Soulcalibur V (ソールキャリバーV) is actually going to be the 6th installment sequel in Namco's long running and widely popular Soul Blade and Soul Calibur series fighting games. The highly anticipated game is set to be released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 console systems early 2012.
The story in Soul Calibur V will take place 17 years after the events of Soul Calibur IV. Featuring a new line up of main protagonists; Patroklos, the son of Soul series veteran Sophitia, while her daughter, Pyrrha is the deuteragonist. Soul Calibur V has also been revealed to include a special guest character of Ezio Auditore da Firenze from the Assassin's Creed game series.
The game director, Daishi Odashima, announced its official campaign early spring 2011 and added that the game will have at least 22 characters so far.
Gameplay changes that have been made for Soulcalibur V include the removal of "Critical Finishes" from the previous game as well as the "Soul Gauge". While the character's Armor can still be destroyed, it will no longer have an indicator warning the player if it's about to break and leave your fighting character half naked across the screen. Instead, a new gauge has been introduced that works similarly to the "super meters" found in other fighting games. The charging of this meter in the game allows the player to execute "Brave Edge" and "Critical Edge" attacks (more powerful strikes that either can't be blocked or carry far more damage than regular moves).
Another somewhat subtle but will prove to be effectively deadly addition is the characters' ability to briskly sidestep around their opponent by double-tapping up or down.
"The Guard Impact" feature now requires holding away from the opponent and pushing horizontal slash, vertical slash, and kick together (as opposed to forward and guard). The Guard Impact will now repel any unblockable attack regardless of height, removing the need to anticipate the attack height of the aggressor. Parries have been removed from the engine entirely.
Perhaps the most notable of the gameplay changes is that "Ring Outs" now add an extra stage to continue the fight, so when you knock your opponent from the ring, both characters fall down into a new arena to continue the fight. Assuming the character who was knocked off first can endure the damage that comes from the fall.
Patroklos Alexandra: Sophitia's son who uses a short sword and a shield like his mother. Unlike his sister, he knows that he has an older sister and is apparently searching for her and his mother. He is the main protagonist of SoulCalibur V.
Pyrrha Alexandra: Patroklos' sister and Sophitia's daughter who uses her mother's sword and shield which were made by her father, Rothion. Pyrrha was kidnapped by Tira when she was only Three years old in order to torment Sophitia, she is the deuteragonist of SoulCalibur V. However, unlike her brother, who knows about her, Pyrrha has lived her life as a wanderer since she knows nothing about her family and she has no one she can truly call "family".
Natsu: female ninja disciple of Taki wielding two tantō like her master. She is the container for a demon called "Arahabaki".
Z.W.E.I.: a man wielding a sword with three handles. He summons a werewolf-like creature called "E.I.N." to aid him in battle. He is one of the secondary antagonists in Soul Calibur V.
Viola: a woman who serves Z.W.E.I. and does not remember her origins or what happened during her past life. Her appearance resembles a fortune teller. She wields a steel claw and a magic crystal ball that floats around her during battles. She is one of the secondary antagonists in Soulcalibur V.
Xiba: a young man who was raised near the mountains where Kilik trained. His design appears to descend from the protagonist of Journey to the West, Sun Wukong, and like his inspiration he uses a rod in battle.
Namco has also released a trailer featuring a "Jack of all trades" type of character, Dampierre, a Soul Calibur character from Broken Destiny who will be made available only as a pre-order bonus from a (still to be announced) special retailer.
The game Soul Calibur V is scheduled for release in North America on January 31, 2012.
Check out our collection of Soul Calibur V video trailers and character previews!