More than 30 games into the series, Capcom finally names one Street Fighter V. And we've had a world exclusive first play
Prepare yourself for a huge shock: Ryu has been announced as one of the characters in Street Fighter V. Yes, that’s actually a bit like announcing John McClane will be in Die Hard. Or – STOP PRESS! – Batman will be in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice.
He’s one of four to be “announced”. The others are acrobatic Interpol officer Chun-Li, primary villain M Bison and Nash. OK, we’ll give them Nash.
Known by his first name Charlie in previous games, you may remember that his death at the hands of M Bison inspired Guile to enter the World Warrior tournament in Street Fighter II. But don’t beat yourself up about it if you don’t.
So far, so Street Fighter. So what’s new?
Well, there are two new battle mechanics. The first is the ‘V-Trigger’, a special move unique to each character that can turn the tide of the fight. And you’ll need it. You can only unleash these after you’ve filled the ‘V-Gauge’ – and you do that by taking damage. Chun-Li’s makes her hits stronger, while Nash can quickly teleport behind or above his opponent for sneak attacks.
And because not enough of the game’s jargon begins with the letter ‘V’, there’s also the ‘V-Skill’, a defensive move that can be used during the fight. Ryu’s allows him
to parry incoming attacks with ease. M Bison can reflect projectiles back at his opponent.
There are also Critical Arts – flashy, multi-hit moves that can devastate an opponent. They’re unlocked after you fill the EX Gauge, which is done by causing damage to your opponent. It’s your “I’ve destroyed you” finishing move, basically.
The fighting is smooth and slick, and the ‘V-Trigger’ is a great leveller – the equivalent of the Blue Shell in Mario Kart – allowing you to bring yourself back into the bout even after you’ve received a severe pummelling.
We played two stages – China and, for the first time in Street Fighter, London. King’s Cross Station, specifically, although there are definitely more trombone-playing Queen’s Guard soldiers roaming the place than on our last visit.
Street Fighter V will be released in March 2016 on PS4 and PC