A lot of information about Street Fighter 6 was recently revealed by Capcom. Some of the key new mechanics introduced in Street Fighter 6 will have players managing how they use the Drive Gauge system.
During a recent interview with IGN Japan, Street Fighter 6 director Takayuki Nakayama spoke briefly about how the developers came up with the Drive Gauge system. Once again we have our very own Nicholas ‘MajinTenshinhan’ Taylor to thank for translating all the juicy parts of the interview.
“This drive gauge is the new element for the fighting part of Street Fighter 6,” said Nakayama. “It started with the idea of having an easy way to use gauges to unleash powerful offensive or defensive mechanics.”
As Nakayama says, the Drive Gauge can be used for both offensive and defensive applications. Although the gauge constantly regenerates itself when no attacks are blocked, players must carefully manage their gauge as they can only store a maximum of six bars.
The Drive Impact works very similarly to Street Fighter 4’s Focus Attack and costs one bar. This attack absorbs incoming attacks and can cause wall crumple or spatter depending on the situation. The Drive Impact in particular is particularly effective when the opponent has been cornered.
The Drive Parry is clearly inspired by Street Fighter 3’s Parry mechanic. Using Drive Parry initially consumes half a bar of Drive Gauge, but the effect can be sustained even longer at the cost of more Drive Gauge. Successfully parrying attacks refunds the user some Drive Gauge.
“Actually, they resembled Parry and Focus Attack from previous titles.
— Takayuki Nakayama, Street Fighter 6 director
Timing a Drive Parry with precise timing results in a Perfect Parry that freezes everything momentarily to give the parrying player more time to react to the situation. It’s important to remember that a perfect parry can never happen against projectile attacks.
For the cost of two Drive Gauge bars, a specialty move can be upgraded to an Overdrive art by entering two buttons of the same type instead of one. Of course, this is reminiscent of the EX special system from numerous other Street Fighter titles.
The Drive Rush can be triggered by a Drive Parry or a normal attack. Using the Drive Rush from a Drive Parry only inflicts one bar of Drive Gauge, but doing so from a normal one will increase the cost to three. Although its uses are a bit more limited in comparison, Drive Rush is very reminiscent of Focus Attack Dash Cancels from Street Fighter 4.
Finally, there’s the Drive Reversal mechanic, which can be triggered as a counterattack after blocking an attack for two bars of Drive Gauge. This is basically the Alpha Counter mechanic from the Street Fighter Alpha series, or the V-Reversal for those who have only played the modern Street Fighter entry like Street Fighter 5.
Obviously, the Drive Gauge system takes a number of mechanics from previous Street Fighter games and applies them to Street Fighter 6. What’s interesting about all of this, though, is that the developers didn’t originally intend to design the Drive Gauge with the idea of rethinking these mechanics in such a way.
“In fact, they only resembled Parry and Focus Attack from previous titles, and we went through a lot of trial and error to get to this point,” Nakayama continued during the interview with IGN Japan. “We didn’t go in there with the thought, ‘Let’s bring back these old mechanics’ at all.”