Tecmo Koei's long-running 3D fighting series, known for its fast-paced action and occasionally titillating visuals, returns to gamers with destructible stages, perilous new danger zones, and new critical attacks in Dead or Alive 5. Combat takes a rock-paper-scissors form, with players executing throw-beating strikes, hold-beating throws, and strike-beating holds, with properly deflected attacks resulting in high-damage counters. Landing specific moves leaves opponents in a Critical Stun state, which prevents blocking and can lead to devastating Critical Combos and Power Blows.
There are more than a dozen characters from which to choose, with fights occurring in places like a downtown construction area, a war-torn desert city, and a circus, among other locations. Xbox 360 gamers battle as the world crumbles around them, flinging foes into Danger Zones to inflict massive damage and cause buildings to collapse, helicopters to crashes, and oil tanks to explode. Some of the stages include upper and lower levels, allowing for new "Cliffhanger" action sequences in which one combatant dangles from the edge of the upper level. Multiplayer fans can take on friends in local or online action.