Street Fighter 6 may feature thrilling 1v1 fights, but one of its most exciting features is its World Tour mode. This single-player sandbox story mode is a dramatic shift in what the series has offered, and players recently got to sample a small slice in a recent demo. On a trip to Capcom’s U.S. headquarters in San Francisco, I ventured beyond the demo for a more comprehensive look at what World Tour has to offer.
World Tour gives players robust tools to craft a custom fighter, then take them to the streets of Metro City and other locations on a journey to create the ultimate world warrior. The demo stopped at the end of Chapter 1, but I was allowed to play up to the beginning of Chapter 3.
Upon starting my adventure, I’m tickled by World Tour’s almost Like a Dragon-esque absurdity. Nearly every citizen, be it an office worker, school student, or even a shop vendor, can be challenged to fights (which the game seamlessly transitions to without load screens) to gain XP and other rewards. Other times, silly hoodlums such as the Mad Gear Gang from Final Fight targeted me, and I picked fights with Roomba-like robots and other non-human combatants. World Tour doesn’t take itself seriously in the slightest, and it’s better for it.
Though some areas were inaccessible for my preview, Metro City seems larger and denser with detail than I expected. Don’t expect a massive space; what I played feels closer to exploring an average-sized chunk of Like a Dragon’s Kamaroucho in scale. Metro City has several main streets, hidden alleyways, and even explorable rooftops accessible by ladders. While most of the NPCs aren’t anything to write home about, the world looks pretty nice, which is impressive given that this is ultimately a side dish to Street Fighter 6’s main offerings.
Improving my skills involves becoming a student of the main characters. Those who played the demo began under Luke’s tutelage, allowing them to adopt his moveset, including special attacks. Chapter 2 tasks me with seeking out Chun-Li to study under. I find the legendary warrior surrounded by her students, pupils that she challenges me to defeat in combat before she can agree to train me. I wipe the floor with her disciples, who are kind enough to lay out additional tutorials in response to my punching them in the face. I also played a fun minigame where I had to break wooden boards held by four fighters standing on each other’s shoulders. Minigames like these appear to offer additional methods of earning Zenny.
With the task complete, Chun-Li welcomes me to her school, and I acquire her Kikoken and Spinning Bird Kick attacks for my own. Studying under new masters gives you more movesets and special moves to mix and match, and your proficiency increases as you use them. Completing missions for your teacher raises your bond with them, and you’ll learn more personal stories about them over time. You can also bring them gifts purchased from vendors alongside consumables such as health and stat-boosting items you can use during fights.
Additionally, you can use a character’s signature move for exploration. I utilized Spinning Bird Kicks to shatter physical obstacles like barrels, crates, and signs to clear paths and uncover hidden areas. Exploring thoroughly is encouraged as World Tour has plenty of rewards, secrets, cameos, and amusing oddities littered amongst its streets. At one point, I climb to a rooftop and encounter a ridiculous-looking Capcom-themed superhero named The Watcher, who lectures me about the true meaning of fighting for justice (and rewards my attention by giving me a tasty energy drink). At a street corner, I challenged and defeated a Chun-Li cosplayer named Chuli and obtained red dye to customize my outfits. Collecting clothing from chests or defeated opponents or buying them in stores raises your character’s stats RPG-style. It feels strange to worry about what beanie to wear so that my avatar can punch a little better in a fighting game, but I’m always up for playing goofy dress-up.
Next, Chun-Li asks that I speak to Li-Fen, a promising tech-savvy pupil who may be too consumed with her computer hacking to focus entirely on fighting. Li-Fen assigns me the job of taking down members of the Canary Crate gang, a local band of violent buffoons who wear cardboard boxes on their heads. They’re not far from me and are easy to spot, but as I approach, they attempt to take cheap shots by throwing roundhouse kicks and punches as I pass. Nailing preemptive hits like this provides an advantage in the resulting fight, which I take advantage of by drilling a baddie with a Spinning Bird Kick.
World Tour feels like a fun diversion from Street Fighter 6’s main offerings that leverages its characters and universe in a cool way. I’m curious to see how it evolves; does every teacher feature unique missions for earning a place in their school? How many familiar faces and easter eggs await? How does this adventure factor into Street Fighter 6’s other plot threads? I still have some questions but so far, World Tour is scratching an itch I’ve had for an open-world fighting game story since finishing Mortal Kombat: Deception’s Konquest mode nearly 20 years ago, and I’m excited to take my fighter on what’s shaping up to be an absurdly goofy adventure.