Street Fighter 6 – Closed Beta impressions
I will pursue: Street Fighter 6’s Close Beta is the best fighting game beta I’ve ever played. And I’m not even talking about the quality of the game – even though that’s the case really good. I’m talking about everything from the presentation, to the excellent netcode, to the gorgeous battle center, the ease of finding matches, to the sheer number of options and modes possible. counter, the most important of which is the training mode, which should really be the norm at this point in the match betting game. The closed beta of Street Fighter 6 checked all the boxes, then added new boxes, and checked those as well.
Let’s talk about the actual game first. I’ve played Street Fighter 6 at several game events over the past few months, and the strong first impressions it has left so far are more so than when I’ve played many hours of the beta. Street Fighter 6 feels fantastic. It’s hard to hit, fast-paced, and it’s powered by a great Drive system that opens up a whole new world of tools and options for every character.
One of the things I learned during my time with the beta is how much I love the Drive Rush mechanic. Basically, for the cost of a Drive meter bar, you can do a quick green glowing dash and take any action out of it. This is an important technique when dealing with Guile players, especially those who want to spend the whole match playing full screen, leaving me playing Sonic Booms all day. Drive Rush gives me an amazingly quick way to close the gap, throw to the ground, or a low-altitude stealth attack to catch them off guard and put themselves in a more advantageous position.
And that’s just one use of this technique. For the three bars of your Drive meter, you can use Drive Rush to knock out certain attacks to keep the combo going. For example, if I hit a mid-range opponent with a poke that wouldn’t normally combine into anything, I could use the Drive Rush cancel to rush in and convert a combo of something that I usually only get one. hit out. The whole system gives a lot of flexibility to Street Fighter 6’s combo system, and I can’t wait to experiment more with it as I get my hands on the full game.
Then there’s Drive Impact. This maneuver will be the highlight for everyone when it comes to how much they like Street Fighter 6’s combat system compared to other entries. Drive Impact is an extremely powerful attack that can deal up to three basic attacks on its own to deliver a devastating blow that can crush enemies and leave them open for a full combo. What’s more, it can also be used against enemies in the corner, and even if it is blocked, it will smash them against the wall and still give you a chance to combine. It’s a move you’ll enjoy when it’s in your favor, and absolutely despise when used against you. I’ve reviewed my impressions of Drive Impact over and over throughout the beta, and in the end, I’ve come to a place where I appreciate what it has to offer.
It’s an extremely powerful technique for sure, but it still has the opposite effect of it. Its slow start feeling only long enough to react and if you can react to it you can use your own Impact Drive to absorb their attack and punish them with a full combo of your own . It can also be jumped over and punished, dodged and punished, or if you can stab it three times fast enough, you can break its armor and punish. There’s also an inherent mind game when you’re cornered: because it’s so powerful, people are more likely to try to use it to get to that wall, so you might even be ready more willing to try and react to it. Of course, if you’re too focused on trying to react to Drive Impact, you’ll be susceptible to everything else. Basically, being in the corner is dangerous in any fighting game, but Drive Impact makes it especially harmful.
There are eight characters available to play in the beta: Ryu, Chun-Li, Jamie, Luke, Kimberly, Juri, Ken, and Guile, and while I spent a bit of time with all of them, two characters that I got stuck attracted towards the end are Ken and Juri. Ken is completely different from his Street Fighter 5 incarnation, complete with two brand new moves, a new run command that changes the properties of some of his special moves, and seemingly less of a reward. for being completely reckless, as many Kens tend to be in Street Fighter 6. Most of his big combos now involve performing special moves in addition to his run command, which makes adds a bit more complexity to his combo routes compared to other characters, but makes up for it with the fact that they look sick and deal a ton of damage.
As for Juri, she’s also had some pretty significant gameplay changes: She no longer has to accumulate fees to use certain special moves – she builds fees to increase strengthen them. Her low ammo will go much further when charged and she can cancel directly from move to move once fully charged. Her throw also has amazingly good range, and while I wasn’t too bothered with it in the beta, her super tier 2 seems to give her flexibility and damage. crazy when it’s working.
The beta was also the first time we got to see Street Fighter 6:’s ambitious Battle Hub: An online hub where players can create their own avatars and roam around in a virtual arcade, pull up a video game cabinet, challenge other players, or just claim a cabinet of your own and wait for someone to challenge you. This isn’t a new idea – Arc System Works games have been doing avatar-based online lobbies for years – but it’s never been done on this scale. For one, the avatar creator is completely ridiculous, with players being given the freedom to like their character’s proportions, leaving you to just walk around the center and laugh at the complete monstrosities. Everything that people come up with is going to be interesting.
Street Fighter 6: Kimberly and Juri Reveal Trailer Screenshot
Plus, there’s all sorts of fun icons that let you mimic special moves from the game, there’s a photo booth, a shop where you can buy new gear with money earned from playing, one section where you can play classic Capcom games like Final Battle and another where you can play the special Extreme Mode. Best of all, if you don’t want to get involved with any arcade cabinets and just want to be automatically pulled into a match, you can enable ranked or normal matchmaking.
Based on this beta, I feel extremely confident that the full launch of Street Fighter 6 will truly be an epic moment for FGC. But more than that, this beta sets the standard for future fighting game betas by including everything a fighting game fan could reasonably want at first glance. top of a highly anticipated game: a decent selection of characters, great netcode, separation of both ranked and casual play, teases about what kind of progression to expect when the game is full release and even a training mode to actually learn how to play. The only downside is that it’s over now and we all don’t have Street Fighter 6 until the next beta or until it releases on a still unspecified date in 2023. I can’t wait wait.
Mitchell Saltzman is an editorial producer at IGN. You can find him on twitter @JurassicRabbit