After a weekend with the second closed beta of Street Fighter 6, we have our impressions here. The closed beta runs from December 16th to the 19th and lets you play as eight of the launch fighters. The beta unlocks limited access to five of the game’s Battle Hub modes.
From the main menu, you will see three modes, Battle Hub, World Tour, and Fighting Ground. In this instance, the beta is limited to the Battle Hub so we can only speak on that.
In the Battle Hub, you will be forced to create a character. No matter what I tried everything looked and felt off with my created fighter. Although, I felt a lot better once I entered the hub and saw the nightmarish hellscape of custom characters that awaited me in the lobby.
From the lobby, you can play around in Photo Mode and check out the other areas within the Battle Hub. The Battle Hub consists of, the Game Center, Goods Shop, Extreme Battle Arena, The Battle Hub, and Capcom Fighters Network. They are as follows:
Street Fighter 6 Closed Beta Battle Hub Modes
- The Game Center – Play a rotating collection of classic Capcom titles, this includes a score challenge mode. For the closed beta, we were given access to Final Fight.
- Goods Shop – With the points you have earned, you can buy clothes and accessories for your custom fighter. These options are just as bad as the fighter creator itself.
- Extreme Battle Arena – This is a new mode for the Street Fighter series with exotic rulesets. From the closed beta, we had a mode where five Knock-Outs counted as a win. Here you have to knock your opponent down five times, with the added element of a random bull running through the screen.
- Capcom Fighters Network – Here you can track the best Capcom players in the world. This is an added live eSports element to Street Fighter 6.
- The Battle Hub – In the lobby, you will find a series of BGS-25 Series Capcom arcade cabinets. You can sit down at one and take on a fighter in the lobby, or you can enter the queue from the pause menu. There are more options in the menu, like the ability to select your fighter, and if you want to enter ranked matches or not.
The Street Fighter 6 Closed Beta Experience
Unfortunately what is missing is a mode to learn how to play Street Fighter 6. I am shocked there is no way for me to go offline and look at a moves list. The end result has me constantly entering matches with people spamming Hadouken’s. Most people are learning as they are playing online and it has been unpleasant. On the other hand, when someone pulls off a Super or Critical Arts, there is a beautiful color pattern that fills the screen.
As for playing the game itself, I feel like with every mainline release Street Fighter gets further and further away from its roots. Guile, Ryu, and Ken feel like large, slow tanks. While Chun-Li, Kimberly, Juri, and Jamie feel fast and fluid. If Guile, Ryu, and Ken are going to feel like tanks, what are E. Honda and Blanka going to feel like? To be fair, Luke has a nice balance of speed and weight to him.
Fighters In the Street Fighter 6 Closed Beta
From a technical standpoint, the closed beta has been solid. I have not run into any problems and playing fighters online feels the same as playing against the CPU. The beta is obviously in a controlled environment but even still it is impressive. I did not see anything that indicates I was playing against someone on another platform but Street Fighter 6 does support cross-play. One thing to note, it is using the fairly new Azure PlayFab for cloud servers. Of course, this is the same cloud environment that powers Roblox, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Minecraft, and Rainbow Six Siege. In addition, there is an option to select a region and individual servers within that region.
Anyone with Street Fighter 6 beta FOMO should know, the technical experience has been fantastic but, the lobbies are full of nightmarish creator characters and inexperienced players still trying to learn.