I can’t think of another game I’ve put more time into pre-release than Street Fighter 6. Between time spent playing the game at the Capcom booth at Summer Game Fest Play Days back when it was first announced last year, to the late nights grinding through ranked matchmaking across two betas, to the times I’ve been fortunate enough to play it through special events at IGN, I feel like I can pretty confidently say that the core fighting of Street Fighter 6 is going to be excellent.
But that’s just one piece of the pie, and while the recently released demo has given us a small taste of everything else the full game will have to offer, I recently visited Capcom to play an updated build and delve even deeper. So, here are my final impressions of Street Fighter 6 before launch, covering the World Tour mode all the way up to chapter 3-2, along with some thoughts on one particular character that hasn’t been playable up to this point.
World Tour is Better Than You Might Expect
For those who haven’t gotten to check out the PlayStation demo, World Tour is Street Fighter 6’s new RPG-like single player mode that has you taking your own fledgling Street Fighter creation and building them up into a fierce world warrior. You can challenge just about anyone on the street to a fight, whether they deserve a rising uppercut to the face or not. The more you fight, the more EXP you gain, which allows you to level up, improving your stats, and giving you skill points to add to a fairly deep skill tree.
The build that I played at Capcom went a few chapters beyond where the demo left off, and thankfully corrected my biggest issue with the demo right away by letting me switch from modern to classic controls as soon as I reached the end of the first chapter. I appreciate the addition of the Modern control scheme, and think it’ll be a great way to get fighting game newcomers to stick around in this mode, but being able to play in the traditional Classic Control scheme made World Tour feel more like a natural extension of the core game as opposed to a walled-off single player mode.
The biggest thing that struck me while playing through the first three chapters of World Tour was the sheer amount of things to do. There was a main quest line that I could follow that involved seeking out Chun-Li in the Chinatown district, but I was in no hurry to do so, as just about every direction I went in Metro City had some sort of interesting encounter and payoff. Climbing up to the rooftops led me to find an extremely high level fighter in a Superhero outfit named the Watcher, who of course I had to beat up for a fighting magazine that I would ultimately give as a gift to Luke to deepen our bond (more on that in a bit). In addition to fun and goofy NPCs, there were also plenty of treasure chests to discover containing a variety of worthwhile items, equippable pieces of gear that provide a variety of bonuses, buff-granting drinks and food, and supplements that gave me permanent stat boosts. The city itself isn’t gigantic, but it feels dense and full of personality.
And really, that personality goes a long way. World Tour absolutely nails the right vibe for a Street Fighter story mode. It’s colorful, fun, doesn’t take itself too seriously, and feels like a mini version of Yakzua at times, complete with a whole clan of goofy gangsters who fight with boxes and TVs on their heads. I do hope that some sort of plot does take form as the mode goes on, but even if it doesn’t, there’s at least a lot of fun to be had just watching beloved characters like Chun-Li behave like a real person inhabiting this world.
Street Fighter 6 Screens
What I appreciate most about the mode is the way in which it begins by stripping Street Fighter 6’s core gameplay down to its bare essentials, and builds it back up piece by piece, teaching new players the fundamentals by incorporating them into missions with tangible rewards, and introducing mechanics at a reasonable pace. When you begin, you have Luke’s core moveset and only two special moves, but as you keep playing, building up your relationship with Luke by sparring with him, giving him gifts that you find in the world, and chatting him up, you’ll start to gain his full moveset. And this is the case for other fighters too. Once you meet Chun-Li, you can deepen your relationship with her, and start learning her moves as well.
World Tour is definitely a mode that’s aimed at newcomers to Street Fighter and fighting games in general, but even as a seasoned fighting game fan, it won me over. I love the idea of getting to mix and match special moves from different characters, the world was full of fun things to discover, and I had a lot of fun finding and outfitting my character with new pieces of gear – like a pair of devil wings that granted a large damage boost, but also caused my life to slowly drain.
I also got to spend some time with the offline multiplayer suite, otherwise known as Fighting Ground. I spent most of my time playing as Cammy, since she was my main in Street Fighter 5, and while her core gameplan of knockdown and rushdown is still largely the same, she does have some pretty significant changes this time around.
For one, she now has a new mechanic involving charging her special moves. Charging her Spiral Arrow, for instance, now makes it behave like a V-Trigger 1 version of the move in Street Fighter 5. Meaning, she will attack through her opponent, and get an opportunity to combo into either a cannon spike or a super. It’s really cool, but also makes her feel like a bit more technical character this time around.
Her hooligan combo also has some new tricks. She can now use an overhead crescent moon kick out of it, which can lead to some nasty combos, she can cancel it early and drop right out of the sky, and of course she still has the option of throwing you if you just sit there and block, or hitting low with a slide attack (that is also now plus on block!) Overall, she’s extremely cool and I can’t wait to learn how to play her. Fortunately, Street Fighter 6 has no shortage of ways to learn a new character. There’s the combo trials, an excellent training mode, and the much improved character guides that not only walk you through each move, but also give you advice on how those moves should be used, and gives you the opportunity to practice each lesson as well.
Street Fighter 6 is shaping up to be the whole package, and certainly the most fully featured a Street Fighter game has ever been at the beginning of its lifecycle. We’ll have to see if it sticks the landing when it hits PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox, and PC on June 2.
Mitchell Saltzman is an editorial producer at IGN. You can find him on twitter @JurassicRabbit
It has been an incredible last few months for Street Fighter fans as we were given the news of a sixth instalment in the popular fighting game franchise. Created by the Japanese developer Capcom, Street Fighter 6 brings the much-loved series back to its roots while also introducing a new host of dynamic characters, gameplay mechanics and more. The Initial release date was set for late 2020, and now the Capcom team have dropped their final preview for the hype-filled title.
The trailer is sure to get all Street Fighter fans in a frenzy as some of the series long-time favourites, such as Ryu, Ken and Chun-Li, have all made a return to the nostalgic side-scrolling 2D format. They aren’t just simply playing out the same beats as before, however, as new moves and combos have been introduced that will have players mastering the new system in no time. Joining these fan favourites on the roster of challengers is an all new selection of intriguing characters from the previous sequels, including Juri from Street Fighter V and Kage from Street Fighter IV.
Additionally, Capcom has included a host of upgradable elements to the graphics, lighting, and sound capabilities, as well as the user interface, allowing for a more complex yet player friendly experience. Capcom has even teased the inclusion of a few mini-games to serve as a brief comedic break from the raging matches.
Street Fighter 6 will feature a variety of new modes, including an exclusive “Character Select Mode” where gamers can pick an interesting team of characters to battle it out across multiple battles with just one button press of a trigger. Street Fighter 6 has also enabled live tournament battles and ranked matches that have the added reward system of fighters unlockable special costumes.
Among the things to look forward to in the new title includes the newly revved-up “X-Mode,” granting the player further strength and power in the fight by utilising unique team-based special moves and giving them the chance to defend multiple areas of the stage.
Throughout the whole reveal, Capcom has made it clear that it is going the extra distance to make this sixth installment a truly unique Street Fighter experience and if their final preview is anything to go by, Street Fighter 6 will be an exciting new adventure in martial arts combat.