Hack into scantily dressed woman, pirates and whatever the hell Voldo is when Soul Calibur V arrives next year.
Ever since Namco fans and the press stumbled upon a mysterious countdown clock on Namco's website, two weeks ago, it's been assumed that a new Soul Calibur would be announced -- and, so it has!
At Namco Bandai's "Step up Dubai 2011" event, producer Hisaharu Tago unveiled the title and played a teaser trailer for press. The worn book shown at the beginning of the trailer looks identical to the one shown on the teaser site, so it's assumed that the teaser site will feed into this announcement -- rather than be a new entry in the Tales series as some hoped. However, the countdown clock hasn't ended yet and there could still be a surprise at the end (if there is, expect an update here).
Game director Daishi Odashima, who answered fan's questions via Twitter, said the development team is focused on improving the story mode. The story is set 17 years after the events of Soul Calibur IV and will revolve around a new character, Patroklos. Odashima recently posted a sketch of the character.
There will also be changes to gameplay, Tago said in a recent Eurogamer interview.
"Maybe the hardcore fans will be afraid that we lose the core of the gameplay, but that's not the case. And for new players it's nice to have gameplay that is more continuous - you don't need to wait as much between moves," Tago said. "There is quite some change in the gameplay from SCIV. The pace of the game has been improved, and the combos will be easier to perform, and the moves will be easier to pull out."
It remains to be seen how a new 3D fighter (that controls in a 3D space) will be received after the recent trend of fighters going back to their roots. After all, the last Soul Calibur came out before Super Street Fighter IV and BlazBlue were released. With the recent popularity of the new Mortal Kombat and Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, it doesn't seem like people are tired of them yet, either.
As a fan of the original Dreamcast release and slightly less of a fan of everything going forward, I'm excited to see what Namco can do with Soul Calibur V after a four-year break in the series.
Expect more details on the game at E3 next month.