One can expect Japanese developers to deliver the goods during the Tokyo Game Show week and Capcom did just that: the company had previously mentioned a few new gameplay modes for Street Fighter 6 — as in, not the traditional modes expected of any modern fighting game these days — and these are now revealed in detail.
The good news: by the look of things, there will be enough single-player content this time around to satisfy everyone still holding on to bitter memories from Street Fighter 5. The bad news: there’s cause for concern regarding microtransactions, which almost every company is currently leaving behind… but we’re not exactly sure that Capcom will.
Street Fighter 6 World Tour is more like City Tour, but still exciting
So, in a nutshell — there’ll be plenty of chances to dive into each new mode in detail — World Tour seems to be the Street Fighter’s equivalent of sports games’ Career Mode: the players can create a new character (in astounding detail as Capcom showed off) and roam the streets of Metro City in third person, meeting other characters and interacting with them. This is, tellingly, “a story mode” as Capcom puts it, in the sense that players will most probably not meet other players in real-time in this environment, just prescripted ones (although it’s worth keeping in mind that not everything about World Tour is revealed yet according to the company).
During their exploration of Metro City players will learn new moves from “Masters” — the very same iconic fighters we’ve been using in Street Fighter games, most probably — and face various trials or challenges. World Tour wouldn’t be included in a fighting game if there was no fighting involved, obviously, so the players “will come across opportunities to prove themselves in street fights”, as Capcom puts it. As players become more experienced and capable, they can expect to face stronger opponents.
Capcom’s post in the official PlayStation blog mentions that players will not only be able to create their “avatar” characters’ bodies and faces in great detail but also accessorize them with “Gear” they’ll be able to buy in virtual shops all around Metro City. According to Capcom, Gear categories “include Head Gear, Upper Body Gear, Lower Body Gear, Foot Gear and Gear Sets”… “but Gear isn’t just for looks”.
This is where it gets sketchy and microtransactions become a concern for Street Fighter 6. Had these accessories been purely cosmetic, it wouldn’t really matter even if they could only be obtained through microtransactions. If people want to put down real money so as to make their virtual fighters prettier, it’s perfectly fine. But Capcom notes that “different gear affects the avatar character’s strength and stats”, which would directly affect gameplay.
Here’s hope that SF6 will offer access to Gear in a way that does not offer advantages to people willing to pay for it with real money. That would practically be encouraging “pay to win” practices. Chances are that there will be some kind of virtual currency in the new SF and, even if earning it means a lot of grinding, it should definitely be there as an option. Street Fighter 6 will be a full-price title, after all, and Capcom would be practically inviting trouble if it chose to embrace a model most other game publishers have now abandoned.
The Battle Hub is a lot of things, some of them promising
When it was first mentioned by Capcom, Battle Hub was compared to Sony’s PlayStation Home for the PS3 and it seems it’s not far off after all. The Battle Hub is a virtual meeting place for the SF6 community, where players can use their avatar characters, meet up, communicate and have fun in a variety of ways. Not only can consumers play classic arcade games such as Capcom’s own Street Fighter II or Final Fight, but also play SF6 on back-to-back virtual cabinets with dozens of people around watching.
Yes, this is exactly what it sounds like: the 21st-century version of the arcade battles that shaped the fighting games genre as a whole — and kudos to Capcom for bringing this into SF6.
A totally new gameplay mode the company is introducing in this new Street Fighter is called Extreme Battle. This is for consumers focusing on single-player modes and what it offers is this: offers battles that are defined by a “Rule” and a “Gimmick”. The “Rule” is the specific condition that must be met by a player to win the match e.g. “first to five knockdowns wins”. A “Gimmick” is a special obstacle, object, hazard, etc. particular to that specific Extreme Battle that can be used as a temporary advantage. A bull might at some point run through the fighting stage, for example, dealing damage to anyone not quick enough to jump over it.
It’s a nice enough idea and it’ll be interesting to see how Capcom combined different rules and gimmicks — as well as whether the company will give players the option to make their own Extreme Battles by mixing and matching different rules and gimmicks themselves.
The company also confirmed the return of four classic — as in, present in almost every Street Fighter so far — characters to action. These are Dhalsim, Blanka, Ken and E.Honda, all true to their past move lists and usual fighting style with some new touches here and there for good measure.
That leaked roster of Street Fighter 6 characters making the rounds for a while seems to be holding true, by the way, so not a lot of SF fans will be surprised if Cammy, Dee Jay, Rashid, Ed and Akuma also make a comeback at some point during the next few months (the five totally new characters will probably be saved for the game’s final stretch before release). It’s not as if Capcom itself practically confirmed all the known faces by releasing the World Tour opening movie trailer, right?
Capcom also announced that the first closed beta test for Street Fighter 6 will run from October 7 through October 10. This will run on PS5, Xbox Series S/X and PC (supporting cross-play too) and it will be offering ranked matches, casual matches, Battle Hub matches, open tournaments and Extreme Battle fights, as well as the obligatory Training mode. There will be eight playable characters available: Ryu, Chun-Li, Luke, Jamie, Guile, Kimberly, Juri and Ken. Not long now, then. Not long at all!