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Street Fighter V mechanics explained in new trailer

Street Fighter V logo

The latest entry in Capcom's long-running Street Fighter series will be getting a brand new set of gameplay mechanics

Capcom has decided not to wait until next week’s E3 show in Los Angeles and risk its announcements getting buried under a sea of new games, instead releasing the latest trailer for the upcoming Street Fighter V a week early. The Gameplay Mechanics trailer reintroduces the four characters announced for the game so far (series stalwarts Ryu, Chun Li and M. Bison, and long missing soldier Charlie Nash) and finally explains what fighting fans can expect in terms of mechanics when the game launches next year on PC and PS4.

The biggest new change is the Variable Meter, which replaces the Ultra Combo guage found in Ultra Street Fighter IV. Certain fighters have a single bar of V-meter, while others can have two or three stocks in reserve at any time. The meter fills by taking damage, and can be used for two things: V-reversals and V-trigger. V-reversals are universal, letting you break your enemy’s combo while you’re in a blocking state, letting you escape their pressure and quickly retalliate. Each one uses a single V meter stock.

V-trigger, activated by pressing Heavy Punch and Heavy Kick at the same time (HP+HK), is an offensive ability. Each character’s V-trigger state has their own unique properties; Ryu’s fireballs move faster, hit harder and do more stun damage, plus you can charge them to make them unblockable. Chun li’s medium and heavy normal attacks gain extra hits – a medium attack hits twice, and heavy attacks hit three times. Nash gains a fast-moving teleport, moving close to your opponent based on which button you press, and Bison unleashes Psycho power to become invisible when dashing. This lets you pass through projectiles and makes it tricky for your opponent to work out where you are onscreen.

Each character has a specific V-skill too, which doesn’t use any meter. Activated with Medium Punch and Medium Kick (MP+MK), each one has a specific function: Ryu’s V-skill acts just like his Third Strike parry, letting you prevent an opponent’s attack from connecting if you time your button presses precisely. Chun Li gets a jump that approaches opponents at a different angle to her regular jump, making it difficult to time uppercuts and anti-air attacks. Bison can absorb any projectile attack before it connects, then throw it back at his opponent, while Nash gains V-meter by using his skill to absorb incoming fireballs.

Street Fighter V london stage

Focus Attacks are gone, meaning you’ll have to be confident your dragon punch will land before throwing one out – there’s no FADC dash backwards to make it safe any more. The Critical Art bar replaces the super meter, but acts in a similar way; it fills up as you deal damage to your opponent, has four stocks which can be used for EX attacks, and a full bar can be used to unleash your most damaging Critical Art move.

Other major changes include not being able to KO an opponent with chip damage, meaning you won’t win the round if they are on a pixel of health, but still block your attacks. The exception is if you use a Critical Arts attack, but it’s great news for anyone that’s been on the recieving end of a blockstring vortex from the likes of Ibuki, Akuma and Yun in SSFIV. Each stage will have multiple stage finishers too, depending on where and how you KO your opponent. There’s an onscreen stun guage for the first time since Third Strike too, letting you know how close you (or your opponent) is to a dizzy state.

Capcom also revealed more details about its proprietary netcode, codenamed Kagemusha. Essentially based on the popular rollback-based GGPO netcode used in Microsoft’s Killer Instinct reboot and the remastered Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Online edition on Xbox 360 and PS3, Kagemusha should help deliver a ‘smooth, lag-free online experience’ – a welcome change from the laggy mess that was Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition on PC.

Even better, PS4 gamers won’t have to convince their PC-owning friends to buy a console just to get involved. Street Fighter V will be coming out on both Sony’s console and the PC, complete with cross-play multiplayer. This will be a first for the series, and should hopefully create a wider player base rather than segment gamers to their particular platform.

There’s certainly a lot to take in for fans of the series, and with E3 just around the corner it’s possible we’re in for a character reveal or two in the next week as well. We’ve got our fingers crossed for Third Strike’s Urien and Alex to make an appearance, but there are rumours it could be orange hermit Oro next in line for an announcement trailer. Either way, we’ll be keeping a close eye on the E3 announcements to bring you the news as soon as we get it.

Street Fighter V will be coming to PC and PS4 in early 2016.

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