Street Fighter V has officially launched on the PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Windows platform. Developed and published by Capcom, and co-developed by Dimps, Street Fighter V returns to the world of gaming with a great roster of fighters.
At launch, Street Fighter V comes packed with 16 playable characters, which include the likes of old school favourites such as: Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Cammy, M.Bison, Vega, Zangief, and Dhalsim. To add to the roster, Street Fighter V also introduces players to a few new characters, which include Necalli, Rashid, Laura, and F.A.N.G. Finalising the launch roster are some of Street Fighters most underused characters which include: Charlie Nash, Birdie, R. Mika, and Karin.
While the launch roster is indeed impressive, Capcom has revealed that more fighters will be on the way via DLC.
With four new characters in the mix Capcom has also made changes to the combat system. Essentially, Street Fighter V has removed Street Fighter IV’s Ultra Combat System and replaced it with the V-System, which allows players to do the following:
V-Skills are free-to-use actions that are unique to each character. V-Skills are activated by pressing both medium attack buttons, and essentially replace the Focus Attack from the Street Fighter IV series.
Each character’s V-Skill varies and successfully using them builds the V-Gauge, which is needed for V-Triggers and V-Reversals.
Executed by pressing both heavy buttons, the V-Trigger varies depending on the character: some fighters gain access to a power-up for a limited amount of time, while others perform a single move that can turn the tide of battle. When activated, wisps of energy will flow around the character to signify that they have entered V-Trigger mode.
Critical Art moves are essentially super moves. Each character has a unique Critical Art that deals out high damage in the form of combos. Critical Arts are easy to pull off; however, they do use a lot of character resources – which could be used elsewhere.
With the V-System in place, newcomers – as well as veterans – can pick up and play Street Fighter V with ease and confidence. This is essentially due to the fact that the Street Fighter series has gone from strength to strength, when it comes to gameplay mechanics, since its debut in 1987.
While combat is solid in Street Fighter V, unfortunately the game lacked content at launch. The story mode featured within the game is one of the weakest we have seen in years. Essentially, each character has been pit against 3 to 4 opponents while their story is played out in water-coloured cutscenes. While the cutscenes are visually appealing, the story prologue for each character is just too short as each battle is limited to a single-round.
While Capcom has promised to add additional content, Street Fighter V effectively comes across as a title that was rushed to meet deadline. Players will find various popular modes missing, and at present there is currently very little single-player content available. The game also lacks a single-player versus mode as well as the standard arcade mode. While these modes are missing… Street Fighter V does however feature a survival mode, which does offer up a fair single-player challenge.
While single-player content is lacking, Street Fighter V does offer up some great online modes. Your typical Ranked and Casual match modes are present for those looking for competitive and non-competitive play. Unfortunately there is no rematch option available when playing online; however, players do have the opportunity to join a public or private (Which can be password protected) Battle Lounge in order to constantly battle it out with a selected group of players from across the globe.
With online play being the focus, Capcom has also given players the ability to share their most impressive replay videos in the Capcom Fighters Network. To add to the online experience, Capcom’s Street Fighter V servers have gone from strength to strength as we experienced minimal errors when connecting to the service from South Africa.
When it comes to visuals, Street Fighter V is a great looking title. It features some vibrant, eye catching colours as well as a great set of well designed characters. Apart from character visuals, Street Fighter V also features some fantastic looking stages where players can battle it out.
Street Fighter V offers up a rock-solid online experience. However, at the same time, it offers very little when it comes to the offline, single-player experience. While Capcom has promised DLC and additional content both offline and online… the overall experience essentially feels like a building that is still under construction. The outer shell is present and looks beautiful, but the office furniture is still being delivered.
While content is indeed lacking, Street Fighter V is however a solid fighting game, especially with the introduction of the V-System. Combat is fluid and smooth, and each character has been balanced in such a way that each fight is a fair fight. To add to the solid combat, the introduction of new characters, as well as the inclusion on familiar favourites, really makes Street Fighter V worth playing.
Overall, Street Fighter V excels when it comes to combat; however, due to its initial lack of content, players may shy away from it until Capcom updates it with additional content.
Street Fighter V was reviewed by Darryl Linington
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