Soul Calibur: Lost Swords

Soul Calibur: Lost Swords review

They say that patience is a virtue, but when you apply this logic to installation times and online video buffering, it's fair to say that waiting isn't something we embrace with open arms. It's why PC enthusiasts buy solid-state drives. They offer significantly smaller storage capacity, but if you feel the same way about loading screens as most people do about commercial breaks and doctor's waiting rooms, then there's no better way to enjoy a game while keeping the interruptions to a minimum.

This principle is something that Soul Calibur: Lost Swords completely fails to appreciate. It's a free-to-play fighting game that takes the foundation of Soul Calibur 5 and refashions it into a single-player experience. On the face of it, this doesn't sound like a bad idea; despite a notable misstep in the form of Soul Calibur Legends, the Soul series (especially the earlier games) has had a respectable history when it comes to solo questing. But, far from rekindling the classic modes of yore, Lost Swords turns the art of sword-collecting and AI-walloping into a disappointingly mindless experience.

The first clue that this game is a barebones cash-in comes courtesy of the fighting system. In terms of core mechanics, everything from the eight-way movement to the horizontal and vertical slashes is exactly where it should be, and while some players will be disappointed by the absence of ring-outs - especially given the complete lack of multiplayer - there's enough of the old Calibur magic beating under the armour to bust out a few time-honoured combos. It's a shame, then, that the new mechanics are geared more towards monetisation than enhancing the combat.

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