While from a techical standpoint its a huge improvment over SC4. The overall game feels incomplete.
The combat alone will keep you playing, even if you play it online or offline. While its clear the game was inteneded to be more of a tournament game with more finely tuned characters. Because of that. It makes the offline content feel sparse and empty in comparison to previous games.
Outside of the disapointing story mode. There isn't a whole lot to do. Theres the standard Arcade mode, where you pick a character and fight through seven rounds agains the AI and compete for a fast time. Theres Quick battle, in where the game simluates online matches against random AI players each with their own playstyle and characters, and the standard offline versus against the AI.
Another thing that isnt tied to the gameplay. But is disapointing is that theres hardly no unlockable artwork or costumes or bios to read. This makes the short story even more confusing. Because almost half of the cast isn't even mentioned inside the games story. So people who are jumping straight from SC4 to SC5 will feel very confused as to why some characters such as Cassandra and Talim for example aren't even in the game anymore. Not even from a story cameo or whatnot. The story defently feels like a missed opportunity, epsecially when the game is set 17 years after the last game.
New characters like Viola and Z.W.E.I Are completely unknown and their storys aren't even explained in any detail. While adding Mystery to characters is fine, having the entire roster be like this is a waste and disapointing. Atleast in previous games you could open a character bio screen and get information like weight, height. Blood type, and a decent text backstory that goes through the characters story from all the games.
It's these kinds of modes the game is lacking in. Theres no special game modes with perimeters, no artwork unlock screen, no way to view the characters models and voices. And gamemodes such as Team Battle, even the tag battles from the Fourth games tower of souls modes is missing, Also other gamemodes such as time trial are still missing from the game. Overall theres just not enough singleplayer content to unlock or play. Meaning most of your time will be spent online or offline in the standard one on one versus.
Graphically the game is amazing, it features some really gorgeous characters. And their designs are some of the best. And unlike the past game, the female characters aren't over sexualized. Their designs are about right, the game makes the cast look good, but not for the sake of seeing someones bust sticking out from a thin piece of armor.
The lighting has also been improved on. If you ever find yourself finding the time to look at the stages when your busy fighting, you'll notice all kinds of nice lighting effects happening such as light comming through a window and then relfecting of a mirror onto the stage. Theres some really nice shaders at work that gives the games graphics a nice sense of depth and colour. And it makes most of the stages a delight to look at. And you'll notice all kinds of small details in the stages if you look at them long enough, giving all the stages a good sense of realisim.
Soundwise the music is great, while i still don't think the game has the best soundtrack in the series. Some of the songs really stand out as being epic such as Seigfrieds theme. And as a good bonus you can download songs from previous games for use on the stages. So if you feel like a specific stage should have a song from SCII then just buy it for a buck and away you go!
Every ones voice over has also been improved. the lipsync is much better this time around and the facial animations have also been perfected. Making the characters sound alive as they already do thanks to the graphics.
Overall the game is good. It's fun to play and it features one of the best character creations in the series or any fighting game of that. But that doesn't stop the game from feeling incomplete. If it had a few extra modes or bonus content like a free unlockable SCII game or somthing i defently feel the replay value in terms of singleplayer content could of been higher and more rewarding to go through.
But when you play for example other fighting games and they have a slew of singleplayer content to unlock and gamemodes, you defently feel for a game that came out in 2012 that it should of come with more. But the annoying thing is we're going to have to wait untill 2015 for any kind of sequel. That is if Namco will even make one.