The Soulcalibur series is an incredible influence to me and my work for my pre-production module. Based in a warped history where swords, shields, axes and scythes are wielded in battle, the game takes place in a number of medieval and ancient locations reminiscent of 17th century Europe and Asia. Gameplay is mainly based on the beat-em-up genre pioneered by games like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, however instead of using fists and kicks to attack your opponent character specific weapons are used. It is this element that I feel is inspirational to my game idea as I would also like to include the use of weapons within the in-game battles of my game idea.
In addition to this the environment and character designs of the Soulcalibur series have always had a place in my heart for there beautifully creative and immersive backgrounds and engaging character balance. The images I have placed here are prime examples of the areas that certain battles would take place in, a far cry from the 2D backgrounds of Street Fighter which would have minimal animation and an even more of a minimal narrative to the events taking place in them. In comparison, the environments and characters of Soulcalibur worked much more successfully in creating a game world that portrayed an image of being inhabited by more than just the characters battling in it at the time. For example, by having the technological advancements gained from 3D rendering in Soulcalibur, fluid characters can battle within a giant cathedral filled with waterfalls while treacherously avoiding the edge of the expanse below that stretches out for hundreds of miles. It is exactly this level of detail I want to attain within my own game world. By taking direct influence from the level design of the environments in Soulcalibur I feel that I will be able to create my own world that has the same life and vitality that the former captures so brilliantly.
Already I feel that the image below (from Soulcalibur 3) has immediatedly influenced the creation of my first arena idea, Cathedral of Fire.