An otherwise brilliant and well-received entry in the Street Fighter series held back by lack of content and missing features?
The reviews are in and so far they’re fairly mixed for the latest entry in the Street Fighter series. The game’s currently sitting on a fair 83 on metacritic so the game’s in no means reviewing badly but there seems to be one thing holding Street Fighter V back and that’s the fact that a lot of content simply isn’t in the game at launch. Our own review here on TGG and also reviews from IGN, Gamespot, VG247 and many others all say the same thing: the lack of content is hindering this game’s potential. Due to so many reviews all echoing the same concern, we couldn’t help but feel that maybe Street Fighter V would’ve benefited from a short delay into the Summer.
The general consensus in our review and reviews by other outlets is that, mechanically, the game is very impressive and deserving of a high score. However, the game at this point in time (soon to be remedied by free updates) but right now, the game is essentially unfinished. Capcom have confirmed that some features like the in-game store won’t launch until March. Then there’s the missing challenge mode, which includes four sub-modes: battle tips (out in March), trials (out in March), targets (out “soon after launch”) and extra battle (available “soon after launch”). As far as we’re aware, ‘Targets’ are similar to daily quests in which you will be able to earn Fight Money (SFV’s in-game currency). And ‘Extra battle’ sees you fight against special computer-controlled bosses. At launch, online battle lobbies will only support two players in a game with eight person lobbies and spectator mode arriving as part of the March update.
Putting some of these smaller missing features aside, there’s still one gaping whole in Street Fighter V’s content, and that’s a proper story mode. Capcom have confirmed that the story mode won’t be launching until June. So, for all early adopters who pick up the game at launch will be missing a lot features and a proper story mode and you won’t have the full Street Fighter V game until June. You can’t help but get the feeling that the game just feels a little barebones at launch. Now, a lot of the missing features are planned to be releasing in March but if there’s anything that gamers have learnt this generation, it’s that delays are inevitable and we wholeheartedly hope that Capcom are able to follow through on their promise because some of these missing features are pretty integral to one’s experience of Street Fighter V and the fact that they’re currently missing is a bit dissapointing.
To put it into a clearer form, here is what you get if you buy Street Fighter V at launch if you’re a solo player:
- Short Story Modes, with a proper one to come later.
- Survival Mode
Looks pretty barebones doesn’t it?
Now, we want to reiterate that Capcom are bringing much of the content missing to the game in free updates but are early adopters, those who buy the game at launch, essentially playing for what could almost resemble a beta? Many fans of the franchise have taken to social media and messaging boards to voice their concerns with the game’s content, or lack thereof, at launch with many frustrated that the game is releasing without crucial features. So, why didn’t Street Fighter V get pushed back just a little bit? Surely a push to the summer would have allowed the game to release with all these features and the missing cinematic story mode and surely the game would have been better off for it…right? Well, it’s become quite a disturbing trend for games this generation to release without singleplayer proper story modes (Titanfall, Battlefront, Rainbow Six: Siege) to name a few and all have been criticized for it as there’s no reason why these games couldn’t have story modes. There’s a lot of controversy over whether games like these are worth the full $60 if they don’t come with singleplayer story modes but we do in fact know that it is coming for Street Fighter V, just 4 months after the game’s launch.
What’s kind of confusing with this topic is whether these decisions are part of some tactical content roll-out in order to keep people invested in the game or if these features simply weren’t complete or ready for launch. Were the trials and the in-store shop, featured on the menu, not completed for launch? While multiplayer is great and really the core of SFV, surely the fact that you’re not even able to play the CPU in ‘real’ conditions as practice isn’t going to bode well for new-comers who may find the dominance of the multiplayer mode intimidating? Another issue that Street Fighter V might face is the damage that could affect sales and perception of the game. The games lack of content and features has not been missed by reviewers and it’s a real chance that this could damage early perception of the game possibly encouraging people to hold off purchasing the game until all the content is released.
When Street Fighter V’s exclusivity deal with Sony was announced to keep the game exclusive to the PS4 on console, it was quickly accepted that this deal was made due to Capcom’s financial woes and that the game probably wouldn’t have made it into development without Sony stepping in. Going exclusive is a fairly unattractive option for most third-party developers in the industry, so it’s plausible to imagine that if they were in a spot where going exclusive made sense financially, it must have been a scenario where the game wouldn’t have been funded otherwise. So, the deal might have been beneficial for the game itself, since it might not have been developed without it. Considering the financial troubles that this game then might have faced, it’s possible that Capcom were pressed to ensure the game released in February as their deal with Sony might have agreed as such. Let’s admit it, companies like Sony or Microsoft have a lot of games to handle and they generally try their best to deliver a game when they say it will be released so we get the feeling that this may have played a part in Street Fighter V’s launch with missing features and a lack of content.
In closing, Street Fighter V is a solid game, it’s getting good reviews and for good reasons but there’s a general feeling amongst reviewers and consumers alike that the lack of content and missing features at the game’s launch has held the game back with some reviewers openly admitting they would have reviewed it higher or some holding off on giving the game a score, waiting for more content to be released, in order to review the ‘full’ game so to say. Because of this, we fear that this could damage the game’s perception and even sales at launch so we’re at odds over why Sony and Capcom didn’t push the game back just slightly to the Summer in order to launch the game with all it’s content expected from a $60 and we feel like the game would have been better off for it.
So, now we’ve told you what we think, why don’t you tell us your thoughts and opinions on Street Fighter V’s content at launch? Leave a comment below to let us know how you feel.