Street Fighter 6 Hands-On Preview: How Capcom’s fighting game gets fit for a new generation

Playing a fighting game for the first time is always a bit of a messy experience. You’re dealing with new characters and, as is often the case, whole new systems that underpin combat to give a game its distinct flavor – it can be a bit much to consider, let alone a real one to get a feel for what it’s actually like. But Street Fighter 6 is different. Capcom’s upcoming fighting game combines a ton of elements from the last 25 years of Street Fighter gaming into one melting pot, and the result is an experience that feels equal parts comfortable and familiar, but also fresh and exciting.

The first thing that strikes you about Street Fighter 6 is how difficult feel all the hits. Everything has a noticeable ‘hitstop’ to ensure the stunning animations really bring out the impact of all the kicks, punches and legendary special moves. The characters still have their super over-the-top characteristics, and Capcom’s proprietary RE engine shows itself to be extremely versatile, with Street Fighter 6 having a hyper-real look. The characters certainly look more realistic than ever – but they’re still in their cartoonish, unrealistic superhero proportion. Despite Street Fighter’s longstanding association with urban culture, Capcom really leans into it this time. It should reek of that “hello fellow kids” meme, but honestly, it really works. It goes perfectly with Street Fighter 6 which looks and sounds amazing.

Testing Street Fighter 6 List

street fighter 6

(Image credit: Capcom)

Street Fighter 5 was heavily focused on its comeback mechanic – the V-trigger. Street Fighter 6 has you firing from the starting blocks. You don’t build your meter to make a big comeback and steal a round on the brink of defeat, you start each round with a fully loaded drive gauge. You’re ahead from the start, and Street Fighter 6 is designed around how you use that meter – not how you win it. The Drive system offers you five whole ways to spend that counter, all reminiscent of the core mechanics of previous Street Fighter games.

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