SoulCalibur: Lost Swords looks like a full blown SoulCalibur game on the surface. Awesome combos, slick art style, familiar faces, and a wide assortment of weapons. The only major problem separating it from the older games is that it doesn’t feature a multiplayer mode.

Yes, a fighting game with no multiplayer. Go figure.

But this is the model that Bandai Namco has chosen to go with for the franchise’s first venture into free-to-play. No need for it to dig into Tekken Revolution‘s numbers, right? Instead, SoulCalibur: Lost Swords is all about gathering loot to build your perfect warrior. Win a fight, gain prize money, further deck out your fighter with customizable armor and weapons. Rinse and repeat.

I just wish I could take my ultimate warrior and you know… battle against somebody else’s ultimate warrior. You never know how well you’re doing without a community to measure yourself up against.

It’s a bit of a stretch, but SoulCalibur had already been taking a much more single player focus than Tekken with recent iterations. Character customization and quest modes must have proven more popular than the barebones tournament mode. Bandai Namco just wants to split its two free-to-play fighting games between two audiences and provide a stronger focus on one element for both.

Tekken for competitive multiplayer. SoulCalibur for single player. Makes a little sense, I suppose.

Since it’s free, I’ll definitely be willing to try SoulCalibur: Lost Swords out. I don’t even play fighting games online so why does this bother me? No release date yet, but it is expected to come out this year, and it will be exclusive to the PlayStation 3.