“The Culmination of 35 Years’ Worth of Lessons”: Street Fighter 6 Review

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Capcom’s Street Fighter 6 feels like the culmination of 35 years’ worth of lessons. A pristine experience that’s jam-packed with exciting modes, revolutionary online play, and new controls that will help rookie players enjoy the series stands as perhaps the best Street Fighter game yet.

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While the series’ last few main entries launched lacking a full roster of characters and missing modes that were both later added in, Street Fighter 6 makes up for those bare-bones releases. Besides being a fantastic entry point into the series, and 2D fighters in general, SF6‘s World Tour story mode, Battle Hub, and Fighting Grounds provide more content than any games in the series to date.

Related: Street Fighter 6 Roster: All Confirmed Characters


A Perfect Entry To 2D Fighters

The Street Fighter series is filled with iconic special attacks that have required some complex button combinations to pull off. While the Classic control style is still available, two new control styles are game changers for those intimidated by the series’ complicated movesets: Modern and Dynamic. Modern controls provide buttons for Light, Medium, and Heavy attacks, but now special attacks like the Hadoken can be executed with a single button press. Dynamic controls allow players to move around, but AI determines which attacks to perform depending on the situation. Dynamic controls feel perfect for players who want to button mash but still want to pull off flashy combos.

Several gameplay adjustments have been made for Street Fighter 6, including the return of Drive Impacts. First introduced in SF4, these absorb certain attacks and deliver a powerful heavy attack that can quickly turn the tide of any battle. However, a Drive Parry has also been added that has a player assume a stance surrounded by a blue aura that, with the right timing, can deflect damage and open up opponents for impressive counters. Both Drive abilities drain a stamina meter that fills up over time or with well-timed parries.

With three different control formats and the ability to completely remap controls how players see fit, SF6 feels incredibly easy to pick up and play for players of all skill levels. Besides control options, the game features several tutorial and training modes that effectively teach step-by-step the mechanics of each character and tools to improve the players’ skills. Street Fighter 6 shows players the ins and outs of the 2D fighting genre, with skills that should easily transfer to any other fighting game.

World Tour Is Single Player Heaven

Players who find playing online against others to be an intimidating experience can breathe easy, because Street Fighter 6 provides many activities that will further improve their skills. World Tour creates a character from scratch, with a detailed Character Creator that is capable of accurately recreating favorite characters from fiction to horrible abominations. These custom characters star in their own story mode where they will explore Metro City (of Final Fight fame), visit other areas around the world, and challenge NPCs to fight in a mode that provides one of the most in-depth fighting game story modes in recent memory.

Metro City is the largest and most prominent location in the mode that’s filled with shops, currency-earning minigames, and lots of battles. Although Mayor Mike Hagger famously cleaned up the crime-infested city streets in the game Final Fight, strange gangs and many hungry for a good battle continue to occupy Metro City, especially at nighttime. Players can approach most NPCs and challenge them to a match, or get attacked by enemies overly anxious to fight. Both types of fights earn experience and special items that can boost stats, provide health, or customize apparel. Completing specific actions during fights unlocks these items and helps add variation to every battle.

Popular characters from Capcom’s Final Fight and Street Fighter 6‘s cast of fighters can be found and fought throughout the World Tour mode. However, their fighting styles and special attacks can be learned and mixed with others to create a unique customized fighter. The custom characters are currently not playable in the game’s versus mode. Still, the amount of customization options and variety of playstyles available that can be changed throughout the well-constructed single-player story is a staggering contrast to what SF5 released with.

Beside’s the expansive World Tour mode, SF6‘s Fighting Grounds has even more single and multiplayer content to enjoy. The classic Arcade mode returns, allowing players to take control of one of the game’s 18 playable fighters and battle their way up the ranks, unlocking artwork and tidbits of lore for each character. Six brand-new fighters join the series with a launch roster that feels plentiful in playstyles, and more are on the way. Four characters are set to release as DLC (Rashid, A.K.I., Ed, and Akuma) within Street Fighter 6‘s first year, and more are likely to follow.

Battle Hub Is The Future Of Online Multiplayer Modes

For players wanting to play with friends or rank up in the game’s multiplayer, Street Fighter 6‘s Battle Hub pushes what an online multiplayer mode should be. Instead of staring at a menu while Matchmaking looks for matches, custom characters are free to wander the sizeable online hub. Digital arcade cabinets populate the space and players can interact with them to battle, practice, and even play classic Capcom games like Final Fight or previous Street Fighter games with other players. Matches of other players can also be watched, making the Battle Hub a prime layout for tournaments. At its best, the mode helps capture an esports event’s excitement, especially with SF6‘s optional Real-Time Commentary.

Special Matches is another Street Fighter 6 multiplayer mode available in the online Battle Hub and the Fighting Grounds. The mode includes unique challenges and obstacles that add fun variations to the classic 2D fighter formula. One example challenges fighters to race against one another to complete a list of actions in a battle against another player who has different actions to complete. Another has players fight while an angry bull charges across the screen every few seconds, while another transforms both players’ HP bars into one teeter-totter as players battle to get more health. These challenges and more can also be mixed and matched to create exciting challenges between friends.

Final Thoughts & Our Review Score

With everything that Street Fighter 6 includes, it’s set the bar incredibly high for future fighting games. Online matches played flawlessly during the review period. The Battle Hub is an example of how online multiplayer game lobbies should be with a space where players can interact and even play other games together. A well-balanced roster of characters and new control options helps Street Fighter 6 stand tall as an excellent entry point for fighting games, while also containing the depth and precise gameplay that pros expect.

Source: Street Fighter/YouTube

Street Fighter 6 releases on June 2 for PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. Screen Rant was provided with a PlayStation 5 code for the purposes of this review.

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