Street Fighter 6 Review: Modern Era of Fighting (PS5)

Street Fighter 6 is a must have for those looking to start in the fighting genre, with the addition of several new modes and a beginner-friendly system. Although hindered by a weak story, the World Tour mode is a perfect place for players to start to get familiar with the various mechanics and just have fun beating up random NPCs.

Street Fighter 6 Review: Modern Era of Fighting

Capcom over the last few years has slowly become a powerhouse of a developer. Resident Evil has been better than ever, Monster Hunter has been a consistent hit, and Devil May Cry’s return was also a huge success. And now, fans get to enjoy the return of Street Fighter with a vibrant sequel full of style. Street Fighter 6 looks to carry the success of Capcom with this latest installment. This will be a spoiler-free Street Fighter 6 review.

Street Fighter 6 is available on Steam, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

See Also: Resident Evil 4 Remake Review: A Masterclass in Survival Horror (PS5)

Street Fighter 6 - Announce Trailer

Story: A World Tour

World Tour is the new large story mode added to the series where players create their own character. The character creation menu has a ton of options that many players will enjoy. In World Tour, you are a rookie fighter training under Luke. After sparring with Luke, you will be dropped into Metro City which acts as the story mode’s small open world. For those that have played the Yakuza series of games, this open-world format will feel familiar. There are jobs players can do, side missions to tackle, stores to purchase things in, and tons of random people to fight. Players can virtually fight anyone. Fighting people will give the player items they can use in battle, money to buy things, and experience points that will level them up. World Tour is a great starting point for new players as it will teach a lot of the game’s mechanics. 

Metro City looks great

Metro City looks great

As for the story in World Tour, it’s a bit corny and nonexistent. There are a string of events that occur, but they’re often quite random and forgettable. Most of the time, the player will be following their rival and trying to help them to stay out of trouble. And sometimes, you’re going to random countries in order to get souvenirs for Luke. Why is this a main mission? You’ll meet characters like Chun-Li, Dee Jay, Cammy, Blanka, and more. Certain characters will share their movesets with you after meeting them. One of the fun mechanics in Street Fighter 6 is the option to mix and match the abilities of different characters. You can basically create the type of playstyle you want which is great. 

Arcade Mode

The second story mode is Arcade mode. Similar to World Tour mode, it’s quite forgettable. Each character will have their own mini adventure where you’ll get to know more about them or what they’re doing. And most of the time, it’s basically nothing. Arcade mode starts with a character narrating what they’re doing and then proceed to enter battles. One character talks about how he’s opening a restaurant and then it transitions to him fighting 5 different enemies. It’s weird. What’s cool though is you get to try out different types of characters. Arcade mode won’t teach you how to play them but you can set enemies to easy mode while learning and playing.

Each character gets their own mini adventure in Arcade mode

Each character gets their own mini adventure in Arcade mode

Gameplay: High-Octane Brawls

Those familiar with the Street Fighter series of games will feel close to home. For the record, this Street Fighter 6 review is from someone who has dabbled with the franchise but has not played the games at length. That being said, I was super happy with the way Street Fighter 6 plays. Despite being relatively new to the series, I never felt lost. Besides World Tour mode which teaches the player a variety of mechanics, there are tons of other modes where players can get familiar with how the game plays. Alongside the regular tutorial mode that teaches the players plenty of mechanics and strategies, there are also character guides for each character in the game.

These super art moves are a ton of fun to watch

These super art moves are a ton of fun to watch

These character guides will show players each character’s different moves, how to perform them, and how to pair them alongside each other to win matches. For those more experienced with the fighting genre, there are Combo Trials and regular Training Mode. Training Mode has settings that provide a ton of information to those that want it. Such information includes frame data of attacks, and cancel timing displays which show at what point certain moves are cancelable and can be continued with other moves. There are also preset practices for specific mechanics in the game. Throw Escape Practice for example will help players get out of situations when pinned against a wall and the enemy is about to grab them. Capcom has done an absolutely stellar job in this department. Whether you’re new or a series familiar, there is a ton of information here to help you improve. 

Drive Gauge/Modern Controls

Drive Gauge is a new mechanic in Street Fighter 6. It’s one that adds a variety of utility to players, helping them get out of tricky situations or apply pressure. The Drive Gauge is a 6-bar display located under the player’s health bars. One of the use of the Drive Gauge is performing Drive Impact, a move that can absorb two attacks. It can temporarily render your opponent vulnerable or push them back, giving you space to breathe if pinned against a wall. If they’re pinned against a wall blocking, using this move can break their block.

The Drive Gauge is a powerful mechanic that can turn the tide of battles

The Drive Gauge is a powerful mechanic that can turn the tide of battles

It’s not an all-powerful mechanic though. Drive Impact can be countered in several ways. If your opponent uses Drive Impact after you, for example, they will absorb your attack and then hit you. Because the move is a bit slower, an enemy could also grab you out of it and further punish you. Additionally, depleting your Drive Gauge bar will leave your character with Burnout. Burnout is a state where your character’s Drive Gauge bar is depleted and is more vulnerable to enemy Drive Impacts. 

It’s a great new mechanic that forces players to strategize while fighting. It’s also a mechanic that works well with Modern Controls. For newer players such as myself, they’re a simplified way of performing different moves. With Modern controls, players can also perform assisted combos with the use of the Drive Gauge bar to boost their attacks.  Instead of having to press down, down right, right, and then Square to perform one move, I can just press Triangle. Of course, there are downsides to using Modern controls as opposed to classic. But for new players, it’s the optimal way to go. 

Battle Hub

Another new fantastic addition to the online space is that of the Battle Hub. It is essentially a large lobby where up to 100 players can join per server. Here, players can talk with one another and battle each other by sitting at one of the arcade machines. Players join with the avatars they created for World Tour and can change their appearance here and even battle with their avatars. Those that progressed in the World Tour will have more of an advantage as they will have more movesets readily available to them. 

The Battle Hub is a fun place to meet other players

The Battle Hub is a fun place to meet other players

Graphics and Audio: Sensory Delight

Presentation-wise, Street Fighter 6 is incredible. It’s a sequel that bursts with vibrant colors during battles involving special moves and the Drive Gauge. Capcom has opted to use the RE Engine for this installment and it pays off. Not only are characters more detailed and alive, but it pays off in the World Tour as well. Metro City has several districts in it and each of them looks wonderful. Lighting plays a huge factor in this as well. Something like the underground subway station for example looks more grimy due to the dim lights and graffiti art smeared on various walls. 

Fights are obviously the standout here though. The framerate was always solid for me on the PlayStation 5. Despite there being splashes of colors that covered the screen from time to time, the fights never felt hectic or overwhelming due to the presentation of these fights. Capcom also makes up for these bursts of colors by making hits that land through the Drive Gauge performed in slow motion. Despite having done hundreds of battles, the colors and visuals never got old. Audio plays into that as well.

World Tour surprisingly has a bunch of great visual designs like this

World Tour surprisingly has a bunch of great visual designs like this

Street Fighter 6 has a very distinct style going for it. While roaming Metro City, jazz plays which then quickly transitions to a more upbeat jazz when fighting an enemy. Each menu has its own music. For example, the character selection menu in Arcade mode plays hip-hop. What is my favorite and will probably end up being the one that most players end up thinking about when they think of Street Fighter 6, is the main theme. It gets you into the mood to play the game further and get better at it. 

As for battles, Landing hits during fights sounds like you’d expect them to. Some hits are deliberately loud pairing well with some of the explosive visuals of super moves. Background music that plays during these fights changes depending on what stage players are on. The music serves to add more flair to the game in general. It always feels upbeat no matter what menu you’re on in the game. It makes the game feel more alive. 

Have you given Street Fighter 6 a try? Does this Street Fighter 6 review get you interested in the game? Do you agree with this review? Let us know!

Street Fighter 6 was reviewed on PlayStation 5.

Although I'd like to see Capcom go further in their story modes by adding a more consistent story, Street Fighter 6 is an absolute blast and a perfect jumping point for those looking to get into the fighting genre. The inclusion of the Drive Gauge Bar adds plenty of new strategy beyond just landing combos and the amount of content packed inside this game to help players get better is unrivaled. Aided by energetic visuals and a confidence in almost all aspects, Capcom has once again kept their winning streak going.
  • Visuals
  • Music
  • Beginner-Friendly
  • Plethora of options to Improve
  • Battle Hub
  • World Tour/Arcade Stories

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