You are at the Play Days of the Summer Game Fest. In front of you a location dedicated to Street Fighter 6. See Ryu remodeled in RE Engine, the pad at hand, the ring available. It comes naturally to yelling “Hadoken!” and start playing. Everything is alright. In the midst of the chattering crowd, observing the line that has formed behind you, between players waiting their turn or mere spectators, you are enveloped by a sense of nostalgia: the atmosphere you breathe, at least for a few seconds, is that of the Games Rooms. And again everything is fine.
Then you pick up the controller, observe the fighters’ entry kinematics, begin to familiarize yourself with the combat system and you realize that Street Fighter has changed. Not necessarily in a negative sense, mind you: you perceive that there is something different, with evident potential, yet you know that just under an hour of play, with only four usable characters, is not enough to get an idea properly. clear of the stratification of the combat system. However of one thing you are sure: you are having fun, and this is more than enough. Again, everything is fine.
The new combat system
Let’s start from the basics: the demo present at Play Days only allowed you to play a quick duel against another user or face to face with the CPU, within only two arenas. There was no trace, therefore, of the World Tour and Battle Hub modes which, according to the high-sounding statements of Capcom, aim to offer a deeply immersive experience for a fighting game (for an in-depth analysis on these two novelties, we refer to our preview of Street Fighter 6).
The trial version was therefore completely focused on the gameplay. And this is how we tested the Drive indicator first hand, which regulates most of the actions available to the player. The objective underlined several times by the development team consists in the desire to stimulate the creativity of users, giving them the opportunity to ring a diversified succession of special actions through the aforementioned bar, with which to activate five unique mechanics: starting from Drive Impact which absorbs the blows of the enemies and you arrive at the Drive Reversal with which to carry out a counterattack, passing through the Drive Perry that repels the opponent’s assaults, for the Drive Rush with which to approach the contender, and finally for the Overdrive Arts, special moves formerly known as EX Moves. Each of these techniques consumes a specific amount of Drive Meter (consisting of six segments), and therefore it is evident that the management of the gameplay mainly revolves around the use of this indicator.
At the beginning of the match the aforementioned bar is fully charged, but it will not take long before it empties: it will therefore be necessary to pay a certain degree of attention during the battle, since the sudden consumption of the Drive Meter reduces the fighter in a state of fatigue that prevents him from implementing the moves described above.
There is technique, in essence, but also a remarkable dose of spectacularity: in Street Fighter 6 the shots are felt, while the action moves in balance between speed of execution and tactical reasoning. The first, unfortunately superficial, test with Street Fighter 6 has therefore highlighted the merits of a combat system which, however, needs more time to be gutted as it deserves: the dynamics of the Drive it could give the user a good degree of freedom of approach and style, but it is still too early to comment on its correct implementation in the playful dynamics of the game.
The preliminary impact is however quite positive, thanks – as already mentioned – to a dynamism that does not skimp on tactics, as well as a bipartite learning curve, designed for both beginners and veterans. The latter will feel at ease with the classic control system (the traditional six-button setting), thanks to which they can maneuver their character while maintaining full management; new players will instead be able to take their initial steps in the series with the Modern mode, a simplified version through which a series of combos can be chained with more automatisms.
We quickly tested both versions and, of course, the Modern style cannot compete with a Classic approach used with knowledge of the facts. Also in this case a more lasting test will be needed to be sure, but the impression is that some moves are precluded using the Modern system: in short, this option should be considered an entry point for newcomers, who may begin little by little. to master the control of the characters.
In this respect, Capcom has hit the mark, given that the Modern mechanism is oriented towards spectacularization without skimping on a bit of technicality, providing a general smattering of what it means to fully master the Street Fighter roster. Speaking of fighters, only Ryu, Chun-Li, Luke – mixed martial arts fighter – were included in the demo, and finally the new entry Jamie, who uses the drunk’s boxing style (so much so that during the match he can also take a sip of the drink he brings with him, so as to make additional moves). We would have sincerely wanted to learn more about this new member of the roster, but the very limited time has led us to experience the novelties of the combat system with characters more known to us, such as Ryu and Chun-Li. And of these two icons of the Street Fighter series we have not only appreciated the renewed fighting skills, but also the new look, excellently reinvented in RE Engine.
The shots of the RE Engine
The visual detachment from Street Fighter 5 is very clear, as is the change in style. The music that accompanies the challengers’ entry into the field, the video clip cut of the cutscene, the expressiveness of the fighters and the richness of the staging contribute to characterize Street Fighter 6 with a more vigorous and compelling air, which is maximized during the course. of the match. Between special moves choreographed in a virtuous way and well-animated polygonal models, Capcom’s latest work knows how to assert itself on the graphic level.
Not least are the backgrounds: in the demo there were only two arenas, very different from each other, namely Metro City Downtown, and Genbu Temple. Urban and naturalistic views with a very suggestive impact, not particularly rich in animations or scenic elements, also in order not to overload the area of the clash with futile and confusing trappings, yet dense enough not to appear bland frames that serve only as a simple background . Finally, the use of colors and effects is virtuouswith brushstrokes that paint the screen in the execution of certain special moves and which, when added to each other, explode in an energizing triumph of chromatisms.
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