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Why SoulCalibur V Only Had One-Fourth of a Full Story Mode

Illustration for article titled Why emSoulCalibur V/em Only Had One-Fourth of a Full Story Mode

Seeing where the plotlines for your favorite characters go. The shiny CGI ending sequences. These have traditionally been the reasons a person slogs through the cheap-ass boss fights in the story mode of a 3D fighting game. SoulCalibur V gave you neither and many fans of Namo's fighting franchise—including me—were pissed at their absence. What makes the lack of a fully-fleshed out story mode in SCV even more infuriating is the revelation that a lot of the work was done.

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An interview at Train2Game with SoulCalibur V producer Daishi Odashima divulges that the story mode shipped with the game was only a fourth of what the dev team had planned:

"Our first plan on the storyboard was that we had every characters story, and actually we do have it in the studio, but time-wise, man power-wise we weren't able to do it and only one fourth of what we planned to do is in the game."

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Instead, we got the anemic story mode that focused only on new characters Patroklos and Pyrhha. Other characters—some of them established SoulCalibur characters like Siegfried—popped up but little context was given as to what their own personal stories.

Odashima also revealed that many of the characters already have voicework recorded and it may be used for future content down the line. However, if Namco winds up releasing additional story mode content for individual characters as paid DLC, that may just set off fan outrage like they've never seen before.

Train2Game news: SoulCalibur V story mode "one fourth" of planned size, each character was to have own story [Train2Game, via ">Shoryuken]

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DISCUSSION

I couldn't enjoy Soul Calibur V. Which is sad, 'cause nearly EVERY prior Soul Calibur/Blade game had a massively robust offline single-player component with gobbles of story to fight through.

Put in the ORIGINAL Soul Blade for Playstation and every last single character has a grand choose-your-own adventure mode that fills you in on their motivations for fighting, the people they love, their reasons for being there, their desires, their dreams, their wishes.... and it did so against a backdrop of medieval scenery and epic sword fighting.

This continued all the way to around Soul Calibur 3, which, again, had one of the best offline single-player campaigns of any fighting game.

And it was downhill from there. SCV is a huge disappointment, especially for a "reboot" with nearly half the cast being new/modified faces. We jump forward 20 years and don't learn who any of these new people are, why any of the old faces have returned, or where some of the beloved fan-favorites have disappeared to. For a story, especially one in the Soul Calibur universe, it was infuriating and deprived many of the features and motivation they enjoyed the franchise in the first place.

But that's coming from an old dog that remembered when Li Long was fighting to see his pregnant wife again and Seung Mina was trying to weasel out of an arranged marriage with Hwang. Back when people cared about those things.