Street Fighter V is an incomplete and overpriced early access title. There’s no arcade mode, no difficulty settings, broken online servers, an embarrassingly limited roster, no proper training mode...it’s the most incomplete AAA title ever released, and an utter embarrassment for the franchise.
Now, I’m fully aware that Capcom is planning on releasing further content down the road, but are we really supposed to just “trust” Capcom (especially considering their history) and give them the full sixty dollars at this point? I also understand that they’ve pushed Street Fighter V early due to upcoming tournaments so that pros can start practicing their character in time, but does that excuse really warrant the full asking price considering more than half the game is missing? No, absolutely not.
Even if everything is released as promised for free over the upcoming months, it’s my responsibility to judge the game based on its current content that’s being sold for the same price as a complete game. And I really don’t care that Driveclub (who had a similar launch) has thoroughly transformed over time...Driveclub is an exception, not the rule.
"Street Fighter V is the most incomplete AAA title ever released, and an utter embarrassment for the franchise."
Let’s look at some of the positives first. Street Fighter V plays beautifully. It’s the most fluid entry to date, and the new gameplay tweaks introduce just enough variety to make SFV feel distinct from its predecessor. That is unless you are playing online. When playing online, Street Fighter V suffers from lag spikes and occasional input-lag, a big no-no for a competitive fighter. And don’t get me started on the absurdly long load times. We have super-fast internet in our office, and our console is connected to the router directly, yet I still couldn’t get the online mode running properly. As a result, the only way to fully enjoy SFV at this point is with a buddy in local co-op. Even then, the load times between matches can stretch to unacceptable lengths.
Street Fighter V brings back the EX Gauge originally introduced in Street Fighter III. This gauge is charged using offensive attacks, and when full, it can be used to either power up special moves or perform Critical Arts (special combos). New to Street Fighter V is the V Gauge. This is charged when the payer is receiving attacks and consists of three new techniques: V-Skills, V-Reversals, and V-Triggers. Each character has a unique V-Gauge technique set, making gameplay more dynamic and complex compared to its predecessors.
"There’s no arcade mode, no difficulty settings, broken online servers, an embarrassingly limited roster and no proper training mode."
The visuals are also a big step up from previous entries. Street Fighter V looks stunning, and the refined cel-shading delivers some of the most impressive character models in Street Fighter history. Animations are smoother and more believable, making those super long combos and special moves look especially impressive. Frame rate remains relatively solid during offline play, but like I mentioned earlier, it hitches regularly whenever connecting to Capcom’s servers.
"As it stands, Street Fighter V has superb gameplay at its core, but there’s just not enough content here right now to carry that gameplay beyond a few rounds."
Street Fighter V’s roster is the game’s biggest issue. Delaying single player modes is somewhat excusable (as long as all modes are delivered free of charge like promised), but removing some of the most essential characters only to charge them as separate DLC is insulting. Capcom plans on releasing individual characters each month for $6 a piece (or 600 Zenny/in-game currency). Or...you can purchase them with a second currency, the Fight Money, in which case each character will retail for a whopping 100,000 Fight Money. And did I mention that costumes will cost an extra $4, or 40,000 Fight Money?! To put things in perspective, completing the story and survival modes will net you just enough money to buy a single character, and it’ll leave you with some leftover cash for a potential costume. Basically, if you want to acquire all the characters without spending any real money, you’ll have to grind for hundreds and hundreds of hours.
I’ll leave things here for now. I’ll revisit the game once all the necessary content becomes available, and I’ll update the score to reflect the changes. However, Street Fighter V is being sold as a complete game at this point, so I’m still giving it a full score for its current state. As it stands, Street Fighter V has superb gameplay at its core, but there’s just not enough content here to carry that gameplay beyond a few rounds. Even those who only care for the competitive side of SFV are going to walk away frustrated due to online lag and long wait times. I never thought I’d say this, but SFV in its current state is one of the worst AAA releases since the atrocious Evolve.
Review by: Tin Salamunic | Reviewed on: Playstation 4