Hot scoops rolling out of Los Angeles
Since the official gameplay reveal of Capcom’s Street Fighter 6 at last week’s Sony State of Play presentation, there has been an almost tidal wave of news, updates, and tidbits, (both officially and very unofficially), regarding this latest bout of World Warriorism. This weekend, lucky folks over at the Summer Game Fest Play Days event in L.A. are getting some time with an early build of the new sequel, coming away with positive opinions and a fistful of interesting and intriguing hands-on updates.
Street Fighter 6 is a long way from launch, and as such all of the following info is both based on limited hearsay and is subject to change between now and release day.
Perhaps first and foremost, notable FGC content creator Maximillian Dood came right out of the gates with the biggest news of the day, stating that Street Fighter 6 will support crossplay. This info was reportedly obtained by Maximillian direct from the developer’s mouth, and is easily one of the most important and most requested pieces of info regarding the new title. Crossplay, naturally, opens up the player pool, and is essential for any modern fighter willing to build a large and long-term community.
He also confirmed, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, that Ryu is, indeed, a shoto character.
For more of Max’s impressions on SF 6, check out the new video on their official YouTube channel.
Confirmed from the devs directly. Street Fighter VI will have cross play.
— Maximilian Dood (@maximilian_) June 10, 2022
Be Quiet and Drive
In regards to gameplay, all who have had the fortune to check out Street Fighter 6 have come away with the same two core thoughts. The first thought of note is that SF 6 is placing an emphasis on individual player styles, hoping push away from SF V‘s frustrating “All top “X” characters play the exact same way”. Developers have told players that personality is a key element of SF6, from the personality of its characters, stages, and audio/visual style, to the personality of every person who sits at a fightstick or picks up a controller…
…or a Hitbox. If that’s how you choose to live your life.
(Much of the mechanical information presented below was learned from this excellent overview video presented by VG247’s Dorrani Williams. Be sure to check it out for new gameplay footage and full details on SF 6‘s exciting new combat mechanics.)
The second component — key to Capcom’s “individual playstyle” theme — is Street Fighter 6‘s all-new meter-management system, known as “Drive”. This system forms the backbone of the second-to-second gameplay. Every player begins a match with a six-bar, fully stocked Drive Meter. This meter can then be utilized for EX moves, or a variety of defensive and offensive skills, such as parries and reversals (see below). Blocking an opponent’s attacks drains Drive while attacking a blocking opponent will increase it. Landing punishes and reversals also boost the Drive gauge.
Almost all forms of attack and defense, counter and reversal, will have some form of effect on a player’s Drive gauge, either limiting their ability to perform parries, EX specials and other Drive maneuvers, or providing them the resources to let loose with a flurry of offense. But here is the key… If you are completely drained of Drive, then your character enters a sort of “burnout” state, which decreases their damage and speed — as well as limiting both their offensive and defensive options — until the meter is naturally replenished.
As such, Drive may prove to be the most “core” Street Fighter system ever, as it places incredible importance and priority on every single element of a player’s aggressive and defensive tactics, while also offering legitimate in-game limitations to those who waste it, or fail to strike an economic balance between gaining and losing meter. It’s a fascinating form of meter management, and the way Drive is implemented in so many exchanges will form the outline of each player’s personal fighting style.
Can’t Touch This
The universal Parry mechanic returns from Street Fighter III to make a (double) impact in SF 6. It seems that parrying comes in two forms: Drive Parry and Perfect Parry. Drive Parry (Hold MP + MK) is similar to Flawless Defense from Guilty Gear Strive, and allows a player to absorb all hits without chip damage, as long as they hold down MP + MK. However, this method of defense severely drains valuable Drive, paying for its “all-in-one block” reward with expensive resources. From the Drive Parry stance, a player can double-tap forward to dash out (Drive Rush), or smack forward and HP + HK to deliver a space-creating reversal, (Drive Reversal). Think SF V‘s V-Reversal for comparison.
Perfect Parry (Tap MP + MK) is more like the classic SF III parry system, and will see a player land the parry with frame-perfect accuracy, rewarding said risk with a huge opening for a strike or Super. Much like SF III, we can expect the Perfect Parry to be a key component of high-level play, providing incredible opportunities for a comeback even when all is lost. It should also be noted that parrying does have recovery frames so, if baited out, will leave the pity parry party open for a good smacking.
Another defensive option is Drive Impact (HP + HK), a very cinematic strike that is reminiscent of a fully-charged Focus Attack from Street Fighter IV. The Drive Impact spends Drive to first absorb a blow and then deliver a hard-hitting response. Of course, Drive Impact can absorb Drive Impact, so if you read your opponent, you could turn their DI back against them in a wild flash of paint and posturing.
Finally, the obligatory Super meter returns. The SF 6 edition features three stages, with each pertaining to a different super move. Stages one and two vary from character to character and will include supercharged strikes, grabs, and projectiles — as well as buff states. Stage three is a classic, cinematic Super/Critical Art, ala Guile’s step-up somersault kick, as featured in his recent trailer. Spend your super meter early to drop in some major combo enders, or hold the line for a flashy, stage three big finish.
Phew… That’s a helluva lot to take in, all derived from people spending just an hour or so with the new game. As the year progresses, we’ll be sure to hear much more official confirmation and demonstration of gameplay, meter mechanics, and individual character tech powering Street Fighter 6. Until then, all of this info gives us more than enough to chew on. It seems very likely Capcom will eventually release this same demo as a beta at some point in the future, so hopefully, we will all be getting back on the streets sooner rather than later.
Here are some other tidbits, as reported from the show floor by those in attendance. Thanks to all who kindly provided this awesome info for the Street Fighter community!
The demo contains four characters, (Ryu, Chun-Li, Luke, and Jamie), and two stages, (Genbu Temple and Metro City Downtown).
Using Simple Inputs and Auto Combos puts an additional drain on a player’s Drive meter.
Standard chip K.O.’s are back, but they are conditional to Drive burnout state.
Street Fighter 6 launches 2023 on PlayStation, PC, and Xbox platforms. Be sure to check out the new theme song, our thoughts on its new protagonists, a quick once over of the returning Guile, and perhaps take a gander at the recent roster leak.