The Street Fighter 6 Demo Is A Strong But Sparse Showing – First Impressions

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The Street Fighter 6 Demo Is A Strong But Sparse Showing – First Impressions

We checked out the Street Fighter 6 Demo so you don't have to. Here are our self-proclaimed fighting game expert's thoughts.


We're still an agonizing amount of time away from Street Fighter 6 hitting the streets. After Capcom made a strong showing with their Showcase last Friday, they also casually dropped a demo for their upcoming fighting game.

While the demo is little more than an appetizer before the sixth entry in the legendary Street Fighter franchise arrives on June 2, 2023.

But you can get a taste with the tutorial of the new open-world RPG World Tour mode and play around on the Fighting Ground.

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Street Fighter 6's World Tour Might Be The Ultimate Street Fighter Experience

When World Tour was revealed, it seemed like a wet dream for any long-running fighting game franchise fan.

While the number of Capcom fighting game lore aficionados might be low, it seems like some of us fans will eat well with this mode.

For the uninitiated, Street Fighter is set in the same universe as Rival Schools, Final Fight, and Saturday Night Slam Masters. Characters from all those games have appeared in some capacity in previous entries.

It'll also be the first time since Street Fighter 4 that the overarching story progresses in a meaningful way. We also seem to finally move past the timeline capstone that was Third Strike and move into a new generation with old and new faces.

One of them will be you! That's right, you can create your own character in World Tour and explore the world of Capcoms arcade brawlers to your heart's desire, meet formidable foes, and master your craft.

The theme is all-around self-improvement which lies at the heart of the Fighting Game Community and has always been the narrative throughline of the entire franchise. Only we're no longer following Ryu's story, we're writing our own now.

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So we sign up to train under Luke who was the last character to be introduced to Street Fighter V. Under his tutelage, we meet our friend and rival Bosch and go on some errands after a short tutorial.

In the demo, we're only eased into the mechanics of World Tour, which is training under a master to learn their style and abilities. Leveling up our own skills, challenging strangers to street fights, and uppercutting our way up ledges.

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There is not that much to do in the demo and it'll probably take you around 30 minutes or so to finish, but what is there really makes me hungry for more.

Especially since it seems to be geared toward players who are new to fighting games.

With the assisted, simplified controls available from the start, the mode seems to be more interested in teaching players how the basic back and forth of Street Fighter works.

And if the Minigames they've shown off is anything to go by, taking your skills online or to your locals should be no problem!

And don't forget that your character is also available on the online lobby, where they represent you and where you can also challenge other players like yourself!

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Fighting Ground Lets You Get A Feel For Combat

It is a bit of a shame that only series mainstay Ryu and newcomer Luke are available for the demo, but it makes sense from a certain point of view.

Ryu is your very basic fighting game character. He is the archetype of 2-D fighters and is most suited for beginners to learn the game and its mechanics.

Luke, on the other hand, feels like the modern take on the Ryu/Shoto Archetype. He still got a projectile and an uppercut but is highly mobile and plays more like something you'd see in an Arcsystems fighting game.

While we could compare what changed since the last entry of the series, there are probably people way smarter than me who can give you a more detailed breakdown of each character.

But I will say that Street Fighter 6 plays extremely snappy. Characters have a lot of options and the new Drive system encourages a more aggressive back and forth from the start.

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It has been said that Street Fighter is a game about building resources, the new Drive Gauge turns it into a game about picking the right moment to spend it.

There are many ways to spend the new Drive Gauge, by either performing a Drive Parry, Drive Rush, Drive Impact, Drive Reversal, or an Overdrive.

The Drive Parry when pressed normally is just a block that blocks every attack besides throws and expends meter instead of chip damage. You can also use it to absorb projectiles and regain the spend Drive Gauge.

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If you time the Parry right, which means you have to hit a very specific 2-3 frame window, you can perform a perfect parry that'll open your opponent up for a devastating combo. The tradeoff here is that this combo will only deal reduced damage.

The Drive Impact is a powerful attack that allows you to absorb someone else's attack, giving you essentially super armor to send an opponent hurling. You can use this to induce a wall splat, even when blocked to set up a new combo path.

The new Overdrive is similar to EX Moves from previous games, only that you have the resources available from the start. This makes matches dangerous from the start, as you can unleash some of your most devastating combos from the get-go.

The Drive Rush, on the other hand, is used to close distances quickly, it will however cost significantly more resources when used within a combo. Which is in line with Street Fighter 6's more aggressive approach to combat.

And then there's the Drive Reversal which is a counterattack you can only use while blocking. This is a great tool to escape corner pressure or create some space, maybe even stop your opponent within one of their more devastating combos.

From the looks of it, the Drive System takes a lot of inspiration from other 2-D fighting games. What's interesting about it however is that, unlike Street Fighter V's V-System, every character will now have the same tools to work with.

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Drawing Conclusions for SF6

Street Fighter 6 exists in a weird spot for Capcom. While SFV was a success, it took a while to get to a point where it pleased veterans while leaving newcomers behind.

Now we get a game that wants to be both the entry point for people who never touched a fighting game while also offering all the bells and whistles to cater to its competitive audience.

If everything pans out, Street Fighter 6 can be the game that catapults fighting games into the mainstream.

By announcing a 2.000.000$ USD prize pool for their league this year, Capcom shows that they mean business this time around.

And wouldn't it be awesome to see gaming's most iconic esport standing in the limelight it deserves?

We'll of course, keep you updated on everything Street Fighter 6 and esports here on ESTNN

The Street Fighter 6 Demo Is A Strong But Sparse Showing – First Impressions
Timo Reinecke
Has once claimed that FSH is the only job in FFXIV worth playing and stands by that firmly. Top Guy, Smart Guy, Educated Speaker. (sometimes) Writer of all things FFXIV, FGC, News, Reviews and More