Bandai Namco hadn’t yet put a release date on its free-to-play fighting game SoulCalibur: Lost Swords, and now it doesn’t have to. The game has been put up on the PlayStation Store with the most recent update and is now available for all to download exclusively on the PlayStation 3.

Call me just as shocked as you. I didn’t think we’d be seeing this game so quickly, but here it is.

For those who still don’t know the deal with this game, it is indeed free-to-download and play. The game is a strictly single-player affair, so you can’t fight against your friends like you do in a typical fighting game. The allure here is a deep single player campaign which will allow you to customize and create weapons for the traditional SoulCalibur squad to use in your quest for more materials.

Since when did SoulCalibur become an epic quest for more loot?

Instead of traditional versus matches, SoulCalibur: Lost Swords‘ social aspect allows for a more asynchronous multiplayer affair in which you upload characters and weapons to a server and they can be used to aid others in battle. Only indirect contact with other players will be allowed in the game, nothing  in your face.

So far, Bandai Namco has confirmed four characters will be available from the start, and more characters will be unlockable either through money or finding them in quest mode. I haven’t seen my go-to character, Seung Mina yet, and she didn’t appear in SoulCalibur V. I don’t know how I feel about this so far

What I do genuinely feel is that Bandai Namco is really onto something here. This is the fourth high-quality free-to-play game it has made so far, and it is also the only traditional console developer to get me excited about the idea. If others could look to their model for delivering high quality games for free, then maybe gamers wouldn’t be so resistant to the idea of free-to-play.

“Maybe,” I said. Not likely.