Soulcalibur V is a 3D weapon-based fighting game developed by Project Soul and published by Namco Bandai for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on January 31, 2012. The sixth main entry in the Soul series, the game takes place seventeen years after the events of Soulcalibur IV, featuring new main characters; Patroklos Alexandra and Pyrrha Alexandra, children of prominent series heroine Sophitia Alexandra. Other retired franchise characters have similarly been replaced with characters (such as Natsu, protege of the ninja Taki, and Xianghua's daughter, Leixia), new social elements, new single-player and multi-player modes, and a new guest character: Ezio Auditore da Firenze from the Assassin's Creed series.
The game is set in the year 1607, seventeen years after series protagonist Siegfried Schtauffen shatters the power-hungry sword Soul Edge with the Soul Calibur. During that time, series heroine Sophitia Alexandra is killed in battle by a group of malfested, or those corrupted by Soul Edge, while her daughter Pyrrha is abducted by the malfested Tira. The story initially focuses on Sophitia's son and Pyrrha's younger brother, Patroklos, after he has grown into a vengeful young warrior recruited by the mysterious Graf Dumas to hunt down and kill the malfested. Patroklos works for Graf under the promise that the noble will be able to help him locate his sister.
Pyrrha, meanwhile, has grown into a timid young woman. Like Tira, Pyrrha had become malfested through the energy of the Soul Edge. Tira uses this to her advantage by dragging Pyrrha around Europe and forcing her into situations where she must defend herself from those that persecute and hunt down malfested. The more people that Pyrrha kills, the stronger her malfestation becomes, and Tira's goal is to make Pyrrha a worthy wielder of Soul Edge.
One day, Patroklos is confronted by Z.W.E.I., and the encounter leads him to question the work he's done for Dumas. When Patroklos confronts Dumas and asks why he hasn't helped him find Pyrrha, as had been promised, Dumas turns against him and sics Voldo on him. Unable to catch Dumas, Patroklos leaves to meet Z.W.E.I. once again, who offers to take him to Siegfried, the leader of the Schwartzwind mercenary company. Siegfried gives Patroklos the Soul Calibur, the powers of which have remained dormant since the defeat of Nightmare and the Soul Edge seventeen years earlier. He also requests that Patroklos join the ranks of the Schwartzvwind, but Patroklos, still stinging from Dumas's betrayal, becomes hostile to the idea.
Nevertheless, Patroklos is accompanied by Z.W.E.I. and Viola on a journey to hunt down the mysterious woman with the ring blade that had abducted Pyrrha. Their journey takes them to a battlefield, where Patroklos finds both his unconscious sister, whom he recognizes by their mother's shield, as well as Tira. After Patroklos fights Tira off, he returns to his sister's side as she awakens, and upon her realization that her brother has found her, the siblings are happy to be reunited. Patroklos then insists that they return home to Athens together.
After parting ways with Z.W.E.I. and Viola, Patroklos escorts his sister, and the two eventually make their way through a forest where they're attacked by a rampaging Astaroth. Patroklos manages to fend the brute off, but is injured in the process. As Pyrrha struggles to help him, Ivy happens to be by and provides what aid she can. She also recognizes Patroklos's sword as the Krita-Yuga, one of three sacred treasures and the dormant form of the Soul Calibur. Patroklos remains curt with Ivy, however, who leaves with a low opinion of him.
As they continue their journey, the siblings come across a city under siege, and are confronted by Graf Dumas, who reveals himself to be Nightmare. Patroklos, still injured and unable to fight, is almost struck down when Pyrrha, in her desperation, gives in to her malfestation and drives Nightmare off. Though Patroklos is saved, he is horrified by the realization that his sister is a malfested; one of the beings that he had spent so much of his life thinking of as nothing but lowly monsters. In his shock and confusion, he runs off, leaving Pyrrha with the opportunity to be reunited with Tira.
Patroklos eventually makes his way back to the Schwartzwind, where he relates what has happened to Siegfried and Z.W.E.I. However, as he's still filled with conflicted emotions, Patroklos must fight to prove that he is still worthy of wielding the Soul Calibur. Though he loses to Z.W.E.I., the sword transforms, taking on the form of blade that Patroklos is more capable of wielding, signalling that he is truly ready to become its wielder. Taking the sword in hand, he receives a vision of his mother, who comforts him and informs him that he must unlock the full potential of the sword.
With his mind no longer clouded with doubt and determined to rescue his sister, Patroklos sets out on a new journey. He first locates Ivy, whom he convinces to help him. She tells him that in order to revive Soul Calibur, the remaining sacred treasures must be gathered so that a ritual to unlock the sword's power can be performed. He then tracks down the two remaining treasures, now in the possession of a pair of Asian travelers; Leixia and Xiba. After convincing them to help him, they return to Prague together, where Ivy and Patroklos perform the ritual.
As the Soul Calibur awakens, the vision of Sophitia returns to Patroklos, who, with his guard down, doesn't realize it as the sword takes control of him. The story then jumps ahead to a confrontation with Pyrrha, and Patroklos slays his sister to the delight of their "mother," who then plans to use the Soul Calibur's power to bring true order to the world.
Patroklos, awakening to the notion something is wrong, finds his soul in Astral Chaos, the metaphysical realm where all souls come together. He is rescued by Edge Master, and time is subsequently turned back to before he made his mistake. This time, as the ritual is completed and Soul Calibur awakens, he resists its power and is determined to wield the sword, rather than allow the sword to wield himself. He and the Schwartzwind then move on to track down Pyrrha and Nightmare.
Z.W.E.I., who bears his own grudge against Nightmare, is able to defeat the azure knight, but in the process of doing so he lets down his guard, opening the way for Pyrrha to step in and cut him down. She then claims the Soul Edge for herself, promising to give it plenty of souls so that they can always be together. It is at this point that Patroklos finds her, and Pyrrha attacks, desiring to give her brother's soul to the sword.
Patroklos manages to defeat Pyrrha, but when he refuses the Soul Calibur's desire to kill his sister, the sword turns on him and encases him in crystal. Pyrrha, meanwhile, awakens to find her mind clear of the malfested corruption, and when she sees what has happened to her brother, she picks up the Soul Edge and cries out to him as she uses it to break Patroklos free. At the same time, Patroklos's soul once again confronts his "mother," who is in actuality the spiritual personification of the Soul Calibur, Elysium. Disappointed in Patroklos, Elysium intends to finish him off so that he'll no longer interfere with her desires, but Patroklos defeats her just as Pyrrha manages to break her brother free.
Reunited once again, Patroklos and Pyrrha embrace, and then impale the Soul Calibur with the Soul Edge, destroying the swords once and for all. Free of the swords' influence, they begin their journey home again, intent on making up for the mistakes they have made and the wrongs they have done.
Soul Calibur V introduces a gameplay element called the Critical Gauge, a super meter that governs the player's ability to perform a number of offensive and defensive actions. The gauge can store up to two full bars. When a fighter loses two rounds, his/her gauge will automatically be filled with one bar at the start of the following round. The Critical Gauge replaces the Soul Gauge of Soul Calibur IV, and the round-winning Critical Finish attacks of the previous game have also been removed.
A special technique that consume half of one Critical Gauge bar. The control input and effects vary depending on the character.
A defensive technique that has appeared in previous games, Guard Impacts can deflect any attack save throws, Critical Edge attacks, or attacks that are classified as unblockable. However, performing a Guard Impact now requires half of a full Critical Gauge bar.
The Soul Calibur V equivalent to the super combo. All Critical Edge attacks share the same controller input and consume a full bar of the Critical Gauge when performed. Critical Edge attacks deal large amounts of damage to an opponent when they successfully connect.
When timed against an opponent's attack, pressing and quickly releasing the block button will perform a Just Guard. Just Guards can defend against unblockable and Critical Edge attacks, and unlike Guard Impacts don't consume any Critical Gauge energy.
Soul Calibur V includes a variety of modes and features for online play and community interaction. These features include:
The player can tag up to three other online opponents as "rivals." In doing so, the game will track the player's progress in the various online and offline modes in comparison with his or her rivals. There are also some achievements/trophies that are awarded for besting rivals at specific tasks.
Match replay data can be downloaded and saved for playback, and can also be uploaded to the servers.
Battles fought in this mode affect the player's online ranking. Opponent searches can be filtered by a variety of criteria including region and minimum connection status. The player is awarded ranking points based on performance.
Allows the player to create or join player lobbies with rules set by the lobby creator. Players that aren't actively fighting can watch matches in progress as they wait their turn.
A system of lobbies in which players can gather for casual matches. While in the lobby, players can communicate via text chat and challenge each other to matches.
Online Ranking System
Players are ranked on a scale that ranges from E5, the lowest rank, to A1, the highest. As players acquire victories in ranked online matches, this ranking will increase over time. Offline, these ranks are used to label the difficulty of computer controlled Quick Battle opponents.
Pre-Order Bonus Character
The custom character creation system first seen in Soulcalibur III and IV returns in the latest game with new customization features. New elements include a greater degree of control over the character's physical build and greater color and pattern customization of equipment. The game also features an extra fighting style for created characters based on Devil Jin from the Tekken series, though players cannot create characters that use Ezio's or Algol's fighting styles.
As well as a regular edition Namco also released a European Collector's Edition (shown) as well as a US Collector's Edition (not shown).
The European Collector's Edition includes:
- Soul Calibur V Game
- An artbook
- A Parchment Letter from the game's creators
- Exclusive book box case
- Making of DVD & Original Soundtrack CD
- Exclusive Signed Art by the development team
- Play as Dampierre in-game
- Exclusive Dark Knight & White Knight costumes for character creation mode