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January 28 2012
Soul Calibur V - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
2/2/2012Namco BandaiNamco BandaiProject Soul
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
1-22$99.95
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Soul Calibur V is visually impressive.
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Yet another in-game screen from Soul Calibur 5.

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Visuals in Soul Calibur V are very impressive.
When it comes to fighting game franchises there are only a couple that have really stood the test of time. Capcom's Street Fighter, Midway/WB Games' Mortal Kombat, and Namco Bandai's Tekken. The other game that is in that list is Namco Bandai's Soul Calibur franchise, which is where this game sits. Announced in May 2011 it hasn't been too long a wait for fans to get this game, but it has been almost four years since Soul Calibur IV hit the shelves.

Taking place 17 years after the events in Soul Calibur IV this game tells the tale of Patroklos, son of Sophitia Alexandra, and unfolds as his familys destiny intertwines with the Soul swords. Mysterious...

Soul Calibur V will include 30 fighters in total which is an extensive roster. While many characters are returning from previous games in the series, there are plenty of new characters as well. Returning characters include Siegfried, Cervantes, Ivy, Hilde, Maxi, Mitsurugi, Nightmare, Tira, Voldo, Astaroth, Raphael, Le Bello, Yoshimitsu, Aeon Calcos, Edge Master, Agol and Kilik.

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Character creation in SC5 is quite deep.
Newcomers are plentiful too and include Patroklos Alexandra who is Sophita's son and also uses a short sword, Pyrrha Alexandra who is Patroklos' sister and Sophitia's daughter who uses his mother's sword and shield, Yan Leixia who is a 15 year old girl using a Chinese sword and the daughter of Xianghua, Natsu who is a female ninja and disciple of Taki, Z.W.E.I. is a male who weilds a 3 handled sword and can call in a warewolf like creature during battles. The next new fighter is the fortune teller Viola who wields a steel claw and magic crystal ball, Xiba who is an orphaned young man who uses a staff in battle, α Patroklos who is a different version of the original Patroklos, Pyrrha Ω who is a different version of Pyrrha and Elysium who is a mysterious angelic woman.

One final newcomer is Ezio Auditore da Firenze who many of you would know from Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed titles. Ezio appears in the game during a period of "lost time" in the Assain's Creed universe. Indeed his presence in this game is likely to excite a lot of people.

There have been some major changes to the gameplay for this latest outing with the developers dropping the "Soul Gauge" and "Critical Finishes" while a new meter, similar to that in other fighting games, allows characters to perform more powerful maneuvers known as "Brave Edge" or "Critical Edge" attacks. Guard impacts have also been modified and require gamers to hit horizontal slash, vertical slash and kick together. This blocks attacks no matter their height from the opponent. Another major change for the franchise are the Ring Outs which don't meant he end of the fight, but sees the fighters drop down to another level of the battle arena.

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Natsu takes on Cervantes in a close battle.
The character creation tools have also been largely expanded with gamers able to select the height of their character, their body shape, facial effects, clothing and voiceovers. It's also possible to select the weapons and fighting style for the created character.

As expected the developers have confirmed that Soul Calibur V will include online gameplay so you can compete with friends through a full lobby system, online search and chat. We also expect that the game will have online leaderboards and rankings.

Fighting game fans look set for a great start to 2012 with Namco Bandai's weapons based fighting game looking every bit the quality game that the franchise deserves. Expect this game to hit shelves in early February - yep, only a few days away now!

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Expect plenty of online options, and gameplay, in Soul Calibur V .
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Soul Calibur V releases in February 2012.