Game News Street Fighter 6: the fighting video game for everyone? We played it with Ryu, Chun-Li, Jamie and Luke!
Each installment of the Street Fighter series has added something to the fighting game genre. So when a new opus comes to the fore, the same question comes up: what is it going to be able to bring with it? First answers after more than an hour of play on a non-final version!
Street Fighter II almost launched the versus fighting genre (understand playing against other players in a fighting game), Street Fighter IV, meanwhile, revived fighting games when they were at their lowest. To believe that each even-numbered episode is a revolution, or at least stands out in one way or another. What about Street Fighter 6? A priori, and after an hour of play on an unfinished version, it seems to be the age of democratization for all players to truly enjoy. But before getting into the hard part, let’s not start with an obvious observation: Street Fighter 6 benefits, just like Street Fighter IV in its time, from an artistic direction that stands out frankly.
Street Fighter 6 Rainbow Edition?
The artistic direction of a game is essential and that of Street Fighter 6 is already a pearl. If some, as when the fourth opus was announced, are already having trouble with it, know that we could not see it with our own eyes on PS5. And its rendering is excellent. We were only able to enjoy two different sets, but they use the same process: tinted environments, almost black and white in some places, with some flashy elements that stand out, a bit like modern Street Art. The two fighters, with a rather realistic rendering, are embedded in the environments and they benefit from almost garish colors that contrast with the whole. Added to this are the effects of smoke, brush strokes as for SF IV some will prefer to say, particularly colorful which automatically oppose the decorations, once again, for almost unexpected explosions of color every time. If it is understandable that some doubt, for us, it is already a success because the subtle mixture of colors hits the mark and in no way breaks a superb visual rendering which should be revealed over time between now and the release, with the new settings and other characters soon to be presented in more detail.
Clear and effective combat
In addition to its appealing and unique graphical rendering, SF 6 benefits from a combat system that is truly inherited from the series (Street Fighter Alpha, Street Fighter III and Street Fighter IV in mind). Here, two 3D characters face each other on a line on which they are blocked, like a 2D game. A proven recipe. The special moves are obviously still there and the Super Art too. On the screen, a life bar, at the top, for each fighter, a Drive gauge, just below, with the various possibilities that can be exhausted, and a Super Art gauge at the bottom. This is simple and quickly understandable. The Super Art gauge is used to accumulate energy by hitting so that you can then perform the different Super Arts, understand the furies or the biggest attacks if you prefer (yes, you can accumulate several Super Arts gauges for bigger furies ). The Drive is used for everything else and all characters can use it : Drive Parry to parry attacks, Drive Impact to repel your opponent, Drive Reversal to counter enemy blows and Drive rush to advance on the opponent in a sequence and continue the assault more easily. Finally, the Drive gauge can also be used to improve his special moves at the appropriate time (this is called Overdrive and is reminiscent of the famous EX moves). Obviously, each use decreases the Drive bar (it goes up gradually over time) and it can even run out at some point, which means that if you manage it badly, you may find yourself unable to make parries or counters. And that changes everything since you then risk being subjected even more to the aggressiveness of an overly enterprising opponent.
For the rest, six buttons, from weak fists to strong through medium and the same goes for kicks. A hand-to-hand attack, commonly known as a “mug” and… that’s about it! If we are far from having pierced all the secrets of the gameplay of this Street Fighter 6, know that just with that, the reversals of situations are legion and the twists numerous as long as you start to manage your gauges correctly. All of this is therefore not bad at all, without completely revolutionizing the formula. And this, even if it is a question ofa different fighting game with a more choppy pace than before, even if it’s not obvious on the screen, but rather by practicing. Anyway, the revolution is ultimately more in accessibility because if you can play normally with classic controls, modern controls shake up the formula.
Too simple gameplay for beginners?
That’s the impression modern controls mode shortcuts give at first: gameplay too simple to help beginners. With a “mug”, the Drive Impact and the Drive Parry, each achievable with a single button, all the special moves can be done with a direction and a specific button and normal blows, indistinctly with feet or fists, which can be easily linked with only three buttons plus a direction and, the height of amateurism, an assisted sequence button that does almost everything for you when you hit an opponent, some will doubtless cry foul. Nonetheless, this ishelp newcomers and these simpler button sequences work really well, without affecting the rhythm of the fights. However, it is difficult to switch from classic control mode to modern control mode in an instant as the way of playing is so different. It remains to be seen what Capcom will really do with it when two players face each other: force them to play in the same way, unlikely, separate the rankings according to the controls, who knows… But what is already certain, is that this front door is there to welcome a new public and that’s good news for all fighting game players, no offense to those who think they’re purists.
A four-star cast, really luxury?
If a lot of Street Fighter 6 characters are already known as you can see here, four of them were accessible during our hour of play on this demo: Chun-Li, Ryu, Luke and Jamie. If the first three are known, know that we find their moves (normal and special) with some variations or modifications, it was finally Jamie who surprised us the most with his alcoholic Kung-Fu fighting style. It perfectly illustrates the fluidity of battles with believable sequences, rapid movements and exceptional space management. Note that he can drink until he’s more thirsty to transform and take advantage of additional special moves. The other three also have aggressiveness to spare and enjoy improved and convincing blows for striking confrontations, even if some impacts still lack power for our taste, except for the Super Arts using three gauges at once, all really impressive. And with only four wrestlers we have already been able to have fun and, above all, vary the pleasures, which bodes well for the future. And then in this register, Street Fighter has always been able to diversify through its protagonists, both in form and in substance. Note that you can make a few faces before each fight, a guilty and optional pleasure that will seduce those who like to taunt before coming to blows.
Last element to remember during this first contact with Street Fighter 6, the famous commentators who give real-time opinions on the match that is taking place. The idea is to Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of a competition. Undeniably, it works and this without disturbing the atmosphere of the game or even the music. To be clear, these specialist comments fit perfectly into the soundscape of the game without ever spoiling it. It should be noted that we took advantage of it in English and that it even made us enter the competition even more. Finally, do not worry, it would be appalling if these comments could not be deactivated at leisure.
In summary, Street Fighter 6 wants to be more accessible, more beautiful with the prowess of its RE Engine graphics engine and more daring in its artistic direction. The result on this simple demo of an unfinished version is particularly promising, without us being able to already know if this opus will be able to revolutionize the saga in its own way. However, these first exchanges of blows convinced usespecially since unlike Street Fighter V, this component must offer more content immediately to players and this should please those who were revolted by the questionable formula launched when the previous opus was released…