Street Fighter V Preview – E3 2015
While it is inevitable that we’re only seeing the cusp of what the new generation of Street Fighter has to offer (just wait until we have to go through all the Turbo/Hyper/Ultra nonsense again), the two opportunities I had at E3 to go hands on with Street Fighter V left me impressed both times. It’s an evolution of what the series did right in Street Fighter IV, but much like the recent Mortal Kombat X, it also seems interested in pushing its characters and concept a little bit further, to give fans something a little different than they’ve had before.
First – the obvious. The game looks gorgeous, as it takes the painterly art style that SFIV had going for it and ups the resolution and detail. Player models are crisp, animations are fluid and the backgrounds look great. There’s always something going on, usually with the bystanders watching the fight, which is kind of reminiscent of SFII.
The EX gauge is back along with a new V-gauge that I would imagine stands for Victory. Or Violence. Or maybe Vendetta? That’s probably it. This introduces unique counters and abilities for each character, which can be triggered to turn the tide of a fight. It’s very cool to watch, and more than anything else, this is what will probably create a bit of an upset in terms of how players prefer particular characters and set-ups.
In fact, the characters as a whole have had a bit of a shake-up, as returning characters look quite different and even play differently. Charlie is back, but now known as ‘Nash’ and looks like he’s been patched together out of body parts like Frankenstein’s monster. Bison’s finally gone grey, but more than that in combat, he feels largely different to past games with a new move set and abilities. There were a few other returning characters in the demo, such as Ryu and Chun-Li, but Cammy especially seems to benefit the most from the new V-Trigger powers.
I’m no e-sports champion by any measure, so unfortunately I’m unable to address the specific details fighting game fans will want to know about – which characters are nerfed, which ones are more viable, do the new abilities change the dynamic of combat, etc. All I can tell you is that the fighting is fast, fun and up close. I’m not really that good at Street Fighter on a good day, and playing with other E3 attendees who have years of experience saw my ass get beat handily quite a few times. However, I still had a lot of fun – it does feel quite a bit like SFIV, but evolved, in much the same way MKX was a step forward from Mortal Kombat.
It definitely feels like a new game in the series, with its own identity and feel rather than another ‘Super’ or ‘Ultra’ rehash of a previous instalment. Despite the similar look to SFIV, SFV could prove to be a big shake-up and I’ll definitely be watching with interest to see how the community reacts to the changes.