Street Fighter is back. This one’s labelled five but of course, there have been countless versions of the game to play between now and the original game that came out way back when in 1987. Xbox owners are going to miss out this time, as the game is exclusive to PS4 and PC, and Capcom have made this game with the future very much in mind. Gone are expansion packs and the game will evolve and update as you play, with you earning Fight Money for free with which to buy new updates, or you can spend your hard earned money on Zenny, an in-game currency you can use to take some short cuts. The choice is entirely yours whether you want to pay to play or be rewarded by fighting your way to the top.
When it comes to gameplay, you’ll be right at home as you jump in. All the standard moves are there for some of your favourite characters, and of course there are some new ones who enter the fray to keep things fresh. For instance, F.A.N.G uses his poison abilities to cause damage during a fight and with ranged attacks and even making himself poisonous to the touch which seems a little unfair, and the ancient warrior Necalli goes absolutely nuts when he activates his V Trigger with his hair going all red and electrified. This reminds me of Blanka who notably, isn’t in the game at launch. There’s only a roster of 16 characters to begin with, but this will quickly rise to 22 and beyond post launch.
So what’s this V Trigger I hear you ask? Well, it’s all part of the V System which consists of the V Trigger, the V Reversal and the V Skill, which can all be activated with different button combos. The meter above the EX Gauge is unsurprisingly called the V-Gauge, which shows how much you have to spend, and you can either activate the V Trigger which will make you more powerful until it runs out, or use up a block to perform other abilities. This certainly makes the game more tactical than just charging the EX Gauge and letting fly with a special attack that takes off a huge chunk of damage. This time it’s called Critical Art, and this can only be performed when the meter is full.
The game has a fair few modes to play with – there’s the standard versus mode where you can play other people, an online mode which lets you fight through the ranks against other very good players, a survival mode that will keep throwing AI opponents at you which get harder and harder until you give in and a story mode. At the moment this feels light as it’s just prologues for each character which only feature 4 fights linked together with some voiceover and rudimentary anime art, but they promise to expand these sections with full expanded stories in June.
It’s pretty tricky to give Street Fighter V a score at the moment, as at launch, it really feels like half a game. For fans of the series who will stick with it, there will be plenty of new content and characters drip fed to you until September and beyond. However, I’m going to score it based on its potential, so Street Fighter V gets 8 out of 10.
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