Whilst the beta for Street Fighter 5 has been around for a while, it has been relegated to just those who pre-ordered the game for PlayStation 4, so many who have wanted to get hands on have sadly been unable to. EGX was the chance I had to get full hands on with the game.
I managed to get a fair few local games in with a variety of players, all of different skill levels. The version PlayStation had on display had every character up to Vega available. As this was my first experience with the game, I stuck mainly to Ryu and Cammy to have a familiar base level in which to judge the game.
Street Fighter 5 has a very unique feel, its not really comparable to any other Street Fighter game that I've played. Its a far more offensive than Street Fighter 4, with most characters having a means of getting in close and even the more defensive characters such as Birdie aren't just encouraged to sit back waiting to punish the opponent. It doesn't have the huge focus on mix ups and pokes that I found in 3rd Strike.
The characters with charge moves such as Chun-Li seem to have drastically shorter charge times than those in Street Fighter 4. Also, there seems to be less of a focus on the importance of tactics like spacing and zoning and more on up close punishes and rushing the opponent down. There is just a lot of small changes to encourage people to be more offensive.
Whilst I only had a short time hands on with the game, I came away thoroughly impressed. Those fans turned off by the more technical aspects of Street Fighter 4 such as Focus Attack Dash Cancels (FADCs), 1 frame links etc will be happy to find that they have been done away with. That's not to say that the game has lost any form of complexity, it just seems to have lowered the execution barrier of games like Street Fighter 4 and Street Fighter 3rd Strike.
Street Fighter 5 seems to strike a perfect balance between making the Street Fighter formula more accessible to new players similar to Street Fighter 2 or the Alpha series and evolving the formula to appease seasoned Street Fighter fans. I only got an hour or so worth of matches so this is very much a first impressions.We'll be back with further info on Street Fighter 5, especially with putting some time in with the new fighters over the next few days.