Street Fighter V Review (PS4)

A new challenger arrives in the form of Street Fighter V and despite what others may suggest it’s actually one of the best fighting game experiences around; and this is coming from someone who constantly loses in it.

 

Street Fighter V has been designed as an online-centric fighter and as such every aspect of the game has been integrated into an online experience; however, before you can even sample this you must take part in a tutorial mode; which is fine by me.

 

This tutorial mode is a simplistic feature which, as closed beta testers will already know, teaches you the basics about the game and some of its new features, such as the V-Skill ability which sees attack power upgraded for a short period of time.

 

street fighter v tutorial gameplay

 

Past Street Fighter players will easily become accustomed to the mechanics of the game, as it’s pretty much the same control scheme as it’s predecessor, Street Fighter IV; but it’s a great way of introducing all types of players in an ever-changing and ever-challenging fighting game.

 

Fancy brushing up on your skills in training mode before your big debut? Sure thing; but with the matchmaking integration constantly looking for an online opponent you may find yourself thrown into an online match quicker than you would expect. However, there’s no need to fret; this feature is off by default; but when its turned-on be prepared for the fight of your life.

 

Fighting; that’s the core principal behind the Street Fighter franchise and it’s one that Capcom have taken to heart with this latest instalment of the game. Every aspect of the game has been made so that you are within an arm’s reach of an online opponent.

 

street fighter v training mode

 

Of course if you prefer to stay offline and go solo then you will find a small selection of content to navigate around; with a cinematic story mode, survival, offline versus and training mode being included alongside the online matchmaking systems.

 

Unlike other notable fighting games Street Fighter has never been known for its interactive and engaging story but what is included in Street Fighter V is enough to satisfy most story-driven fans of the franchise. Each of the characters included have their own story with some, such as Cammy and Vega, crossing-over with each other to offer a more understanding tale. How exactly are these tales played out to the player? Through animated still shots with voice-overs until a fight begins.

 

It’s a similar style that was used in Street Fighter IV; except this time it offers a more narrative-driven-experience rather than simply an opening and ending sequence with seven fights in between. Of course some may argue that these storyline elements are short, which they are, but Capcom will be releasing a more cinematic -and complete- story in the coming months.

 

street-fighter-v-story-board

 

This relatively incomplete nature of the game continues with the Challenge Mode; which ironically enough is completely inaccessible and will be released as an update in March. The inclusion of a challenge mode is a long-standing-tradition within fighting games, as it tasks players to perform attacks and combos that they wouldn’t usually do in regular gameplay, and yet this feature is no-where to be found.

 

It is a missed opportunity to not include these gameplay elements at launch, and it may have been a wiser-move to delay the release of the game until later in the year, but at the same time it gives you something to look forward to in the coming months.

 

I could argue about that all day; but the lack of a Challenge mode or an extended storyline does nothing to hamper the games exhilarating online multiplayer experience.  Street Fighter games have always been about the community; watching others fight, learning from their experiences and using them to your own advantage and with Street Fighter V things have gotten a lot easier.

 

street-fighter-v-gameplay-online

 

The implementation of fighter search (by username or user ID) means you can find any player reasonably quickly and follow their Street Fighter V career. The same can also apply to online matchmaking, be it ranked or casual; simply select the mode you desire and you will find yourself whisked away into the best available fight. The alternative option to this however is the Battle Lounge; a feature which allows you to choose a set search criteria and join rooms that meet it.

 

The Battle Lounge is ideal for those that wish to compete with friends or battle with a chain of players in one sitting; in any event my utter defeat awaits in all of these modes. Of course you need not visit any of these modes to find an online fight; as due to the games online integration of matchmaking searches simply standing idle at the main menu can result in a new challenger approaching and a fight taking place. It’s a never ending fight; and despite my many losses it’s still extremely fun and rewarding to play.

 

street-fighter-v-gameplay-survival

 

From the offset Street Fighter V feels incomplete with its relatively minimalistic narrative campaign mode and lack of offline content but underneath all of this we find one of the best online fighting experiences ever created.

 

Street Fighter V will offer short-bursts of fun right now; but in the long-term it will offer the best type of competitive fighting game that you could ever ask for.

 

 

Street Fighter V is available to buy from the Rice Digital Store.

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