street fighter 6

Preview: Street Fighter 6 Aims to Offer Something for All Skill Levels

The Street Fighter 6 demo offers a glimpse into the World Tour and Fighting Ground modes of the game, letting players see some of the content that’s in store for them when the full game releases. This brief look is a pretty solid indicator that this game will have a lot of stuff for players who are more interested in a single player experience, but it also gives a taste of the various tools available for players who want to dip their toes into online as well as veterans who want to throw some wild challenges into their matchups.

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The demo version of World Tour gives players a good idea of what will be in store as far as single player content is concerned. In this mode, you can design your own fighter using a fairly robust character creation system. You’re free to tweak a ton of facial features and body shapes to create the slick fighter (or utter monstrosity) that you want, then let them loose on the streets of Metro City. Well, after a bit of training, of course.

You’re training under Luke during the Street Fighter 6 demo, and will have to go through a variety of tutorial missions that will show new players the basics of movements and attacks (which you can thankfully skip if you don’t need them). From there, you’re introduced to combat. Now, during the demo, you will be using the new Modern control type that ties special moves to a specific button and a directional input. It also lets you string combos together by holding R2 while mashing the buttons. It’s a bit annoying for those who are more comfortable with the classic input style, but thankfully I just came from playing DNF Duel so it wasn’t too different for me at the moment. I don’t care for it myself, but the control style is likely to be a welcome thing for new players.

street fighter 6

After the tutorials (and meeting your rival/partner, Bosch), you’re introduced to the streets of Metro City. Well, one street. You’ll spend your time in a main square covered in Street Fighter nods in the ads and architecture of the place. The location is striking and stuffed with fun little details, making it a pleasure to just walk around. Plus, you can challenge any passerby to a fight, which is nice to do, too.

The inhabitants of Metro City just fight each other right there on the street. I mean, these people live in the area the Final Fight games took place in. They’re bound to be used to fist fights, I guess. So, while you’re walking around the World Tour mode in Street Fighter 6, you can challenge just about anyone to a fight. Jugglers, tired businessmen, old ladies out shopping – anyone is fair game. Not that many of them will put up a big fight in this demo, it’s just entertaining and silly to be able to pick fights everywhere.

As for the moves you use, they’ll all pull from Luke’s moveset (he is your instructor, after all). The game makes mention of being able to train under other masters and that you can make use of their moves, which will make this mode a bit more interesting later, but for now, you’ll be using Luke’s powers. While that’s set in stone, you do have some flexibility in your character’s fighting capabilities. As you beat folks up, you gain experience and levels. You can use these to upgrade your skills, giving you more damage output for kicks, punches, and the like, as well as other little perks. The customization is a nice touch, and again, seems like it will be great for people who want to love Street Fighter but are very new to it or are intimidated at the idea of playing online. If you lose a fight in this mode, you can grind some levels and come back tougher.

There is a bit of brief story to work through, which gave me a variety of folks to beat up throughout the Street Fighter 6 demo. I mangled some colorful characters, bought some stuff (you earn money you can spend on stat-boosting/healing food as well as new clothes), and enjoyed walking through the streets and taking in the sights. You’re free to beat up a ton of people throughout the demo to get a feel for the game and its modes before you finish, thankfully.

I spent a bit more time with the Modern control style here. Using a single button to get special moves out feels like it works well, although you don’t get as much control over the abilities since you can’t do the various versions of each special. However, you can get some interesting combos in by holding R2 and mashing buttons. You just get the same combo each time, though. So, unsurprisingly, these systems allow you to do cool stuff very easily, which should allow a huge swath of new players to have fun with it. More skilled players will find it very limiting, though, so you’re far better off using the regular input style once you get a chance. Not that this is a big surprise.

Overall, this taste of World Tour shows that Street Fighter 6 will have a fair amount to offer newer players who want to feel like great fighters even if they aren’t ready or willing to put in a lot of practice. The mode’s fights were all pretty easy (with a final fight showing things will get tougher), but it’s a good introduction for new players who want something to try on their own. That said, I don’t much care for playing as a made-up character while working through World Tour. I prefer playing something like Mortal Kombat 11’s story mode where I got to experience each character a bit. It’s still an interesting mode that adds a lot of extra content for players looking for more variety in their fighter, though.

street fighter 6

As for the Fighting Ground demo, there are a few modes you can play around with (so long as you want to play as Luke or Ryu, as they’re the only playable characters). You can try out some local one-on-one or bust out Extreme Battle. Extreme Battle offered some neat things to play around with, as this mode lets you add some twists to each fight. You can adjust the Rules of the match (only Down & Out – get five knockdowns – was available). You can also add Gimmicks like exploding bombs, running bulls, and Mega Man Metalls to spice things up.

I really liked Extreme Mode in Street Fighter 6 because the rules and gimmicks have a huge impact on how you play. If you just need to land knockdowns, then you’re better off using moves that will take your foe off their feet in a hurry. Scrambling to do this while a bull is running around makes things even more challenging, and causes frequent shifts in momentum and upsets. Just the two options listed above made the game feel very different and added some fun new elements and focuses to how I played.

The Practice offered some thorough explanations of the demo characters with Character Guides. These give a full breakdown of moves, possible combos, and a general game plan at various distances. I felt I had a decent idea of most of Ryu’s moves and how to work them into combat, but this mode gently guided me through some elements to the attacks that I didn’t know were possible (doing an aerial Tatsumaki Senpu-kyaku cross up, for example). It’s a fantastic feature that teaches you a lot, and I’ll definitely be using with the various characters I want to try.

If you do want to get some hard practice, the demo’s One-on-One versus lets you tweak the CPU level to face a harder opponent. You can also give yourself or your opponent various Advantages, loading them with Super Bars, health regeneration, and increasing attack damage to give yourself as much or little challenge as you like. I wish I could have experienced more of the characters in this mode, but getting some practice against a relentless CPU opponent is good while I wait to play the game online. And the ability to change up matches means anyone playing single player can get a variety of challenges out of Street Fighter 6.

During this mode, I took some time to try out the Commentary as well. This looks to offer the feel of having someone commentate on the action, which was kind of fun. There’s no way to replace an actual commentator getting hyped up about what you and your opponent are doing, but having the game talk over what you did gives some of the illusion that you’re playing in a live tournament match. I bounced between feeling silly and enjoying it as there’s really only so much it can do, but it can be entertaining to have it in action. Even if I’m positive I’ll leave it off when I’m playing the full game.

While I am dying to try more characters and get online, the Street Fighter 6 demo has me intrigued by some elements I hadn’t put much thought into before. World Tour seems like a really vast, extensive mode that can be quite fun to play around with. That and the Modern input method seem like they’d be excellent selling points for someone who wanted to pick up a great fighter without having to go online to get the most out of their purchase. As for in-depth content for intermediate players, the Character Guides will be great, as will the choices of input styles. For veterans, Extreme Battles and CPU advantages can really press you to play well.

In short, even in this brief demo, I could see that the developers had tried to make a fighter for everyone with Street Fighter 6. The limited characters, but the hints at how much more there is to come, make this a tantalizing tease for the full release in a few months.

Street Fighter 6 is slated to release on June 2, 2023 on PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.

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Joel Couture
Joel is a contributor who has been covering games for Siliconera, Game Developer, IndieGamesPlus,, Warp Door, and more over the years, and has written book-length studies on Undertale, P.T., Friday the 13th, and Kirby's Dream Land.