Street Fighter 6 review – Yakuza meets SF is a missed opportunity

Street Fighter 6 is the most complete fighting game in the series, containing an absolute boatload of things to see and do

Street Fighter 6 for PS5

£59.99 £42.95 View Deal

Capcom’s newest entry in the Street Fighter series is one of the most feature-rich fighting releases ever made, containing a fantastic single-player mode and a superb Battle Hub for online play.

What we love

  • Lots and lots of content
  • Entertaining World Tour single-player mode that’s tremendously silly
  • Feature-rich online Battle Hub (which even includes old-school Capcom arcade games)
  • A deep combat system with accessibilty options for beginners
  • Stylish visuals and presentation
  • Decent selection of old and new characters

What we don’t

  • Repetitive commentary
  • Muddled menu screens
  • World Tour narrative could have been more dramatic
  • Too many in-game currencies

Street Fighter 6 for Xbox Series X/S

£59.99 £42.95 View Deal

Capcom’s newest entry in the Street Fighter series is one of the most feature-rich fighting releases ever made, containing a fantastic single-player mode and a superb Battle Hub for online play.

The Street Fighter series has experienced countless ups and downs since making its arcade debut back in the late 1980s. In a strange quirk of fate, it feels like every odd numbered Street Fighter game doesn’t measure up to its even numbered counterpart. The original Street Fighter is a bit rubbish, Street Fighter 3 was a great game but a commercial flop, and Street Fighter 5 experienced a disastrous launch thanks to a severe lack of content. The even numbered Street Fighter games tend to fare a lot better, a trend that continues with the excellent Street Fighter 6, which might just be the best entry in the series yet.

It’s certainly the most complete entry in the Street Fighter franchise, and arguably the most feature-rich fighting game ever made.

Unlike its anaemic predecessor, Street Fighter 6 launches with dozens of game modes and features, which are split between World Tour, Battle Hub and Fighting Ground.

Fighting Ground contains all of the traditional solo and versus modes you would expect from Street Fighter, including an arcade mode with individual stories for each character, as well as tutorials, a practice arena, fighting guides, 1-v-1 and team-based battles, and even Extreme Battle special matches with weird rules and wacky gimmicks.

Extreme Battles spice things up by adding stampeding bulls, electrical attacks and exploding bombs, with win conditions like first to five knockdowns and score attack. It probably won’t be your first port of call when firing up Street Fighter 6, but it’s a great party mode for when you have a group of friends over.

With no-frills online play also available within the hub, Fighting Ground contains enough variety to satisfy most fans of the genre, and yet it’s only really the tip of the iceberg.

I’ve personally spent the majority of my time flitting between the World Tour single-player campaign, and the online Battle Hub.

The jewel in the Street Fighter 6 crown, World Tour is a semi open-world story mode in which players perform missions, fight strangers, and interact with the roster of Street Fighter 6.

After creating a character using the game’s superb customisation suite, the roughly 15-hour solo campaign sees players journey across the world in a bid to find true strength. You start by exploring Final Fight’s Metro City with new character Luke as your coach, before travelling the globe in order to learn from Street Fighter mainstays and supporting characters.

In addition to performing missions like wiping out gangs and fighting in tournaments, you can level up by challenging random people in the streets, including street mimes, food vendors and even old grannies. Each NPC has a stat representing their strength, as well as a list of additional challenges that reward players with new items, bonus XP and in-game currency (of which there are too many). There are a few frame-rate issues when transitioning into battle, but I found the whole process of earning items, levelling up and learning new moves to be incredibly addictive.

Indeed, World Tour is a fantastic idea that’s executed with enormous amounts of style and flair, even if the inclusion of a rather throwaway story feels like a missed opportunity. 

The bizarre side quests, strange characters and humourous mini-games give World Tour a strong Yakuza vibe, just without a more consistently dramatic story to back it up.

With such a rich history to draw from, there’s no reason why Capcom couldn’t have made World Tour’s story equally as enthralling. 

Still, it’s difficult to be too hard on Capcom, because I’ve really enjoyed my time with World Tour, even if the stakes could have been higher.

I’m far less forgiving about some of the muddled menu screens, particularly in the Battle Hub online mode.

The game gives players the option to use classic Street Fighter controls or Modern controls with single button specials and combo shortcuts. 

If like me you prefer to use Classic controls, you have to navigate countless screens in order to change each individual character’s input to Classic for online play. It’s really confusing at first (especially when you’ve already set your controls to Classic on a different menu screen), and the only reason why I lost my first few matches online… ahem.

Modern Controls make it easier to perform special moves and combos, something which is key to taking your skills to the next level in any fighting game. I can’t say I’m a fan of Modern Controls and don’t use them, but if their inclusion encourages new players to give Street Fighter a try, then I’m all for it.

For players who know how to throw a fireball but aren’t exactly ready for tournament play, Street Fighter 6 contains an absolute ton of different tutorials and training options to get you to that next level.

There’s the ability to practice very specific combat scenarios, and to examine frame data for each fighter, something which makes Street Fighter 6 the perfect fighting game for players of all skill levels.

The main thing to get your head around is the Drive System, which when used correctly, gives players the tools to punish opponents or get out of sticky situations. Your powerful Drive Impact move will cause serious damage and even break through blocks when an opponent is cornered, while Drive Parry will absorb attacks and replenish your Drive gauge, but won’t protect you from throws.

You can also use the Drive System to rush your opponents, land reversals and enhance your specials, but once you deplete the gauge, you’ll take chip damage and can be stunned.

Mashing together bits and pieces from past Street Fighter games, the Drive System is a suitably deep tool with lots of different ramifications depending on how and when you use your abilities. You can master the basics pretty easily, but understanding its intricacies will take much longer.

You’ll need to master the Drive System for when you take the fight online, and there’s no better place to do it then in the Battle Hub.

While lots of fighting games have Battle Hubs with varying amounts of options, Street Fighter 6 has a fully explorable space where you can relax and watch some matches, fight other players with wacky rules, get into scraps with your custom character, and even play some old Capcom arcade games.

The amount of things to see and do makes the Battle Hub feel like a proper social space that you’ll want to explore, instead of a gimmicky waiting room.

Of course, you can skip the Battle Hub altogether and simply play matches through the online lobbies found within the Fighting Ground. Street Fighter 6 covers all bases.

The polar opposite of Street Fighter 5 at launch, what’s impressed me the most about Street Fighter 6 is how Capcom has gone above and beyond in almost every way imaginable.

Where Street Fighter 5 didn’t even have an Arcade mode, SF6 contains a 15-hour RPG with a semi open-world map – plus an Arcade mode with a story for each fighter. That’s on top of a social Battle Hub that goes far beyond what you’d expect from a simple online lobby.

Perhaps the most amazing thing of all is that despite already feeling like the most complete fighting game yet, there’s a sense that Street Fighter 6 will continue to get better and better, as Capcom adds new features, introduces new characters and holds special events.

VERDICT: 4.5/5

Street Fighter 6 for PS5

£59.99 £42.95 View Deal

Capcom’s newest entry in the Street Fighter series is one of the most feature-rich fighting releases ever made, containing a fantastic single-player mode and a superb Battle Hub for online play.

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