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Soulcalibur V - the next in the classic beat-em-up series from Namco-Bandai and developer Project Soul - brings the Next Gen fighter and brings it hard and fast.
The game starts some 17 years after the events of its predecessor and has brand new characters, as well as seeing the return of old favourites as good once again does battle with evil for the fate of us all. This provides a very respectable 30 playable characters to play, unlock and - of course - to master.
As ever, the SoulCalibur series "eight-way run" system enables true 3D movement during matches, so some really extreme combinations can be used. This 3D movement is also combined with an updated and refined battle system; the updated graphics also enable the gamer to involve themselves in the complex, high-octane action.
Returning characters include Siegfried Schtauffen, Isabella "Ivy" Valentine, Hildegard "Hilde" von Krone, Maxi, Heishiro Mitsurugi, Nightmare, Tira, Astaroth, Raphael Sorel, Geo "Le Bello" Dampierre, Yoshimitsu, Aeon Calcos, Edge Master, Algol, and Kilik.
Also noteworthy is the appearance of Ezio Auditore da Firenze from Assassin's Creed II, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, and Assassin's Creed: Revelations.
Players can now use new defensive and offensive combinations to ensure that their chosen character wins through. In fact, with the return of the character creator, players can now hugely alter their character's look and feel as well as playing with fighting styles.