Soul Calibur IV Preview
The long running Soul Calibur franchise has formed a death
grip on the fighting genre as the sole weapon-based fighter out
there. A number of games have tried to pass themselves off as
proper weapon-fighters, but all have failed in comparison to
Namco's powerful series. Originally stemming from Soul Edge, Soul
Calibur's console debut on the Dreamcast has helped make it one
of the most important three-dimensional fighters out there. The
game made history more than once, as it also featured three
exclusive characters for Soul Calibur II, with Nintendo's Link
being the most notable. And now with a fourth iteration well
underway for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, what should you
Well, for starters, we're looking at the first Soul Calibur game to feature online gameplay. Moreover, for some obscure reason, Namco-Bandai have also altered the name of the game to SoulCalibur IV (one word) - don't ask us why. In any case, you can expect to see the recognizable cast of characters from previous Soul Calibur games to appear in SCIV. Furthermore, a create-a-character option will be featured. More importantly, it's been confirmed that created-characters can be fought with online, which sounds really nice to us.
So far, 13 characters have been spotted across various screenshots and trailers that Namco-Bandai have released. But expect that number to grow considerably, as there's still plenty of past and new SC characters not announced on that list. SCIV will also have a heavier focus on story, with the possibility of the fourth game wrapping up the entire story, and setting up a new one.
In terms of combat scale, Namco-Bandai have beefed up the size of the arenas by making them larger. This was intentionally done to limit wins exploiting the ring outs. To add to that, the arenas will finally have destructible objects placed in them, too. And Namco says that in addition to defeating enemies with a normal defeat or ring out, there'll be a third way to defeat your opponent.
Surprisingly, not much else is known about SoulCalibur IV. You can expect a lot of content to carryover from the past games into SCIV, as well as more refined gameplay and mechanics. Visually, the team has a goal of achieving 60 frames per second, and that is their primary visual target. Best of all, SCIV will sport all new animation per character, which means more fluid movement on screen, for a more convincing picture. And on that note, the developer isn't ruling out 1080p either - citing that they are putting focus on it, but will only include it if the framerate and gameplay doesn't suffer. From these screenshots, you can already see the detail in SoulCalibur IV. This is most certainly a next-generation looking game, as it features some fantastic character detail and super sharp texture work on the environments.
Look for SoulCalibur IV to hit sometime early on in 2008.
10/31/2007 Arnold Katayev