As video games evolve with each generation, the inclusion of a compelling story has become more and more of a necessity. This can be even more difficult for developers of fighting games, as they often have multiple storylines for each character, and have to create alternate endings for each of them upon completing their single-player modes. It gets even trickier having to decide which characters’ ending(s) should be considered the “real” canonical ones for the next game.
The Soul Calibur series receives a lot of praise for having one of the the best stories in the fighting genre, and with all of the above taken into account, that says a lot. The latest in the series, Soul Calibur V, may have the most difficult task to complete in regards to story, as there are a slew of new characters that need to be integrated into the ongoing plot.
The director of Soul Calibur V, Daishi Odashima, and its producer, Hisaharu Tago, shed some light on some of what went into the choices made for the story of the game via a behind-the-scenes video. You can view said video below.
Balancing new characters with the fighters fans are already familiar with is the key challenge for developing fighting games, and when a company focuses heavily on the story, it can be even more difficult. Odashima felt that there needed to be some time gap to allow for most of the desired characters from both sides to meet up, and a story that spans 17 years is what was needed to accomplish that. That way, most of the fan favorites including Nightmare and Astaroth could still appear.
Of course, using that logic, not all of the recognizable characters could return. Most notable of the absentees was long-time favourite Taki, who was replaced by the very-similar Natsu. Odashima explained that, while the ninjas in the Soul Calibur universe are supernatural, they can’t be ninjas forever, and Taki had to retire due to her age. However, she has since moved on to a mentor role, training Natsu and watching her development from the shadows, which indicates that she may still make an appearance in Soul Calibur V.
Another subject the duo touched upon was the inclusion of guest character Ezio from the Assassin’s Creed series. Tago explained that they had different criteria when it came to guest characters for each instalment of the series, and this time around they wanted to use a character they felt would work best with the gameplay itself. Ezio wound up being the prime choice, and Tago expressed hope that the players would really enjoy his inclusion.
What are your thoughts on some of the things explained in the video? Do you think Ezio was a good choice for a guest character?
Soul Calibur V is out now for the Xbox 360 and PS3.