Street Fighter 6 review: Capcom brawler returns fighting fit
The latest entry of one of (if not the) most iconic fighting games of all time, Street Fighter is back with a vengeance with Street Fighter 6. Familiar faces mixed with new additions and new modes, allow players to step into the world of Street Fighter with the characters they have come to know and love.
With a fresh coat of paint, several new modes and a whole cast of characters at your disposal, Capcom has made its classic fighter accessible to all and, with any luck, it has plenty of staying power.
Street Fighter 6 is leading the charge for current-gen fighting games in the most vibrant way possible. With a series of character guides, story campaigns for classic characters and a fantastic open world for you to take the fight to the streets, it feels like everything I could have asked for from a modern Street Fighter entry.
New places, familiar faces
A new title means new characters, with the likes of Manon, Marisa and JP joining the upper echelons of Street Fighter stalwarts as Ryu, Chun-Li and Ken. With a stacked roster already, there are plenty of options to choose from, each with its unique abilities and animations.
The guides provided for each character allow you to pick up any one of them from the get-go, and sink your time into learning them thoroughly and at your own pace.
While in previous titles I’ve tended to stick with Ryu (he’s a classic, what can I say), I wanted to venture out of my comfort zone and try someone new. So, after a quick scan of the character guides to find a combo set I thought would suit me, I cemented myself as a Juri main and began working through her maniacal story fights.
As someone who likes to have the option of a ranged attack for when I inevitably get scared that I'm about to lose a fight, adapting to a character inherently focused on close combat allowed me to break out of my comfort zone with the level of detail added to her personal character tutorials.
A World Tour de force
The World Tour mode is the most exciting new addition to Street Fighter 6, allowing you to create your character and let them loose in an open world. In this case, I created a deceptively burly old man decked out in cat ears and a backwards cap. It adds a new (and not wholly unexpected) definition to Street Fighter by, quite literally, taking the fight to the streets.
In World Tour, you’re able to pick a fight with just about anyone to gain experience and level up. The vendor you just bought a refreshing slice of homemade pizza from is just as excited to take on a scrap as he is to sell you a hearty (if a little overpriced) slice, and there are plenty more of these fun interactions to be had.
While it may be frowned upon to start a random fight with a pedestrian in real life, it is actively encouraged in Street Fighter 6. Nobody, from street performers to businesspeople, is safe from the elderly hands of my custom character.
In the early hours of the World Tour campaign, I decided my avatar had a new nemesis: a mime in Metro City. However, he was at a much higher level than me. So, if I was to take him down, I would have to challenge others to level up and improve my skills. It gave me a chance to practise my combos using the new modern controls and, eventually, take on my quiet quarry. By the time I got to him, he didn’t stand a chance.
Catch these hands!
With the addition of the World Tour mode, I was able to apply what I was learning there to the rest of my standard fights in the Battle Hub and Fighting Grounds. While I started quite rusty, after completing the mode’s tutorial and early stages, I quickly found myself recognising opportunities for combos, which made them all the more rewarding.
It was also fantastic to see the amount of consideration given to customising your controls to a scheme that suited you, along with the selection of the Classic and Modern controls. As someone who hadn’t played Street Fighter for a while, the Classic Scheme seemed a little daunting. So, I opted to use the Modern Controls to refamiliarize myself with the game.
While they are certainly more accessible, there are limitations to the combos you can perform. However, once I felt confident enough, the time was right to switch back to Classic controls and watch the Hadoukens fly across the stage.
The Juri is out
In World Tour, you begin with a tutorial in Luke’s training area, and he welcomes you with open arms. In many ways, this feels like how the entire game treats the player. Street Fighter 6 is by far the series at its most streamlined, with optional tutorials walking you through every step of the way.
Every time I selected a character, I was able to take the time to study them, practice their moves and, upon hitting all the right notes, be treated to some gorgeous animations.
It cannot be stressed enough how good Street Fighter 6 looks on current-gen consoles, with colours and animations popping and giving my eyes an absolute treat.
With a slew of fighting games on the horizon like Tekken 8 and the recently announced Mortal Kombat 1, Street Fighter 6 is leading the charge in the most vibrant way possible. With a series of character guides, story campaigns for classic characters and a fantastic open world for you to take the fight to the streets, it feels like everything I could have asked for from a modern Street Fighter entry.
Despite being the sixth game in the mainline series, Street Fighter 6 is easily one of the most accessible and makes for a fantastic entry point for newer players, while still resonating with series veterans.
Reviewed on PS5. Code provided by the publisher.
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