Dead or Alive 5 (2012)

by Christopher
6 minutes read


Dead or Alive 5 revitalizes the fighting game series with updated graphics, new gameplay mechanics, and a roster that includes Virtua Fighter guest characters. Set two years after DOA4, the game weaves a complex narrative around the DOA tournament and the pursuit of Kasumi’s clone.


Released in 2012 by Team Ninja, Dead or Alive 5 marks a significant entry in the acclaimed Dead or Alive fighting game series. It stands out for its multi-platform release and the introduction of guest characters from the Virtua Fighter series, alongside enhanced graphics and gameplay mechanics.


“Dead or Alive 5” (DOA5), developed by Team Ninja and published by Tecmo Koei, is the fifth main entry in the “Dead or Alive” fighting series. Released in 2012 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, it marked the series’ first multi-platform release since “Dead or Alive 2” and the first installment for PlayStation 3.

The game’s plot is set two years after the events of “Dead or Alive 4” and the destruction of the DOATEC corporation’s Tri-Tower headquarters. Helena Douglas, having undertaken the task of rebuilding DOATEC, aims to use its technology for peaceful ends. The narrative unfolds through the interrelating stories of various characters, all connected to the new DOA tournament and the ongoing hunt for Kasumi’s evil clone.

The game introduces several new gameplay mechanics and features guest characters from Sega’s “Virtua Fighter” fighting game series. The fights are based on an interruption triangle system, where strikes beat throws, throws beat holds, and holds beat strikes. This system of counterattacks adds a layer of strategy to the fights, making them more dynamic and engaging.

“Dead or Alive 5” also retains the tag team battles from previous DOA games. The fights take place in interactive and destructible arenas, adding another dimension to the gameplay. The game’s characters are rendered in a more realistic visual style than its predecessors, with new details such as fighters getting sweaty, their clothes getting dirty during fights, costume-specific breast physics, and semi-transparent clothing.

Aboard the Freedom Survivor, it is revealed to the Mugen Tenshin ninjas that Helena ultimately destroyed the Tri-Tower to get revenge on Donovan. Donovan was responsible for the death of her parents during power struggles within the organization and for turning DOATEC into a corrupted, immoral, and inhuman organization.

The game received generally favorable reviews and sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide by mid-2015. It also saw over 12 million downloads of the free-to-play versions. The success of “Dead or Alive 5” led to the release of several updated versions, including “Dead or Alive 5 Plus” for PlayStation Vita in 2013, “Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate” for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 later in 2013, and a final iteration titled “Dead or Alive 5 Last Round” in 2015 for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC via Steam.

“Dead or Alive 5” represents a significant evolution in the DOA series, introducing new gameplay mechanics, a more realistic visual style, and a complex narrative that continues the story from previous games. Its success and popularity among fans ensured the series’ continuation, leading to the release of “Dead or Alive 6” in 2019.


The game boasts a diverse roster including series regulars like Kasumi, Ayane, and Ryu Hayabusa, as well as guest characters from the Virtua Fighter series like Akira Yuki and Sarah Bryant.


Dead or Alive 5 introduces several new gameplay mechanics, such as the Power Blow, a powerful attack that can be executed when a player’s health is below 50%. The game also features enhanced graphics, more realistic character models, and interactive stages that add depth and strategy to the fights.


Dead or Alive 5 successfully revitalizes the series with its graphical updates, new mechanics, and expanded character roster. While not without its criticisms, it remains a solid entry that fans of the genre will enjoy.

Review Score



Cover Art


Fan Art

Fan Art Style: Normal

Fan Art Style: Retro

Fan Art Style: Modern

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More