SoulCalibur: Lost Swords Singles Out Single-Player

A SoulCalibur game without player-versus-player competition?

It's time for a set change on the stage of history. SoulCalibur: Lost Swords, the upcoming free-to-play game from developer Namco Bandai, is retooling the very core of this long-running fighting franchise. In brief, Lost Swords is not a one-on-one fighting game. Instead, it's a mission-based, single-player experience with a heavy emphasis on character customization. At least, that's what we know so far. Thankfully, at this year's Tokyo Game Show I was able to get a little face time with the developers to clear up some of the questions surrounding this game.

Let's start with weapon affinities. In the early images for Lost Swords, you likely noticed Mitsurugi or Siegfried using some very colorful attacks. That's not because they're fighting at a rave; those colors represent a weapon's elemental affinity. Each weapon has an affinity, such as water or fire, and there are five affinities total. Affinities are also balanced against each other in a rock-paper-scissors fashion, such that each is stronger against one type and weaker against another.

While affinities offer a fixed benefit, individual weapons can also be upgraded through weapon forging. As you defeat enemies in Lost Swords, you will be rewarded with various weapons and pieces of equipment. If those items aren't to your liking, you can melt them down and use them to increase the capabilities of your more preferred items.

Earning items means diving into one of the game's many dungeons, battling a series of opponents, and finally defeating the boss lying in wait at the end. When pressed on how these encounters would play out, and whether they were comparable to the missions in SoulCalibur II's campaign, all the developers would say is that they're exploring such options.

One area they were very definite about was player-versus-player combat. Since the SoulCalibur series is built on competitive play, I was stunned to learn Lost Swords isn't being designed as a one-on-one fighter. However, there is player-to-player interaction in the form of support characters.

As you battle through Lost Swords and customize your fighter, you can choose to upload that fighter online. This is more than just a bragging tool; other players may download your fighter and use him as a support character in battle. The best way to think of these support characters is like an assist attack in Marvel vs. Capcom: when called upon, your assist character will pop into battle, use his attack, and then leave--possibly followed by a witty catchphrase.

While SoulCalibur: Lost Swords' loss of competitive play is likely to turn off more than a few series veterans, Namco Bandai is ready to take the hit. In fact, it's counting on it. Similar to fellow free-to-play fighter Tekken Revolution, Lost Swords hopes to draw in some new blood for the series by drastically altering its mechanics. Whether or not these changes will be enough to help novices see past SoulCalibur's long-running (and intimidating) legacy, however, is still undetermined.

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Discussion

99 comments
nicecall
nicecall

I hope it would be good, but fear it will be a cash grab like many free to play games.  Hope im really wrong

flameon12346
flameon12346

AWWW MAN I knew it!!! This game was suppose to be release on December 2013. Now they pushed it 2014.

Good News: Namco stating that the delay would be used to further increase the quality of the game.

Bad News: The game release date was pushed back at date in 2014.

I been waiting for a long time and I want to download it now *sign*. Well at least it will be twice as better then it was suppose to be.

lynnlace
lynnlace

What a TERRIBLE IDEA NAMCO! What were you thinking? I love the old platform of Soul Calibur. The multi-player format is the best thing about the game, as well as the ability to play online in forums. I am hoping, as others have stated, that this is just a sidekick game like "Legends" - and/or maybe a teaser for a new upcoming Soul Calibur 6! I notice the title does NOT include the number "(6)" SIX!? so maybe this is a clue to what is being unfolded??. BUT, if this is all they are going to offer? I will have to say goodbye to my favorite game of all time and why I buy the playstation to begin with! This game has so much room for designers to go places with, WHY would NAMCO dumb it down so much???

Quezakolt
Quezakolt

Is this not more akin to a side game ? Like that Wii Soul Calibur game.. I think.. I forgot the name.

Daxter025
Daxter025

So this is basically SoulCalibur Legends retooled as a SC5 add-on with new bells and whistles.

Namco, Why?

inso-maniac
inso-maniac

free to play ..... pay if your a moron

Xpyder
Xpyder

Why would they take the multiplayer 1x1 combat out of the game? Soul Calibur V was bad enough can't we get a decent one now?

rhymesmatter
rhymesmatter

Goodbye my once favorite FIghting Game.You will be dearly missed

Praditya Lesmana
Praditya Lesmana

Hope this game has character customization like SC3, 4, and 5. And it has single fighting elements inserted in this single player mode like "chronicles of the sword" like SC3.

PSR8000
PSR8000

Looks exactly the same as Soul calibur 4 and 5.  

Jim DiTullio
Jim DiTullio

"free" 2 play is just a sad joke. League of Legends is one of the few "free" 2 play that actually feels free...

soulless4now
soulless4now

They had me interested at single player experience. 

Mahtab Khan
Mahtab Khan

Soul calibur is a long gone franchise imo

Shawn Vegas
Shawn Vegas

and what does being on welfare have to do with anything lol

Shawn Vegas
Shawn Vegas

you know most games are not pay to win right?

punkdsk8erdude
punkdsk8erdude

what do they mean they took out one on one fighting? it's no longer a 3d 1v1 fighting game? no local or online VS mode? are these single player 'campaign' missions still done in SC fighting fashion or a whole new type of gameplay entirely? this article is somewhat confusing.

Ace Delos Santos
Ace Delos Santos

I enjoy Tekken Revolution, besides the whole thing with the characters, so this will probably be to my liking

Trevor Merrill
Trevor Merrill

So basically they're taking away the ONLY good part of the series and trying to focus on the part they were always bad at? -.-

Thomas Terry
Thomas Terry

So Soul Calibur Revolution, I'll play! Unless it's shitty, then I will play, be disappointed then never play again.

chrsvic
chrsvic

I hope Ivy, Xiguana, and Raphael are going to be in this free-to-play Soul Calibur game.

kitty
kitty moderator moderator

After seeing and playing 5. I don't think something like this will draw in anyone. The series has been slipping for awhile. It needs to go back to what made 1 and 2 so good and start from there, then I'd be interested.

edpeterson
edpeterson

OMG this is so awesome! I love how it seems to be going back the the original Soul Calibur's single player mode that was definitely the best single player mode I've ever played in a fighting game! :D 

eduardscor
eduardscor

Personally, i dont care about competitive (unless i play coop with my bro), but what i liked about SC series, was its story, and frankly since SC4 went to hell, i wa svery dissapointed with SC5. Hope they can fix something of it with this one.

Iam concerned on how they are monetize the game. hope its not a raging money grab

g1rldraco7
g1rldraco7

Hmm not sure about this game, BUT I trust you Maxwell and you've haven't let me down.

desperate001
desperate001

Last I recall, after 2, the series has been getting worst and worst. Then they had the awful PSP rendition. Are they trying to push away the last of those who'd actually play this game anymore? Unless they go back to SC2 style, this series is bound to flop.

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

I wonder if Sophita's line at the end of that trailer is a message to everyone from Namco about the direction this game is taking.

Namco's recent trend of making all their legacy games free-2-play is worrying. Maybe I've just been playing the wrong ones, but free-2-play games somehow seem messy and unfinished to me.

I like the idea of giving weapons elements, but I'm always a sucker for that kind of thing. I hope there's more to it than just a 'rock, paper, scissors' type mechanic though.

I would say I have a problem with this new direction for the series, but I'm not entirely sure I understand it. But we got our gratuitous cleavage shot, so I guess it's alright with me. ;-)

Xroalia
Xroalia

This is weird. I figured SC was dropping single player content in favour of online play, as evidenced by SCIV and especially SCV. Now they're pulling a 180 and dropping competitive play altogether? Well, I can't say I'm unhappy, I've been getting sick of SC sacrificing single player content for online play. I dunno how much of a success this is gonna be though, I'm already sick of all these free to play games.

Fallout_red
Fallout_red

I find this whole batch of "free 2 play" fighting games / semi-fighting games rather disgusting. Tekken R, Killer Instinct and now this (Though I understand it's no longer a fighting game).


Why can't they just make solid fighting games and sell them like normal titles? Netherrealm's Injustice wasn't even an oldschool franchise and yet it managed to sell very well. The game had singleplayer, multiplayer and ton of content where as most of these F2P crapfests are little more than barebones.

Viper9_QC
Viper9_QC

The same game again and again... I'll stick with SC2 on gamecube with Link ! 

Oozyrat
Oozyrat

@desperate001 I wish it was like SC2 but with the character customizing in 4 and 5. I love SC but I have no idea what's been going on with the franchise recently.

lanmanna
lanmanna

@Fallout_red They still do. They just released Tekken Tag 2 and Soul Calibur 5 last year for crying out loud.

BlackBaldwin
BlackBaldwin

@Fallout_red 

Times are changing my friend, its sad to see but greed rules more over the game industry then ever and fighting game makers are trying to test the waters to see what they can try out to scam us gamers but act like its a good deal to our faces.  Personally I stay away from the F2p games no matter what anyone says these games will ruin the industry at its core.

gamerboy100
gamerboy100

@Viper9_QC Read the article. They said they are changing the gameplay, and it details some of the ways it's changing.

Fallout_red
Fallout_red

@BlackBaldwin @Fallout_red 

It is true. The problem is that most fighting games are not changing with it. They are sticking to the same barebones packages from arcades. They have a ladder / arcade mode, Vs mode, leader boards, online matches and if we're lucky a challenge mode. The story mode in most of them is still the same crappy screenshot or 2 lines of text at the end.

 That is why most of them are failing. The reason games like BlazBlu and MK won this gen in terms of fighting (at least IMHO) is because they tried a different path. Both had great and rather fleshed story modes plus tons and tons of singleplayer content. Don't have BB's numbers but MK9 sold really well from what I saw.

desperate001
desperate001

@BlackBaldwin @Fallout_red With the price of games bound to keep going up. I can see myself saving loads of money not buying video games anymore. Or atleast waiting until they're about 10 bucks or so. Funny thing is, I'm not sure if developers are losing sight of their market, or the market is just changing, what with the advent of cell phone games.

Darrius_Cole
Darrius_Cole

@goggles123456 @Oozyrat @desperate001 

Switchable weapons like SC2

ALL the real characters with their REAL NAMES like SC4

Netcode like SC5.

P.S.

Natsu's changes were quite welcome.  I found A+B and her feints and warps to be useful and needed (I had been asking for them since SC2) against opponent with long swords who were able to poke safely from distance with otherwise unsafe moves.

BlackBaldwin
BlackBaldwin

@desperate001

Maybe its just me because I'm older now then I was but remember my words when I say the game industry will follow the car industry straight to bankruptcy if everyone takes up the same way you are feeling and wants everything for less.  Of course its only my opinion and at the end of the day its the dumb masses that will decide how the industry will grow or not.  Hopefully this business I love so much won't perish in my lifetime.