Street Fighter 6 is the fighting game evolution you've been craving

By FileTrekker 4 months ago, last updated 4 months ago

Street Fighter 6 has finally arrived, marking the latest instalment in the iconic fighting game series - and I can't help but feel, having seen this series evolve and thrive over my lifetime, that 6 is an impressive return to form that fans of the series, and fighting game genre as a whole, will no doubt love and appreciate.

Right away, one of the most notable aspects of Street Fighter 6 to me is its commitment to addressing the shortcomings of its predecessor. Street Fighter 5's initial release was marred by a negative reputation due to its barebones package. Street Fighter 6 has learned from that mistake and offers three fully-featured game modes: Battle Hub, Fighting Ground, and World Tour.

Game Modes

World Tour mode allows players can create their custom characters and explore the vibrant and bustling Metro City. This mode goes beyond the typical fighting game formula, offering side quests, hidden treasures, and delightful Easter eggs that reward exploration. What sets World Tour apart is that it serves as an engaging single-player experience and a tutorial for the game's intricate fighting systems. Players can develop their custom character while learning and experimenting with special moves borrowed from the extensive roster of fighters - it's a welcome addition that provides a solid foundation of skills players can utilize in online play, ensuring a smoother transition to competitive battles.

Fighting Ground mode is a treasure trove of activities that will keep you coming back for more. Whether it's the classic Arcade mode, where players can test their skills against a series of AI opponents, or the adrenaline-fueled Extreme Battle mode with its unique modifiers, there is something for everyone here, including a comprehensive tutorial system, that ensures players of all skill levels can work on and improve their abilities.  The game's training systems are robust, offering a variety of tools and resources to assist players in honing their skills and mastering the intricacies of the game's combat mechanics.

Battle Hub mode is an online arcade that connects you to the Street Fighter community. Here you can compete with opponents worldwide, and purchase cosmetic items to customize your characters - I'm pleased to say that the matchmaking and net code seem solid here, matchmaking, at least for me, was offering near-flawless performance and providing a fast and seamless online experience.

Evolving Mechanics

One of the more exciting new features to come to Street Fighter 6 is the introduction of the Drive System. This innovative feature revolves around the Drive Gauge, a single meter that opens up many strategic options from the start of each match. Actions such as Drive Reversal, Drive Rush, Drive Parry, Drive Impact, and the Overdrive versions of special moves introduce new layers of depth and decision-making to the fighting mechanics that take a little getting used to at first - but ultimately add an exciting and fresh element to the already solid combat mechanics of the Street Fighter series.

The graphics and art style also struck me as particularly impressive this time. Developed in the company's proprietary RE Engine, the game has stunning visuals and a distinct sense of style, allowing the diverse character roster to really shine. The game features many beloved returning characters and intriguing newcomers and caters to the preferences of both long-time fans and those new to the series- there's a fighter to suit every playstyle.

I was also pleased that Street Fighter 6 strives to be an inclusive and accessible game. There's an impressive accessibility suite available, providing options specifically designed for blind or low-vision players. Audio prompts and distinctive cues for hit types help ensure that these players can fully engage with and enjoy the game, although if I had to level criticism, it is disappointing that the game currently lacks support for colourblind players.

In addition to its robust gameplay and accessibility features, Street Fighter 6 offers various control schemes to cater to different player preferences. The Classic control scheme follows the traditional 6-button setup with total manual inputs, providing a satisfying experience for those seeking precision and control. The Modern control scheme streamlines the experience with preset macros for more accessible inputs, allowing newcomers to grasp the fundamentals quickly. Lastly, the Dynamic control scheme offers a more casual setting, automatically inputting attacks based on distance, perfect for players who want a more relaxed and accessible experience.

I like that the game caters to individual play styles and fosters a sense of community with its engaging multiplayer modes. Fighting Ground mode provides a collection of modes and training suites for local play and skill improvement. From the classic Arcade mode to local versus matches and the Extreme above Battle mode, players can compete against friends or AI opponents in various challenging scenarios. The Battle Hub mode further enhances the online experience, offering an open space where players can engage in matches, interact with player-created characters, and enjoy the sense of community the game fosters. Rollback net code ensures that online contests are smooth and virtually lag-free, further solidifying Street Fighter 6's position as a top-tier entry to the series.

Street Fighter 6 is a landmark release in the fighting game genre. With its exceptional combat mechanics, diverse character roster, and wealth of content across its three main modes, the game provides something for every fan of the genre, old and young. Adding the Drive Gauge and the Drive System elevates the gameplay to new heights, adding depth and strategy from the start of each match that really changes the whole dynamic for the better. From those who sank hours in the arcades in 1987, to newcomers engaging with the series for the first time, the game has something for everyone.

Our Score: 9/10
What did you think of the game? Let us know in the comments below!


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