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Street Fighter 6 Hands-On Preview (PS5) – Startin’ Fights And Seein’ Sights In Metro City

Street Fighter 6 PS5 Preview. Ever wondered what it would be like to walk around a bustling metropolis and Spinning Bird Kick someone’s granny? Well, if you did, 1) you’re in need of help, and 2) wonder no more, as Street Fighter 6‘s World Tour allows you to do just that! In fact, that’s probably one of my most memorable antics of my recent hands-on with Capcom‘s fighting game sequel, which also granted me access to all 18 characters in Street Fighter 6‘s base roster. How’s it shaping up? Read on to find out more.

Street Fighter 6 PS5 Preview – Startin’ Fights And Seein’ Sights In Metro City

I should probably start with World Tour, seeing as how that’s actually one of the biggest surprises of Street Fighter 6. Make no mistake, this is still very much Street Fighter at its core; however, Capcom has also included a full-on brawler-RPG with World Tour, which sees Metro City at the beating heart of this wacky, almost Yakuza-like experience. While it can never replace the standard Street Fighter game of one-on-one fisticuffs, it’s actually a pretty solid experience in its own right, and a solid offering for beginners.

You start your journey with a pretty comprehensive character creator, which can lead to all manner of horrific creations. I went for a pretty generic pretty boy named Johnny Bravo, naturally. This blank slate is basically a student of Luke, whom you share your basic move set with. You’re a silent protagonist as you’d expect, and out to make a name for themselves by cleaning up Metro City from nefarious gangs and other ruffians. You’ll do this mostly by punching people. A lot.

As mentioned, this is a full-on RPG. You’ll level up, scoff food items to boost your health so you can keep fighting, natter with the locals, take on side quests, and explore. And yes, you’ll also be making some questionable sartorial choices all in the name of boosting your stats, so expect to look like a right plonker.

Fortunately, getting into rucks is as easy and chatting to people. Or, you can simply walk up to them and punch them in the face. They’ll happily comply, leading to a short bout where one knockout is all that’s need to triumph, allowing you to hoover up some EXP. Folk with lower levels are a walk in the part and you can spam to your heart’s content, but tougher foes require a lot more use of your skill set, and later, different fighting styles.

Speaking of which, while Luke is your initial mentor, you can meet up with other iconic Street Fighter characters that will teach you new techniques if you agree to be their student. For example, in my preview, I was able to get Chun-Li to show me her own unique brand of arse-kickery allowing me to perform a Spinning Bird Kick. This keeps things fresh ensuring you aren’t just going through the motions of battering foes with the same old moves, and as you progress you can add new attacks to your repertoire.

Sometimes you won’t even have to look for a ruck. Gang members wearing cardboard boxes on their heads (it makes them look well hard, don’t you know) will start fights with you, and are typically more challenging than some poor hipster you decide to batter. There’s also heaps of mini-games to tackle; one involved smashing up a truck that was reminiscent of the old Street Fighter 2 car-wrecking bonus round, complete with retro aesthetic. It’s a right blast.

Right now I’m curious to see just how compelling World Tour will prove in the long run, but for now, I can honestly say it’s addictive. There’s side quests to hoover up, new areas to unlock as you progress through the story, and colourful characters to interact with. Visually it’s not as striking as the core Fighting Grounds, and the dialogue is a bit naff in places, but the fact Capcom has managed to cram a full-on RPG into a traditional Street Fighter game is nothing short of impressive.

Speaking of which, I was able to go hands-on with all 18 base roster characters in Street Fighter 6, expanding on the couple of brawlers I got to grips with back in September. Where to start? Well, for starters, there’s a great selection of newcomers.

Manon is a rather tall lady who excels at range with her long legs, and also possesses some pretty punchy grapples. Kimberly is another newcomer who employs the act of Bushin; she’s incredibly agile, and can also lob spray cans that explode to give her the edge in scraps. Meanwhile, Marisa brings a Gladiator-esque aesthetic to bouts, and is basically the female equivalent of Zangief, in that she’s an imposing figure and hits like a truck.

Next up is Lily, a Mexican-born brawler who employs the use of some meaty clubs in combat and is very floaty by nature, launching many of her damaging attacks in the air. She’s joined by JP, a bearded chap who wields a devastating staff and is therefore able to dish out long-range punishment. He’s probably one of my favourite newcomers to Street Fighter 6, as he’s not only fun to play, but looks totally badass to boot.

Moving into more familiar territory, Dee-Jay rocks up on the base roster and employs a mid-based tricky range of moves, kind of like Eddie Gordo from Tekken but not as obnoxious. Cammy meanwhile is back and looks fantastic, and is just as fast and agile as you remember; she excels in close-range brawling, and comes with some, erm, fan service to boot. Sumo dude E. Honda complements the diversity of Street Fighter 6’s roster with his powerful blows, while Blanka returns and excels at speed and electricity-based attacks as veteran fans will no doubt recall.

Then there’s Dhalsim, one of the classic Street Fighter character who is able to elongate his limbs to dish out pain from a distance. He’s also extremely floaty, and therefore feels quite sluggish in terms of movement but remains one of the most unique characters in the franchise.

Aside from going up against the CPU in standard one-on-one brawls, I also had a brief dabble in Extreme Battle. Here, you can set all kinds of rules and implement various gimmicks during fights, such as Bombs Away (avoid bombs as they turn up at randomly during a fight) and Shock Zone, where you must dodge electrified pillars while also attempting to beat your opponent. It’s not a game-changer by any means, but it’s a nice spin on the traditional punch-ups in Fighting Grounds, and a great way to inject some Super Smash Bros.-style mayhem into the Street Fighter DNA, and with tons of options available to you, it’s the perfect party material.

One of my biggest takeaways from Street Fighter 6’s roster is just how diverse and unique it is. Any fighting game worth its salt needs to stand out from its competitors, and Capcom’s latest game of fisticuffs is absolutely brimming with confidence and spectacle in this respect. World Tour is looks set to be an interesting distraction from the bread-and-butter fights, and it’s impressive to see just how much Capcom has packed into that mode.

Street Fighter 6 is pencilled in for release on PS5, PS4, PC, Xbox Series X/S, and Xbox One on June 2, 2023.