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Street Fighter V's Story Mode Wasn't Worth The Hype

Just not epic enough.

I have to admit, when I first heard of Street Fighter V’s story mode, I was hugely skeptical. We’ve seen story modes in fighting games before, such as Mortal Kombat and Injustice, but we’ve also seen efforts with a more cinematic approach, such as in the Guilty Gear Xrd games. For Street Fighter to go down the same route is unprecedented, but necessary.

The crux of the matter is that the single player offerings in Street Fighter V at launch were the weakest part of the game. Tiny chapters with one round fights that can be completed in mere minutes for each character are just not worth it. Street Fighter games typically had a satisfactory Arcade Mode which handled the story but also gave replay value. Story Mode is here to make up for that in some small way.

Let’s just say that I was pleasantly surprised by the new mode at first, but ultimately came away somewhat underwhelmed. Street Fighter V’s story mode takes more of a leaf out of Mortal Kombat’s book than Guilty Gear Xrd’s, meaning there’s actually some gameplay within. They’re still one round matches though, that on the standard difficulty setting didn’t really give much of a challenge.

These are accompanied with fully animated in-engine cutscenes and are a far cry above the drab static images used elsewhere in the game. While the story is skippable, the production values in this are immense. Voice acting is available in both English and Japanese, with decent work done on both languages. Backgrounds vary per match, even incorporating some story events, which add very welcome details.


On top of that, the characters that are able to be controlled not only encompass the entire base roster, but all of the season one DLC characters. This includes unreleased characters Juri and Urien, giving players a taste of what’s to come when they’re moves are finalised. It’s a nice addition to have these “trial” runs at the characters before investing in the DLC with Fight Money/Real Money.

Another big thing that stands out is that you don’t just fight the main roster or DLC characters. Shadoloo Grunts, the “Dolls”, and even a cop that’s just one day from retirement are opponents with semi-fleshed out moves. The Dolls in particular take inspiration from Cammy with their movement, but have a unique weapon/skill that defines them.

However, this would all be for naught if the five act Story Mode was a cakewalk. Standard Difficulty is perhaps a little too simple, and I only died once throughout. Thankfully there is an extra difficulty mode which ramps up the challenge to mind-boggling levels, with occasionally cheap AI to overcome that we’re used to in fighting games.


Now here’s the million dollar question you’re probably asking: Does this make up for a lacklustre single player offering on release? In my opinion, it kind of does, but not especially well.

The thing is, despite the fact that this is single player content that’s more involved than the “Character Story Mode” or Survival Mode, it only lasts a certain amount of time. Mortal Kombat occasionally threw in multi-round matches, culminating in a final boss of some sort, but Street Fighter V Story Mode doesn’t vary, and that feels like a misstep. As such, what could have been a true epic, ends with a whimper.

Still, to quote the mistranslation of a former Capcom employee, “It’s better than nothing”.  There’s a lot of lore to unpack, some unique battles, and even some difficulty for those who feel that the standard settings are wimpy at best. It’s a free download too, though one you’ll need to grab from the PlayStation Store separately, so it’s probably worth a go. For me though, it was hyped up a tad too much with very little payoff.

  1. Temascos
    Since: Jan 2013

    In my opinion they should have delayed SF5 until this could be put into the disc, it would have resulted in a more positive reception to the game. At least its starting to look like a more recommended product, a good game that was far too bare bones on launch. Hopefully Capcom has learned their lesson and put in substance and content worth the money in their next few games.

    Comment posted on 05/07/2016 at 09:55.
  2. Bornindafire
    Since: Apr 2014

    Developers are still not ready for these Next gen consoles

    Comment posted on 05/07/2016 at 14:17.
    • The Lone Steven
      Never heard of him.
      Since: May 2010

      They are. It’s more of Capcom(the publisher) either being tied by their hands regarding the Street Fight tourny or them rushing it out to make a bit of cash and failing. Won’t be surprised if this is just an afterthought by them.

      Comment posted on 05/07/2016 at 17:13.
  3. netflixsecret
    Since: Jan 1970

    Gracias por darme la información útil. Creo que lo necesito! gmail iniciar sesion

    Comment posted on 22/07/2016 at 03:13.
Street Fighter V
  • Developer:Capcom, Dimps
  • Publisher:Capcom
  • Platforms:PS4, PC, Linux
  • Release Date:16/02/16