Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 56 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 56
  2. Negative: 1 out of 56
  1. 70
    Many of the new inclusions feel like forced additions that have only been added to the mix because they worked in competing games, and because something new apparently has to happen. It's still a romp against friends on the couch, but you need to take the time to bend the game to your will first.
  2. 60
    SoulCalibur V closely resembles the Modern Warfare of fighting games with an instantly forgettable story line in its single player campaign paling before a more robust multiplayer and online component. Ignore the story mode and delve deeper into the arcade, character creation and versus modes for the best experience. It's not even close to the finest incarnation of the series but it looks quite pretty and is still reasonably solid.
  3. Jan 31, 2012
    75
    Soulcalibur V is at its absolute best with friends, when it's testing your skill, reaction times and trash talking ability. The combat is still great and the graphics are still beautiful. Outside of that, it's a slight disappointment, as this is the weakest single player experience in the series yet. The game just never attempts to give us something we haven't seen before.
  4. Jan 31, 2012
    89
    A great game, capable of keeping you entertained for many hours also thanks to the involving Quick Match mode and the deep editor; we would have liked a more fleshed out story and a special mode like the Tower of Lost Souls in SC4, but it stays, however, a recommended buy.
  5. Mar 29, 2012
    60
    Unfortunately for those returning after an absence (like me) or who are brand new to the series, Soul Calibur V does little to bring a player up to speed with the new characters and mechanics beyond throwing them into the fight and letting them wade through as best they can. Factor in the scarcity of offline single-player content, and this means that multiplayer is the only thing granting Soul Calibur V any longevity; players looking for long-term offline play will be better served with Soul Calibur IV.
  6. 86
    Soul Calibur V is an assured return for the franchise that boasts a robust roster of fighters, a good selection of modes and the best visuals yet seen in the series. There's more in the gameplay system itself to tempt Street Fighter IV fans with Critical Edge, Brave Edge moves and whatnot, and the array of options presented by the character creation suite are superb. 17 years on and the story's still a bit daft, but Soul Calibur's overall enduring appeal hasn't dulled in the slightest.
  7. Feb 14, 2012
    90
    Faster, flashier and every bit as accessible as before, Soul Calibur V is the sequel the series needed. Some design choices might leave you scratching your head and the lack of a few favourites will irk returning fans, particularly Talim and Zasalamel players where no similar alternatives exist. The AI can irritate at times and the unlockable characters may disappoint, but those into character creation will find themselves losing many hours in their pursuit of the ultimate, and personalised, fighting roster.
  8. Feb 13, 2012
    88
    While some of the changes are questionable and some might blame Namco for not taking the "if it isn't broken, don't fix it" approach, this remains a welcome new entry that will give another boost to the fighting genre.
  9. Feb 13, 2012
    60
    SoulCalibur V, in its current state, only possibly succeeds as a fighting game (admittedly, this goes a very long way), yet already fails as a product. This is the worst scenario for an entry in this series. In one fell swoop, it's cut off most of the gateways people used to become fans of the series in the first place and provides a harsh climate to even the hardcore, who are now the only audience for this game, and that's a downright shame. There's still quality here, but it takes a lot of perseverance to find it.
  10. Feb 10, 2012
    67
    The series is in need of a heavy overhaul, but SoulCalibur V isn't the installment to deliver it.
  11. Feb 9, 2012
    75
    Namco's newest game should be recommended "only" to those players, that require the most basic ways of beating up another person. Fans of more complex modes will stop playing after a couple of nights and forget about the game soon after.
  12. Feb 9, 2012
    78
    No doubt, Soul Calibur V is a good, if not great fighting game. However the new changes in the gameplay and roster might scare away some of the faithful fans.
  13. Feb 8, 2012
    75
    It is a shame that V is largely a backwards step compared to IV, at least in terms of value. Playing this game, I get the overwhelming impression that the developers were phoning it in - who knows, maybe the budget was slashed, or they (somehow) didn't have much time.
  14. Feb 8, 2012
    85
    Soulcalibur V is just as solid of a fighter as its predecessors but it hit a few bumps somewhere in that 17 year skip from the last installment.
  15. Feb 8, 2012
    85
    If you're looking for a fighter with a decent amount of longevity than Soul Calibur V is the game for you and whether you're a newbie or an aficionado of the series, the game successfully manages to keep things fresh, exciting and playable for everyone.
  16. Feb 7, 2012
    80
    A step in the right direction and a great fighting game, although it's difficult to compete against the current king of the genre, SSFIV.
  17. Feb 6, 2012
    80
    It's hard to criticize this SoulCalibur V. It's pretty, it's playable, accessible yet deep, will undoubtedly prove to be fun among friends both at home, or online. Too bad though, that the solo modes are so poor, and the roster of characters so far from being renewed as advertised. A good sequel, which could have been an unforgettable one with a better roster.
  18. 90
    Namco once again offers the best weapon based fighting anyone can ask for. This is the best in the series since the first game.
  19. Feb 6, 2012
    75
    My friends and I are going to have a ton of fun playing it, and playing it for a very long time. There are definitely some head-scratching design decisions from where we sit, but it remains that we can sink hour after hour into the game without even feeling the time pass.
  20. Feb 6, 2012
    83
    If you want a fighting game to be a success, then nothing can be held back and all punches must be thrown. Soul Calibur V does take a couple shots that would normally stagger and cripple other fighting games, but the spirit will always live on as it brings gamers smooth, beautiful combat combined with a strengthened multiplayer system to provide hours upon hours of enjoyment.
  21. Feb 5, 2012
    91
    The building blocks for an enduring fighter are well-laid.
  22. Feb 4, 2012
    75
    If you are on the fence about this game I would definitely suggest that you rent it before you buy it. If you happen to be a big fan of the franchise then there should be enough here to satisfy you as long as you like fighting online.
  23. Feb 3, 2012
    60
    Soul Calibur V still brings an unmatched clash of swords with its weapons-based brawls, but its paltry single-player content is an absolute insult to the series' substantial legacy.
  24. Feb 3, 2012
    67
    It's still a really solid fighting game and still pretty easy for newcomers to pick up and play, but it's not everything that I want out of the game. As much as I loathe paying for content that should have been on disc in the first place, I do find myself hoping that DLC will alleviate some of the issues I have.
  25. Feb 3, 2012
    80
    Quotation forthcoming.
  26. Feb 3, 2012
    86
    This new entry surpasses the previous game in everything, but it is too conservative, continuing the formula instead of evolving it. It is still a great fighting game, but Namco Bandai could have taken more risks to innovate in the genre.
  27. Feb 3, 2012
    80
    If you are a fan of the series, you'll likely enjoy the new mechanical improvements. If you are a newcomer to the series, you'll enjoy the diverse roster and online play. My only suggestion is to avoid the single player mode and don't get too hung up on cranking down the difficulty level – Project Soul is trolling you by calling it 'normal'.
  28. Feb 2, 2012
    75
    This game is definitely a case of one step forward, two steps back. It's a modern, fresh SoulCalibur but it doesn't offer anything that you can't get from previous incarnations other than the more robust online offering.
  29. Feb 2, 2012
    70
    SoulCalibur V was a disappointment to me. Not because it lacked polish, but more because it felt like it didn't take any steps forward to advance the series. Everything here feels old-hat and reused. I was expecting more from a series that has defined itself over the years as being progressive. Still, if you are in it for the solid fighting mechanics and awesome create-a-fighter, this game has more than enough to warrant your purchase dollars. You could literally spend months online mastering the ins and outs of the system. If you were expecting the next evolution of the series, though, you might come away a little disappointed.
  30. Feb 2, 2012
    80
    While I'm mildly disappointed in the linear and rather limited single player mode here in Soul Calibur V, the simple fact that Namco caught up to Capcom's feature sets in the online department is a pretty big deal. I'm far from a pro player, but I do think that SCV offers fast, offense-oriented action without the ridiculously frenetic pace and utter chaos of the Marvel vs. Capcom series.
  31. Feb 2, 2012
    50
    SoulCalibur V fits the bill if you want a quick duel against a friend via the online or offline mode, but to be honest the unbalanced character roster, bugs and lazy design is offputting. Project Soul promised us so much more, but the end result is disappointing.
  32. Feb 1, 2012
    83
    Soul Calibur 5 won't offer many surprises. Obiviously Project Soul doesn't want to tackle a modern "Weapon Master" mode, the campaign is shallow as always (and cast with a bunch of unlikable characters). But the fighting system is still one of the best around, the presentation is excellent and the controls spot on.
  33. Feb 1, 2012
    82
    While SoulCalibur V doesn't quite excel with some of the greatest fighting sequels out there, it's a huge step forward from IV, complete with online multiplayer that's meaningful again, a worthwhile character roster (Ezio rocks it, we're telling you) and a presentation that's as good as the series has ever seen.
  34. Feb 1, 2012
    84
    Diehard fans will definitely want to check the game out, but they are also the ones who are most likely to come away slightly disappointed. And if you aren't a legacy Soulcalibur fight veteran, you may want to just rent or wait for a price drop. There are a few more fighting games coming this year and Soulcalibur V has left plenty of room for improvement.
  35. Jan 31, 2012
    83
    SCV reinvents the series again, and implements a number of changes that add layers of complexity and depth to a winning formula. The new Street Fighter-centric direction is surprising, but one that still works within the general framework without being overpowering. While plenty of single-player content can keep you busy for months -- much like the original -- in the end playing with friends and real opponents is the best way to experience Soulcalibur.
  36. Jan 31, 2012
    90
    With its increased pace, defensive tweaks, and reincarnated fighters, Soulcalibur V feels like a sorely needed reinvention for a series whose formula has gotten too long in the tooth. It feels as accessible and nearly as entertaining as Soulcalibur II and soundly one-ups its HD predecessor. You won't realize how much you wanted this revamp until you've put in a few hours on the arcade sticks.
  37. Jan 31, 2012
    75
    Fans looking to relive the experience of SoulCalibur's early entries may be irked by this game's new additions. But once the steep learning curve is surmounted, you will find a fresh-yet-familiar fighting system that's fun to explore.
  38. Jan 31, 2012
    83
    Gorgeous and robust, Soul Calibur 5 shows that there is plenty of soul still left to burn in the series. Fans will find plenty to do and should have no problem burning the candles late into the night both online and off; the only problem is that if you didn't love it before, there isn't anything new that will make you a fan now. Instead, SC5 serves as the perfect demonstration of a refined formula that, thankfully, hasn't aimed to fix anything that wasn't broken.
  39. Jan 31, 2012
    80
    On a straight fighting level, SoulCalibur has never been better and although it might be a little anorexic for lone warriors, the multiplayer side offers more than any Soul title since the original Calibur made the Dreamcast a must-have. Which, in and of itself, provides irrefutable proof that Namco Bandai has given SoulCalibur a clearly defined genre once more. Welcome back, Stage Of History.
  40. Jan 31, 2012
    40
    The new character customization is either much better or much worse, depending on what you're looking for in character customization. If you want to put stickers on your cape or make a short Asteroth, Soulcalibur V is the game for you. But if you want Soulcalibur IV's indepth unlockable stat-based equipment RPG, well, Soulcalibur IV is the game for you. Because Soulcalibur V has none of that. What a disappointing step backwards.
  41. Jan 31, 2012
    70
    I'll never have the kind of relationship with SoulCalibur 5 that I did with SC2, but I still plan on the two of us spending as much time as possible together. I love this game, I'm just not in love with it.
  42. Jan 31, 2012
    85
    Soulcalibur V is the next-gen Soulcalibur that I've been wanting as a fan for years. At the same time, it's nothing if not more Soulcalibur. Now if Namco Bandai would release a DLC pack with the full Soul Calibur II roster, I could finally retire that disc.
  43. Jan 31, 2012
    80
    Soul Calibur V is a game worth your time and effort, mastering its systems and dispatching opponents in a blaze of high-tempo violence is immensely satisfying. Newcomers may find the going a little tough, but the well-balanced cast means you'll not be left biting the dust for too long.
  44. Jan 31, 2012
    80
    Issues with the presentation of the story and the general amount of single player content on offer are slight dings against the experience especially considering SoulCalibur's history of blending RPG elements into its single player campaigns - but even then this is the best reason to return to SoulCalibur's stage of history since the days of the Dreamcast.
  45. Jan 31, 2012
    70
    SoulCalibur V is definitely a step in the right direction for the maligned series. Despite plenty of changes and improvements, however, the game is still too complex to be casual and too flawed to be taken seriously. Soulcalibur V might have forged its own soul, but it's not burning brightly just yet.
  46. 70
    Where the second through fourth games were exceedingly well-padded, the fifth is SoulCalibur hacked to a sliver, with very little between you and that fiery core. Admirable as that may sound, the result is a dangerously light single player game that's hard to recommend to anybody save SoulCalibur obsessives - or newcomers in search of a populous (because it's recent) online fighter. Notoriously fleet of foot, the series needs to put a bit of weight back on.
  47. Jan 31, 2012
    80
    SoulCalibur has always excelled at offering an accessible style of combat with a level of single-player content that other fighting games have only recently begun to match. These qualities haven't changed - and now, after what seemed like an uncertain return, the historical fighter is staging its best performance since that fateful Christmas of 1999. High five!
  48. 89
    More than anything else, it puts up a great fight. More immediate than its predecessors and certainly easier to get to grips with, SCV still retains the special flavour of the series - the weapons make its fights fast and deadly, the kind of battle where one slip ends everything. The mix of tension and frantic violence is more potent than ever. It never really went away, but Soul Calibur V feels like a comeback.
  49. 80
    SoulCalibur V feels new without feeling reinvented. It's not genre-defining and it's not the complete overhaul probably needed to make SoulCalibur important in tournament-fighting circles, but it's still flashy enough to keep fans interested and technical enough to convert some series holdouts.
  50. Jan 31, 2012
    84
    Project Soul took a step in the right direction. The newly introduced mechanics and the overall gameplay take the series to a new level. Interesting for new players and veterans alike.
  51. Mar 12, 2012
    80
    Critics praised this series for its unique campaigns like Weapon Master that feature a variety of challenges and weapons with different properties, but SC5's offerings feel limited and rushed.
  52. Mar 7, 2012
    80
    While there's nothing revolutionary in the gameplay of SoulCalibur V from its predecessors, fans of the franchise will enjoy once again the blade battling that looks just as good as it plays.
  53. Mar 4, 2012
    80
    Overall, Soul Calibur V is a great fighting title. While the campaign could be majorly improved on, the improvements to the gameplay, the in-depth "Creation" game mode and the good online game modes make this a must purchase for fans of the series.
  54. Feb 15, 2012
    79
    For my money, this is a decent fighter, but the real fun here is to be had with making increasingly ridiculous characters.
  55. Feb 7, 2012
    85
    Overall Soul Calibur V is a solid title that will be sure to win back fans of the series. It features a solid mixture of new and old mechanics, as well as an incredibly fun and rewarding online playground.
  56. 90
    SCV's great mix of spectacle, accessibility and depth make it a fun fighting game that almost anyone with an interest in the genre can enjoy. [Issue #81, p.88]
User Score
6.2

Mixed or average reviews- based on 99 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 40
  2. Negative: 8 out of 40
  1. Feb 1, 2012
    5
    The worst entry in the series to date. It's a bare bones minimalist title that excells at multiplayer at ONLY multiplayer. No character endings, cutscenes, or even a vague idea of why most of the cast is even in the game. The campaign is the only storyline in the game and it only features a small portion of the roster and some only have a single line of dialogue. Speaking of the campaign...you would think stripping away every single extra feature or mode would make them focus on making the campaign good right? Sadly it's quite terrible, scribbled drawings with naration and a few 5-second cutcenes here and there. I'm not sure what Team Soul was thinking. This game offers nothing to single player oriented fans, the only thing left to do after the campaign is...collect clothing. Which have no properties as armor and weapon stats are gone as well. This is a RENT. You can litteraly do everything this game has to offer in one nights work. Full Review »
  2. Feb 2, 2012
    7
    I'm confused at most of these reviews. The combat has not improved. It's actually been dumbed down to the point that one of the button combinations (horizontal and kick; one of the style-switching combinations) has been removed. I'm not necessarily complaining about the changes in familiar move sets, because that actually makes the learning curve interesting. I'm complaining about the way in which the combat and gameplay have devolved since Soul Calibur 3.

    Soul Calibur 3 took all that was right with SC2, improved it, and supplied a treasure chest of single-player modes including the best campaign a fighting game has ever seen: "Chronicles of the Sword." Soul Calibur 4 dumbed down the combat by dumping the fake-out "jump-delays," removed the campaign, and made story mode brisker. These aren't such bad changes, but remain questionable with the amount of content an HD game should have compared to a PS2 classic. Soul Calibur 5 removed A+K (stunting Ivy's entire move-set), reduced story mode to a single narrative, kicked out the Museum, and transformed mission-mode into "extreme-difficulty arcade-mode."

    Soul Calibur 3: Arcade, Versus, Story, Campaign, Missions, Customs (personality-building, main roster colors), Museum (movies, art, music, battle theater, profiles with full dialogue, demonstrations)
    Soul Calibur 4: Arcade, Versus, Online, Story, Missions (Tower: staged-Ascend and laddered-Descend), Customs (RPG-traits, main roster costumes), Museum (movies, art, overview of series)
    Soul Calibur 5: Arcade, Versus, Online, Story (single narrative), Missions ("Legendary Souls": Europe, Asia, both), Customs (superficially, more stuff)

    There's also the lack of stun-recovery that I find baffling. Usually, you're given a slim chance to avoid a juggle, but this entry has removed it entirely. The parries (Guard Impact) have been changed to work dependently on your power-meter, the thing you're trying to save for your "super combo." It reminds me of how frustrating it was in Mortal Kombat (2011) to have the combo-breaker rely on a "super combo" meter instead of allowing you two chances in a match like previous entries. Parrying has been altered to the benefit of no one. Newcomers will find no reward in practicing and performing it because it now depletes from the action. In the case of parrying, it really should have added to the meter than subtract.These are huge steps in the wrong direction.

    I welcomed the new characters openly, as the two previous games were two cluttered with clones. However, some of the outcomes don't make sense to me. You end up with five random select options once you've unlocked all the hidden characters (two others are just alternate weapon types for the main characters). Older, male characters that ought to be replaced have held out longer than younger females (most devastating: Talim). Mitsurugi makes sense in this regard, Maxi and Raphael (whose intended replacement is nowhere to be seen) do not. The majority of the new characters are more replacements than fresh additions, the exceptions being Viola and ZWEI who each have such unique play styles as to rival that of the SC3 additions.

    I want to give this a lower score, but technically it's still a good fighting game. Any fighting game that gives you a full-range of movement to actually explore its arenas has done something right. I'm also loving the Creation mode, which allows me to move three items wherever I want them (when stickers are simply not enough). Multiplayer is fast and hopefully draws a lot of attention, however I'm still displeased to wait for a single match to finish while myself and a number of others wait patiently. Couldn't it be a couple of matches at the same time in a room of five? Otherwise, the ping hasn't interrupted any of my matches thus far. The addition of Brave Edge and Critical Edge is a welcomed one as each has a specific strength that a mastered player can triumph over the proposed "army of button mashers these games cater to."

    So, 7 seems appropriate for now (SC4: 8, SC3:10) and I do hope stun-recovery is patched into this game because "Legendary Souls" mode (the game's one and only "mission") is such a hassle without it. To be completely honest, this is a good entry game for the series. I just hope that means people will be inclined to purchase Soul Calibur 3, if it ever ends up on PSN or Xbox-Live, or even Soul Calibur 4 for all its content and a much better approach to customs than "we balanced everything out so you can make people in bikinis tough."

    Side-note: For everyone saying the games went downhill after Soul Calibur or Soul Calibur 2, you missed out on two much better games.
    Full Review »
  3. Jan 31, 2012
    9
    First of all, I'm going to make it clear from the start of my review: a lot, and I mean the vast majority of reviewers, have given SCV a low score (for example IGN and gamespot) because they thing the singleplayer is not great. Perhaps it isn't, but attacking it so vehemently is just completely wrong; it's a competitively geared fighting game. It was made to be the most valid entry in the series for tournament play. Anyways, on to my review:

    The graphics, although not a huge leap from SC4, don't have to be. They were already pretty amazing in SC4, and the fact that they are better (and noticeably) means SC5 is is a beautiful, beautiful looking game. Ezio is a more appropriate guest character this time around, compared to Yoda and Vader. It's still too early to say if the game is more balanced. All I know is that Siegfried, my main (who I am pleased to know looks pretty badass this time around), is nerfed a bit. Some of his moves that were safe in SC4 aren't safe anymore.

    The real crowning achievement for SCV, in my opinion, is the absolutely incredible online and lobby mode.The netcode is absolutely excellent. Players can choose their preference for connection quality, and there is regional matchmaking. You can even choose to match up with some japanese gosu if you feel like getting your ass whooped. Of course, there will be lag if you live in America or europe. With the regional matchmaking, you'll get 4/5 bar connection, which means almost no lag at all. SC4 was tainted with lag abuse online... and you'll never see it again here.

    The lobby system is on an entirely different level to other games. Up to 6 people can join into a lobby in player matches, for people watching two others duking it out. What makes it amazing is that players can actually text chat with each other. PC players might scoff at this... but for people who primarily play on consoles, that's pretty damn awesome. It's great to see the "gg"s floating about the lobby. The game also records automatically records your last 8 matches.

    The other feature of SCV which will leave your jaw firmly glued to the floor is the new Create a Soul (CaS). Think of SC4's CaS (if you played it), then multiply it by a factor of 10... now you've got SCV's CaS. The original characters of the series can have their armour/clothing customized ad infinium, as opposed to a single monochrome colour base from before. You can even fiddle around with the colour saturation. Every character has more weapons to use than before. There's a staggering amount of weapon and armour unlocks. The possibilities really are endless this time around. Have a favourite character from a book/film you like? You can create it easily. I created a very accurate replica of Guts from the manga "Berserk" with ease. So there you have it: The best online mode, netcode and lobby probably ever seen so far in a fighting game, absolutely beautiful visuals, and a staggering amount of customization.

    I think many people will be turned off by these so called "professional" reviews that completely fail to focus on the important parts of a fighting game, instead focusing on paltry tings like story mode, and "lack of a tutorial mode (gamespot.... it's called training mode ffs).
    Full Review »