Street Fighter is a legendary series that once upon a time had the reputation of the most casual and widely known fighting game. As of late, Street Fighter IV and, more recently, Street Fighter V had seemingly abandoned the simple, something-for-everything nature of what made everybody fall in love with Street Fighter. Street Fighter 6 is a bold leap into a new era for this classic series, as Capcom has packed it with something for every kind of player. How does it manage to do that? Find out how in our in-depth review of Street Fighter 6.
Story: Become the Best
The most apparent change in Street Fighter 6 is the shift in the timeline. Street Fighter hasn’t always advanced the timeline in each successive entry. Despite multiple sequels, Street Fighter III has remained the game furthest in the timeline. Street Fighter 6 finally moves the entire era beyond Third Strike. It features older characters, newcomers related to retired fighters’ styles, and a storyline that encompasses the whole lineage of Street Fighter.
Street Fighter 6 does feature the standard Arcade Mode. You can pick your favorite fighter and do a series of battles with fun lore reveals and a short character-specific ending. The real meat of the story is told through a mode called World Tour. If you’ve been living under a rock for the last year and haven’t heard about World Tour, this mode is the primary single-player mode that tasks players with creating a custom fighter and exploring the literal streets in search of strength.
Since Soul Calibur launched with the Dreamcast, some fighting games have been at the forefront of great single-player content. Street Fighter seemingly abandoned that ideology, letting lesser-known games elevate their offerings. World Tour puts an end to that, as this mode can be enjoyed by any player possible. After creating your character and going through a short tutorial, you can hit the streets and begin exploring the streets of Metro City. If the name is vaguely familiar, it should be, as it’s the same city where Capcoms classic arcade brawler Final Fight takes place.
What starts as a simple story of training and becoming the best grows, evolves, and eventually features every character on the roster. Players can level up their character, buy gear, find secrets, and challenge hidden bosses. This mode is long, packed with variety, and, more importantly, serves as the glue that holds the whole package together.
Gameplay: A Mashers Delight
Street Fighter 6 features the classic control scheme it made famous many years ago. Three punches and three kicks, with varying degrees of strength, are the core of the traditional control scheme. V-skills and reversals are gone from Street Fighter V, and in their place is a system called the Drive Gauge. The Drive Gauge is the heart of Street Fighter 6’s gameplay gimmicks, allowing creative player expression in combat. It can be used in three distinct ways. The simplest use case is the Drive Parry. This will let you parry almost any attack and build Drive Gauge. You can also use Drive Impact. This flashy, armored attack can push enemies to the wall or stun them. Last is the Drive Rush. This is designed for advanced players and allows players to cancel out actions and combo attacks that typically wouldn’t link together.
Managing the Drive Gauge and learning the nuances of each Drive action is the heart of Street Fighter 6’s combat system. It’s simple to use, but in the hands of an expert, these tools will let them create custom combo strings and devastating attack chains.
Layered above all of these systems is the control style. We mentioned Classic controls earlier, but players can choose Modern or Dynamic controls. Modern changes the controls to a much simpler four-button format. Three attacks and one button just for special attacks. You can also do auto combos; super attacks are easier to execute.
For the most casual players, Dynamic can let anybody perform cool combos and special attacks by just mashing the buttons. These three control systems are robust, flexible, and easy to pick up and learn for complete novices. This is key, as it allows players to have fun, even if they’re up against tough competition. During our Street Fighter 6 review, we let complete novices try out Dynamic and Modern controls, and they absolutely had a blast despite the fact they have never played a fighting game before.
Graphics/Audio: Sweat and Muscles
Street Fighter 6 is built on Capcom’s RE Engine, and the visual prowess of this engine shows. Each fighter features a distinct redesign, but they don’t change so drastically that you can’t recognize them. Each new fighter immediately stands out but still manages to fit in with the classic roster as if they were always in the series. All versions are locked at 60fps, and the load times are blisteringly fast. The game uses a lot of very nice-looking post-processing effects to dress them up the combat. Extensive trails of lightning, flashy super attacks, and character animations are stunning.
The sound and music design are stellar, but the character themes are less memorable than in previous games. The sleek audio mix lacks any unique character themes. The sound design and voice work is excellent, with plenty of options for mixing Japanese and American dub on a per-character basis.
Conclusion: Fight On
During our Street Fighter 6 review period, this game’s modern feel and approach have been great to experience. Whether it’s been online with fantastic net code, against friends locally, or random Mad Gear thugs in World tour mode. The speed, gameplay, and atmosphere have never been better. Cross-play also helps ensure you can have a blast no matter where you decide to play. We can’t help but recommend this for any level of fighting game fan and even for those who may not know if they are one deep inside.
Street Fighter 6 will be available June 2 on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S|X, and PC.