REVIEW: Street Fighter 6 is one of the greatest fighting games ever made
We're probably over simplifying this a bit, but we imagine there will be two types of Street Fighter 6 players. The first will want to become a fighting game master, understand the timing and ramifications of every special movie, dash, throw, block, parry, etc., until they feel pretty much unbeatable.
The second is the type who likes to drop in and out of games like this, might throw on the online mode to get reminded that any random player on the planet can still kick their ass, but really is holding out for a friend or a group of friends to pop over so they can spend a few hours having a little fighting party.
You'll be happy to hear that Street Fighter 6 perfectly serves both of those types of players with the latest entry in the series, thanks to some unbelievably deep gameplay systems that will take even the most hardened Street Fighter veteran weeks (if not months) to master, while also adjusting the scale on the opposite end so pretty much anyone can pick up a controller and become a Street Fighter champion.
From the 18 players available at launch - 12 returning, six new, all pretty great - you'll be able to access what is called the Drive System. That is the defining fighting mechanic of Street Fighter 6, which opens up the options to five additional abilities: Drive Rush, Drive Parry, Drive Reversals, Over Drive Special Moves, and Drive Impact. They add that special sauce that wannabe masters will be looking for in a new Street Fighter, demanding precision timing and mechanical awareness to be utilised correctly.
If your eyes started to glaze over at all of that above, then don't worry, because Street Fighter 6 has also implemented three gameplay styles, each levelled to match all players' style and capability. So you've got the "classic" controls, which... pretty much explain themselves, the "modern" controls which assigns special moves to singular buttons along with directional prompts, and the "dynamic" controls makes it easier again, using in-game AI to assist in performing even the most complicated moves (although, to keep things fair, this can't be used in online battles).
On top of the the regular Arcade mode, there is also the World Tour mode, which is a sort of Yakuza-esque open world in which you create your own fully customisable character, develop their unique move set, and pick fights with pretty much everyone and anyone you cross paths with. It amounts to a 20-hour campaign, and while the story you play through is kind of terrible, the entertainment value more than balances that out. It isn't quite the next-gen answer to Streets of Rage, but it is pretty close!
All of this combined results in one of the most all-encompassing fighting games ever made. The fifth Street Fighter game came out seven years ago. You should probably still be expecting to return to this new entry regularly seven years from now.
Street Fighter 6 is available on PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4 and PC from Friday, 2 June.
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