Street Fighter 6's imminent release kicks off the latest round of sequels from the genre's biggest hitters. Both Mortal Kombat 1 and Tekken 8 are expected to release in the near future, with the former being given a September 2023 release date, and the latter expected to show its hand soon. Fans of each series will be hoping that their respective titles will reign supreme over the opposition, and early reports confirm that Street Fighter 6 has set a high bar, with many critics praising the game as a true return to form for the series.
Most of Street Fighter 6's reviews seemingly confirm that the newest entry in the franchise is both comfortingly familiar and refreshingly ambitious, as the game precariously balances staying true to its roots with boldly venturing into the unknown. Familiar franchise favorites such as Ryu, Ken, and Chun Li return, but new characters such as Luke help ensure the roster feels fresh. An innovative 'World Tour' mode gives beginners a natural starting point and helps to overhaul the stagnant fighting game 'Story Mode' trope.
Street Fighter 6 Has Thrown Down the Gauntlet For its Rivals
Aside from freshening up its single-player content with the RPG-like World Tour mode, and a new, stylistic art style giving each character a different look, Street Fighter 6's modern control scheme also serves as a game-changer for the series. In particular, the new drive mechanic is set to add a crucial new strategic layer to combat encounters. The player will start each round with a full drive meter and must decide when and how to use each individual segment of it.
Regardless of which Street Fighter 6 character the player chooses, this drive mechanic functions identically for each one, and it can be used effectively for both offensive and defensive situations. Careful use of the drive meter will turn the tide of battle in the player's favor, and deciding whether to use a portion of it aggressively to catch the opponent off guard, or conservatively to shield an attack, will likely lead to some adrenaline-fueled battles, both off and online.
Tekken 8 is the follow-up to 2017's critically-acclaimed Tekken 7, and is set to continue the story of the Mishima Family's power struggle. This time, however, the family patriarch Heihachi Mishima is confirmed to be dead, setting the stage for the final battle between his son, Kazuya Mishima, and his grandson, Jin Kazama, to come to a head. Gameplay footage released so far has shown off a model that encourages a more aggressive style of play. Tekken 8 will employ a heat system that players can use to enter a powered-up state during combat, and this can be used to devastating effect in order to swiftly deal with the opponent.
The recently revealed Mortal Kombat 1 will serve as the latest reboot for the long-running series. While a classic cast of characters will feature, the likes of Liu Kang, Goro, and Shang Tsung will be given new leases of life, with the story potentially set to go into some unusual and creative directions. Not since the series' transition to 2.5D visuals with Mortal Kombat 9 has it been rebooted, and many will be expecting a similar level of innovation in the franchise's newest entry. Street Fighter 6 has struck the first blow to both of its opponents, but both Mortal Kombat 1 and Tekken 8 will be keen to counter with strikes of their own in the near future.
Street Fighter 6 will be released on June 2, 2022, for PC, PS4, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S.