Originals

Street Fighter 6's Open-World Is A Game Changer For Fighting Games

Featured

Street Fighter 6 will feature an open-world game mode, and it could be big for the genre.

June 15, 2022

Since the first game made its way into players’ hands in 1987, Capcom’s Street Fighter is undoubtedly among the top three most iconic fighting game franchises in history. However, outside of iconic characters like Ryu, Chun-Li, Ken, and Guile, Capcom needed to do something to really set their famed franchise ahead of others. Enter World Tour, a new single-player mode in the sequel Street Fighter 6 that is completely open world. While we do not yet have full details about how the world and mode fully operate, what we got to see has me very excited.

DUALSHOCKERS VIDEO OF THE DAY

Per the game’s website, World Tour “Is a completely new experience that defies genre labels. Carve out your own legend on the streets!” and I have some ideas as to what Capcom could mean by those words. Obviously, as the trailer shows, your character can run around the city and challenge people to a fight from the looks of it. My guess is these fights up your skill ranking and your level of notoriety.

Again, while not a whole lot of information about Street Fighter 6’s open world is currently available, it is always fun to speculate, and the most important thing I gathered from the trailer is that the world itself is full. The worst thing an open world can be is empty, and running around a city with only a few people would be boring and just not worth the time needed to get invested in it. While it is still a story mode, my guess is by entering certain areas, cutscenes will appear as will some of the franchise’s famous characters, who will probably act as bosses of certain areas and regions.

CREATE THE ULTIMATE STREET FIGHTER

As someone who plays a lot of fighting games, including ones like UFC and the classic Fight Night games, it is easy to see where Capcom could be implementing real-world ideas and inspirations from. Yes, World Tour is a story mode, but it could also be kind of a career mode as well. In UFC and in Fight Night you have to train and work your way up the ladder. It was awesome to take my created boxer in Fight Night and go from fighting with headgear to ballrooms and epic arenas.

Each new area and type of fight gave me a nice sense of accomplishment. So in World Tour, we could start as a novice fighter, and have to start off fighting strangers and random people in order to get noticed by the legends. From what the trailer showed (and it could have just been a possible cutscene involving Jamie) it looks like we could possibly fight multiple people at once, even gangs. That would add a really cool element to the game, especially if it led to a cool interaction with someone like M. Bison or someone else. I would love it if the more popular you got, the more a group like the Shadaloo focuses on you.

It would be cool (though I doubt it would be an option) if you could join certain groups and doing so altars the story and your reputation. While the game will still contain its classic style mode (called Fighting Ground) and a rivalry mode known as Battle Hub, World Tour is what I am most excited about. If I can take my character, unlock stages, and my own most set by becoming a literal street fighting legend then I am sold!

PLEASE DO NOT BE A BAD TOUR

Despite my overwhelming sense of excitement for Street Fighter 6’s new mode, I do have multiple concerns about it. I hope it does not have you fight as an already established or somewhat new character — I would love to be able to fully customize my character, including their voice. Every one of our appearance choices from hair to face to clothes should be unique. World Tour is a game-changer in the genre and is what will separate Street Fighter 6 from others, so a lot of development emphasis should be on it.

The other concern I have is with its length and its various locations. I would love for this mode to be treated like Mortal Kombat 11’s Towers of Time mode, where new challenges are added almost daily. I would love to wake up one morning and see a challenge involving fighting without losing a round or one that forces you to defeat your opponent by blocking all of their attacks in two 60-second rounds. There are a lot of possible options and challenges for Capcom to create, not going all-in on the first try would be a poor choice.

The third and biggest fear I have is Capcom putting parts of its including certain locations behind a paywall. Call me old-fashioned, but I really miss the days when you could just unlock everything in every game by progressing or performing side quests. It would be a gut punch if in order to unlock or go to Brazil and fight Blanka I had to pay a fee, and that brings up another fear of mine — microtransactions. With a name like World Tour, odds are traveling is involved, so what if in order to go to other places you need to pay “travel expenses” to get there?

A POSSIBLY EXPENSIVE ITINERARY

There are no doubts that companies (though not all) will try to find new ways to add in possible microtransactions, and a game with a new open world could be ripe with them. Want a new wardrobe, hairstyle, or place to explore but do not have enough of the game’s virtual currency? Well, spend real-world money to not have to take part in extra fights. I really hope that is not the case, to be clear, but in today’s era of video games, anything is possible. All of my concerns aside, I will say World Tour will be the first mode I play when the game comes out and is in my possession.

I really think and hope other developers see what Capcom is doing and think of ways they can build on the concept in a positive and non-predatory way. I am very much looking forward to seeing what new characters, stages, areas of exploration, and more are revealed as we get closer to the game’s release. Imagine if after Street Fighter 6 comes out, NetherRealm comes out with an open-world Mortal Kombat game? It would be amazing to run around fighting warriors in Outworld and other realms. That is why Capcom’s introduction of an open-world fighting game is major — if it causes other companies to match it with their own unique versions, we could see a deluge of fresh takes revitalize the genre itself.

It could potentially show them what a fighting game could be. While towers are great and regular arcade modes are a fine genre staple, the addition of an open world just adds to the possibilities. Street Fighter 6 is currently set to release in 2023 for current and last-generation consoles, and I think when it is all said and done, World Tour will be the most popular game mode. Either for better or for worse.

Originals
Nick Battaglia
@mercwithonearm

Nick Battaglia is a Features Writers For DualShockers with a specialty in writing about accessibility in video games. Though his gaming journey began with Super Mario Bros. 3, he finds himself wandering Los Angeles looking for a Galaga cabinet to spend his time in front of. When he's not spending quarters he can be found returning the Lakers back to prominence in NBA 2K.

Read more of Nick's articles

Got a tip?

Let us know