Street Fighter 6 Review: Old Dog, New Tricks, and a Few Fleas
When Capcom first introduced Street Fighter, it was a revelation—a punch heard round the world. Fast forward to the sixth installment, and the franchise is showing signs of both maturity and growing pains, demonstrating that even the most venerable fighters in the gaming world can still learn new moves.
Let’s start with the visuals. Capcom has taken the “Street” in Street Fighter quite literally this time, draping the interface in vibrant graffiti art that lends a gritty but colorful ambiance to the game. The menus—backed by bass-thumping hip-hop tracks—feel leaner, cleaner, and far more intuitive than Street Fighter 5’s clunky user interface, which had all the appeal of a jab to the eye.
But where Street Fighter 6 truly shines is in its rejuvenated approach to gameplay. The Drive system introduces a new layer of complexity, offering new offensive and defensive tools to shake up battles. Whether employing armored Drive Impacts for striking through an opponent’s defenses or strategically using Drive Parries to deflect incoming attacks, the interplay of these mechanics is an invigorating addition to the series. However, the intricacy of the control scheme still presents a challenge for new players—a more streamlined option, akin to Mortal Kombat’s controls, would be a welcome adjustment.
The character roster offers a healthy mix of old favorites and novel contenders, each flaunting unique styles and play mechanics. Yet, not all is well in the world of Street Fighter 6. The much-vaunted World Tour mode, wherein players can create and level up their fighters, falls short of its potential. Unbalanced battles, bland equipment, and a tedious grind for experience points undermine the mode’s appeal.
Street Fighter 6 holds its own with deep mechanics and a diverse roster; however, where titles like Tekken 7 and Mortal Kombat 11 have succeeded in delivering engaging single-player modes, Street Fighter 6 stumbles. While conceptually interesting, its RPG-like World Tour mode is crippled by poor execution and a lackluster narrative. Finally, the online Battle Hub, where players can interact, compete, and even partake in classic Capcom games, is an amusing diversion that feels more like a nostalgic nod to the arcade days of old than a must-play destination.
Street Fighter 6 is a welcome rebound for Capcom after the disappointing Street Fighter 5. With its stylish aesthetics, revamped mechanics, and compelling character roster, it undoubtedly carries the torch forward for this iconic franchise. However, a few missteps, notably the underwhelming World Tour mode, prevent it from achieving true knockout status. The game might not be a flawless victory, but it certainly lands enough hits to keep fans of the series engaged and hopeful for what comes next.
RATING: 3.5 out of 5
Street Fighter 6 is available on Microsoft PC, PlayStation 4 and 5, and the Xbox Series S/X.