Back Up To Speed: Street Fighter V
With this site being out of action for so long, I’ve missed a fair bit of news regarding Capcom’s upcoming Street Fighter V. So just in case The Saltmine is literally your only source for fighting game news, I’m gonna get you up to speed as quickly as possible with some quick, hard facts.
It’s A Thing.
It was announced almost a year ago, at last year’s PlayStation Experience event in Las Vegas. While the reveal was spoiled by a trigger-happy intern leaking the teaser trailer, that first trailer set the tone Capcom was going for with the game: a love letter to the fans in the competitive scene that made the brand’s return to fighting games with the SF4 series such a big hit.
It’s Exclusive… Kinda
You might be looking at that big blue corner of the thumbnail above, maybe with a sense of impending dread. Yes, SFV is console exclusive to PlayStation 4. But there’s a good reason for it; not only is it also available on Steam for people with awesome PCs, but the current plan is for PS4 players to be able to fight PC players. Matter of fact, recent closed beta tests put this very functionality through its paces.
It’s Running On The Unreal Engine
Long a preferred platform for Netherrealm Studios and their Mortal Kombat and Injustice titles, Capcom has signed on with Epic Games to put SFV together in Unreal Engine 4, and frankly the game looks spectacular. But the Unreal Engine has a critical weakness that I’ll touch on a little further down…
Street Fighter 4 Skills Won’t Help You Here
The game’s battle system has seen a large-scale rework, dropping many of the contentious features from SF4 such as Focus Attacks and Ultra selection. A new V-Meter will fuel several new features to SFV: V-Skill, a special action unique to each playable character, V-Trigger, a powerful game-changing technique again unique to the character, and V-Reversal, which in function is very similar to Alpha Counters from previous games. The game’s signature cinematic Super Arts also return as Critical Arts, some of which are affected by the user’s V-Trigger.
It’s Gonna Start With 16 Characters
The good thing about missing the last two years of news is that I didn’t have to report on the agonising drip-feed of character reveals, and can just straight up tell you that sixteen characters will be playable at launch, including Ryu, Chun Li, Bison, Cammy, Ken, Vega, Zangief and Dhalsim returning from SF4, classic returning characters Charlie Nash, Birdie, Rainbow Mika, Karin Kanzuki, and four brand-spankin-new characters.
Of those last four we’ve already met three: Aztec powerhouse Necalli, Middle Eastern wind-throwing speedster Rashid, and electrifying Brazilian grappler Laura. As for number sixteen, we’ve got some clues…
It’ll Have DLC…
Rather than continually releasing new versions of the same game as they did with SF4, Super SF4, Super SF4 Arcade Edition, Super SF4 Arcade Edition 2012 and Ultra SF4, Capcom has confirmed that SFV will be the only version of the game players will need to buy. The flipside of that is that when the game does get updates and expansions, they’ll be as DLC. But even that’s not such bad news considering…
…And The Important Bits Are Free
All updates that affect the gameplay (read: new characters) will be available to players without having to pay a dime, as spelled out by Capcom’s Peter Rosas over this year’s Evo weekend. The option will be there to straight out buy the characters as DLC, by way of SFV’s special in-game currency Zenny, players will also be able to earn DLC in-game by collecting Fight Money through daily challenges and other online and offline activities.
More Characters Will Be Coming…
A more recent tidbit of knowledge was exactly how these new characters were to be delivered. At the recent Paris Games Show, SF veteran Yoshinori Ono confirmed that new characters would be drip-fed one at a time at rough two-month intervals after the game’s release. He then showed off a cryptically censored image to hint at who was coming.
Some desperate fans were a little impatient, though…
…And We Know Who Some Are
Unfortunately for Capcom they’re building SFV in the Unreal Engine, which has a long history of being loose with its secrets. The 2011 reboot of Mortal Kombat had its unrevealed characters leaked by its own four-character demonstration, big-time Bioware RPG Mass Effect 3 had its entire game subtitle script dumped online from a single-level demo, and in the same fashion dataminers have been able to crack open the Street Fighter V closed beta to find not-so-subtle hints at the first six DLC characters being SF2’s Guile and Balrog, SF3’s Ibuki, Alex and Urien, and finally SF4’s Juri. Oops.
That’s only for Year One, however. Capcom’s Matt Dahlgren (via Shoryuken) confirmed that there was a second wave of characters in the works.
“We don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves,” Dahlgren said. “We do have very ambitious plans for Street Fighter V and a very long term strategy. We’d like to continue as long as we can, but we’ll have to see how the product does.”
With the Capcom Cup Finals (and presumably the final character reveal) fast approaching, people are getting desperate to hear more about the game they hope to be playing for years to come. After December 6, it’ll be a long couple of months until the game’s official release next February.