Namco Bandai's SoulCalibur series focuses on crossed swords, but it also has a reputation for crossovers. Familiar faces like Link, Spawn, Kratos, Heihachi, Darth Vader, and Yoda have already sparred with series staples like Mitsurugi and Nightmare, and today the publisher revealed the featured guest fighter for the upcoming SoulCalibur V: Ezio Auditore da Firenze from the Assassin's Creed series.
Ezio will enter the arena with his usual assortment of weapons, including a sword, a crossbow, and the series' iconic concealed wrist daggers. Namco Bandai also revealed that a more lighthearted knife-fighting character, Lord Geo Dampierre from the PSP game SoulCalibur: Broken Destiny, will be offered to players as a preorder incentive.
Beyond character updates, Namco Bandai also nailed down a release date for the game. SoulCalibur V hits the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in North America on January 31 and in Europe on February 3 of next year.
Producer Hisaharu Tago mentioned during the week of Tokyo Game Show 2011 that the company is collaborating with developer CyberConnect2 (Naruto Ultimate Ninja series) to create the game. In addition, the game music will feature contributions from composers Cris Velasco (God of War III) and Inon Zur (Dragon Age).
For more on how Ezio is being adapted for the game, check out GameSpot's hands-on impressions of the Assassin's Creed star's SoulCalibur debut.