''Relax, breathe easy. All is well within the Namco fighting game universe. Soulcalibur IV boots up predictably with the usual CG intro loveliness, staggeringly good HD graphics, the full-fat 60FPS gameplay experience and a satisfyingly vast selection of single-player modes in addition to versus and online action. It's everything a die-hard Namco fan would want from the franchise's transition to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 - and it's this which is the game's greatest strength and biggest weakness.
To get the bad news out of the way first, Namco has done little to refresh or redefine a genre enduring a terminal decline in popularity. Undoubtedly, Soulcalibur IV is very good and has at least one genuinely brilliant new feature. But in terms of the basic fighting gameplay barely anything has changed since the series' last- gen console outings. The formula that has stood Namco in such good stead has been tweaked yet again, but there has been only gradual evolution since the arcade debut of Soul Edge more than 12 years ago.''