the abysmal Dead or Alive Paradise that hit PSP a few years ago) so it's amazing that this latest game, Dead or Alive 5 is still among the most wanted games this Christmas. Perhaps the loyal, and very large, XBox fan base has kept the franchise alive.
Dead or Alive 5 is set two years after the destruction of the TriTower, headquarters and symbol of DOATEC...
Helena Douglas has begun the task of rebuilding DOATEC, this time with the aim of using its technology for peaceful ends. She has ordered the dissolution of the Biotechnology Division, the indefinite suspension of the Military Division's Projects Alpha, Epsilon and Omega, and the expulsion of all members of the Donovan faction from DOATEC's offices around the world.
Akira Yuki from Sega's Virtua Fighter is playable.
Now in the same position once held by her father, DOATEC founder Fame Douglas, Helena has announced that she intends to hold the fifth Dead or Alive tournament, to show the world the principles and philosophies upholding the new DOATEC.
So this game is a brawler which takes place on (at least) 7 highly destructible stages. The game includes multiple game modes with the main one being the story mode which includes main story missions, and bonus missions. Other game modes include Versus, Arcade, Time Attack and Survival when playing offline, with several more game modes playable online - including some (unannounced) new ones for the franchises which will include a 16-player knock-out Tournament mode. A Training mode will also be included and the game will also feature a Spectator Mode to watch matches.
Dead or Alive 5 is out in late September on PS3.
One big question about this latest game though is that this is the first game without series creator Tomonobu Itagaki which leaves some question about the resulting quality and "eccentricity" of the title. To date though it looks like Team Ninja have ticked all the right boxes.
So far Team Ninja have unveiled 16 characters for this game which include Kasume, Ayane, Hayate, Ryu Hayabusa, Bayman, Lisa "La Mariposa" Hamilton, Christie, Zack, Helena Douglas, Leifang, Hitome, Kokoro, Akira Yuki (yes, from Virtua Fighter), Sarah (again, from Virtua Fighter, Rig, Bass Armstrong, Tina, and Jann Lee. It's an impressive roster and likley to grow before release. The inclusion of two of Sega's most loved characters from their fighting franchise is a major surprise and bonus for the game. In recent weeks new information and trailers have hinted at some other characters including Gen Fu, Brad Wong, Alpha-152, Eliot, and Victor Donovan. No word yet if they will be playable, or only included in cut-scenes.
About to get pummeled from behind.
Visually this franchise has always been impressive - both on a technical and artistic level - and this game doesn't look like breaking the trend although the developers are moving to a more "realistic" tone for the visuals. Much work has been put into the clothing which now includes transparencies as well as dirt on the clothing during the fights and "costume specific breast physics".
There is no doubt that Dead or Alive 5 is one of the most gorgeous looking games coming to the PS3 this year - not least of which due to the very sexy female fighters. Sure, this game will cause controversy due to that very reason, but let's face it, the target market for this game is young males, and they'll likely love it. As a fighting game, previous titles have almost never failed to impress, but will the loss of Tomonobu Itagaki at Team Ninja have an impact on quality? We'll find out for sure in late September.
Below is the rather gorgeous Dead or Alive 5 trailer which was first shown at E3 2012.