Namco Bandai has lifted the lid on Soulcalibur V at its press event in Dubai this morning.
The game, set 17 years after Soulcalibur IV, features guest characters, Project Soul producer Hisaharu Tago told Christian Donlan for Eurogamer.
The main character is Patroklos, son of Sophitia. Patroklos is "inspired" by the gameplay of Sophitia, but is "sharper" and "more agile". He has new moves, but they're all inspired by Sophitia's.
V takes the Siegried ending of IV and builds upon it. Seigfried, now 39 years old, no longer wields the Soul Calibur sword.
V is described as a "generational shift", complete with new characters, but SCIV characters will return. "SC 1-4 was a continuous story," Tago said. "We want to make a generational shift with a new story this time."
The Soulcalibur series is famous for the inclusion of characters from other universes, such as Link from The Legend of Zelda and Yoda from Star Wars. Will other non-Soulcalibur characters feature?
"Difficult question," Tago said. "We will have guest characters as we did with Star Wars. Please stay tuned for more information on that."
V marks a shift from two-handed swords to short swords, Tago announced. The story includes "the enigma as to why the swords have become short swords".
The game's new fighting style is described as "lighter, sharper, and more elegant". The online mode has been improved with new features. "Gameplay in IV could be a little heavy, particularly when you were online – we wanted gameplay that was more fast and reactive," Tago said.
On the shift in gameplay: "Maybe the hardcore fans will be afraid that we lose the core of the gameplay, but that's not the case. And for new players it's nice to have gameplay that is more continuous – you don't need to wait as much between moves.
"There is quite some change in the gameplay from SCIV. The pace of the game has been improved, and the combos will be easier to perform, and the moves will be easier to pull out."
Elsewhere, Tago confirmed the create a character feature from previous games in the series returns, but refused to divulge details.
Namco Bandai is yet to show actual gameplay, but promised more information at E3 next month.