Street Fighter V: “We can rebuild him. We have the technology…”

It may be its technical proficiency as a competitive fighter for which its hardcore fans love the Street Fighter series, but it’s not necessarily that which made it popular in the first place. A large part of Street Fighter’s success has to be attributed to its cast of colourful, iconic characters. It was that diverse roster composed of the likes of Ryu, Dhalsim, Blanka and Chun-Li which captured the imagination of a generation when Street Fighter II took the world by storm. There may well be other elements of Street Fighter that people have come to love as the series has evolved, but that connection with its eccentric characters remains.

With that in mind, a new character reveal for Street Fighter V is no insignificant thing. We were introduced to the game via series stalwarts Ryu and Chun-Li, but we’ve now been introduced to another character. He’s one that those familiar with Street Fighter lore might be surprised to see: Charlie Nash. And why should we be surprised to see him? Because Charlie is meant to be dead.  How do we explain Charlie’s appearance in Street Fighter V, then? Well, it’s quite clear that somebody has patched Charlie back together, stitching him back up in Frankenstein fashion. What we’re saying is that Charlie is now some kind of zombie. With that new glowy eye in his head, we’re tempted to say he might even be a cyborg zombie. Fancy that. Our guess is that Bison is responsible for this and now controls Charlie, using him to carry out his deeds, but we’ll have to wait to find out more on that one.
Of course, every new character reveal also gives us an opportunity to try and glean something about what new mechanics might be introduced in Street Fighter V. On that note, Charlie’s new teleportation ability points to some interesting possibilities. Charlie seems to be able to teleport in front of an opponent, behind them, or into the air, offering up a range of potential in how he attacks his opponent. More intriguing, however, is the fact that Charlie seems to use his teleportation ability as a way of cancelling out of moves to give one example, he fires off a slow Sonic Boom and then cancels out of the animation, teleporting behind his foe. It’s reasonable to assume that this costs meter, but what’s less clear is whether this is a mechanic that’s universal, or that’s particular to Charlie. We’ve seen Ryu and Chun-Li powering up in some fashion in previous gameplay trailers and it’s not unfeasible that in this state, each character has unique abilities, though it’s equally possible that the characters all gain the same advantages when moving into this powered-up state. We’re going to have to wait until we see some more of Street Fighter V to be sure.

Outside of the specifics, it’s hard not to be positive about Street Fighter V on a more general level. Despite being very early on in development, Capcom has been confident enough to show off a full match at the Capcom Cup, in front of pros and the most hardcore fighting game fans. That it is prepared to show the game in a situation where it is going to come under the utmost scrutiny shows that it is assured in what it is doing with Street Fighter V. And why shouldn’t it be? The series has been consistently great (save for one or two missteps), so there’s good reason to be optimistic about where Street Fighter V will be when 2016 rolls around and the game hits PS4.

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