Preview: Street Fighter 6 PS5, PS4 smashes the kitchen sink at fans who complained about the previous game

Preview: Street Fighter 6 PS5, PS4 smashes the kitchen sink at fans who complained about the previous game

Street Fighter 6 PS5 PlayStation 5 Hands-on Preview 1
Image: press square

We can all admit it: Street Fighter 5 was a gigantic Disappointment. As a one-on-one fighting game, the release was exceptional, but Capcom complete audiences beyond the pro gamers forgot – and the sequel suffered as a result. While the Japanese publisher would make respectable improvements to the release over time, the damage was done on day one and there is a fear the company is unlikely to repeat itself.

After spending an entire afternoon playing Street Fighter 6 last month, we’ve never been more confident of a title delivering an absolute knockout than this one. The sixth entry in the long-running series is absolutely flawless: from its chunky, obsessively animated character models to its picturesque settings and penchant for hip-hop, the outing oozes class. We won’t even complain that Capcom released a playable demo while our hands are locked on the preview to date. #Not bitter

We wanted to view our demo from a purely single player perspective, so we politely declined the option to play multiplayer with Capcom’s friendly PR team. Here’s the bottom line: Street Fighter 6 will will be primarily a competitive game and the vast majority of players will spend the majority of their gaming time competing locally and online. That’s fine, but Street Fighter 5 was such a failure from a solo perspective that we wanted to see how its sequel really fared.

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And there really is no competition: over the course of about five hours we had a blast exploring the range of traditional modes contained within the neatly named battlegrounds before embarking on our adventure in the new single-player World Tour mode. While this wasn’t a finished build, everything felt robust, fast, and accessible – this is an alarmingly polished package, with care and attention invested in every facet, including the menus.

So first and foremost: shock horror, there’s an arcade mode. You can play through the ladder in either five or twelve battle combos, and while we didn’t get to see the endings, we can confirm that each run begins with unique artwork and voice-over, and is punctuated with mini-games – including one you fight against a truck. “Oh my car!” No, more like “Oh my fucking truck!” (And yes, Capcom, you should add that VO!)

One thing that really impressed us is the character guides. These, accessible under the Training section, teach you the intricacies of a specific character and provide context to their movements. The idea here isn’t just to teach you specific combos or skills, it’s Why You might want to use them and If. For the pro gamers among you, this is all probably self-explanatory, but for the mere mortals among us, it’s useful information built into the game.

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You can always take control by pressing the touchpad to practice, while the tutorial text has a cheeky style that adds flavor. As such, none of it feels dry, and it’s all part of a concerted effort by Capcom to actually teach you how to play the game. Combine that with the inclusion of Modern Controls – which we personally don’t like but should at least help newcomers on board – and we appreciate the effort.

We should also mention at this point – although it feels like a given – that the fight is enormous. We spent a lot of time playing as Lily and Cammy, two characters who didn’t appear in the last few betas, and had a blast getting to grips with their special moves and finishers. An afternoon just isn’t enough to get to grips with the nuances of Street Fighter 6’s systems, but of course we’re very optimistic about the competitive scene for this release.

But that competitive scene, as we hinted at, is only going to really capture a small portion of the game’s audience – and that’s why we’re similarly excited about the World Tour mode. In this seedy, frankly insane single player mode, you’ll create a character and complete quests alongside other recognizable Street Fighter heroes in a weird RPG-like adventure where you can equip different clothing sets for stat boosts and more.

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The writing is laughable, hilarious as gang members nonchalantly explain how they cover their faces with cardboard boxes to prove they’re “serious about gang life,” and the whole thing takes on a camp tone. For example, you can take part in mini-games where you have to enter combinations to bake pizzas – it’s all as ridiculous as it sounds. And as you run through town, you can punch a square in the jaw of pretty much any civilian to start traditional battles.

We don’t expect this mode to be the main selling point of the pack, but it will no doubt put some meat on the bones of the release – and given how light Street Fighter 5 was overall, that’s not a bad thing. There’s even some party modes here, known as Extreme Battles, where you’ll have to deal with random encounters like rampaging cops, and while we don’t expect those options to be enabled anytime soon during the Capcom Pro Tour, Power it fun to see such stupidities , disposable options integrated.

With a live service model that promises new content beyond launch, Street Fighter 6 already threatens to become the biggest and best entry in the series yet. We’re incredibly impressed with what we’ve played so far, and we’re relieved to report that this time Capcom isn’t just at the service of pro gamers – it’s a game that even casual fighter fans should enjoy. While we appreciate that the release’s longevity stems from esports, the avalanche of single-player content should subside all a reason to get involved.

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Were you one of those disappointed when Street Fighter 5 launched? Will you be getting Street Fighter 6 when it does battle with PS5 and PS4 later this summer? Throw a fireball in the comments section below.

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