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4 new features that could define and advance the next generation of fighting games

Some smaller devs are already working on big ideas to shape the future of the genre

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • May 9, 2021 at 8:07 p.m. PDT • Comments: 15

The current generation of the fighting game community has provided the community with a plethora of strong titles to choose from like Tekken 7, Street Fighter 5, Mortal Kombat X/11 and so many more, but the way players interact with them haven't really changed from the Street Fighter 4 days.

With the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X ringing in the start of the next console generation, we've put together a breakdown of new features that could elevate future fighting games now that developers have access to stronger hardware and applying lessons learned from current titles.

Some of the modes and features technically already exist in one or more fighters, but they either don't really work or could be made so much better with further iterations and more functionality.

Full cross-platform play support could have made the list here though it's something developers are actively exploring now and one we assume will become the standard / expectation in the near future.

A lot of what we've put together are more intelligent ways to meaningfully interact with other players online or learn better from the game itself.

Let's start things off with one of those teaching tools that could be a real game changer.

Personalized tips and advice

Tekken 7 has already attempted this idea in their Season 3 updates with the My Replay & Tips feature, and it's a super smart move that more devs need to adapt and expand upon to help players improve their gameplay.

Currently, Tekken's first iteration allows users to watch their recent online or offline replays which the game will stop at certain moments to point out missed punish opportunities and recommended sample combos though it could be taken so much further.

We already know modern fighters log and record every action we perform, so why not use that data to help create more detailed and useful breakdowns.

If I'm losing 70 percent of the matches I start by throwing a fireball, tell me that and show suggestions for proper spacing to more safely toss them out.

If my meaty timing is consistently off, maybe offer some special training to help get the rhythm down.

Tekken 7's already got a great idea. Let's make it work even better next time.

Playable replays

In a similar vein to the previous feature, introducing the ability to interact and physically take control of replays may prove to be one of the best teaching tools we could ask for.

This is something that was recently introduced in Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R's newest updates thanks to the smart work of Team French CaliBurst.

Players can pause a replay at any point to temporarily take control of their character to freely to experiment with anything they may have seen during the match.

In pivotal moments, you could take a setup you got hit by that you don't know how to block or punish, and playing it over in a replay would easily allow for figuring out how to do so the next time you see it.

Currently, a player needs to remember that setup, take it into training mode and manually punch it all in themselves, but if they can't physically perform the inputs, then I guess they're stuck with fighting it out in their minds.

AI ghosts

We can only be in one place at a time, which severly limits who, when and where we are able to play against other people, but it doesn't necessarily need to be that way.

With the improvements made to crafting artificial intelligence in video games these past few years, developers could create ghosts that anyone could fight at any point built from match data.

Samurai Shodown did attempt to get ahead of the game with that feature, but those who have tried it in that know it doesn't really work at all.

Nothing will ever replace playing against another person in real time, but a computer that has all of the mannerisms, strengths and weaknesses of a particular person would be a great way to learn approaches and tendencies.

Imagine being able to fight the ghost of BST|Daigo Umehara or RB|Arslan Ash no matter where you are in the world to test your mettle and see how you stack up against the best the game has to offer.

Shareable combo trials

Combo trials are everywhere in fighting games now, but often times they aren't optimal to use in actual matches. Plus, once you clear them all, that's all there is.

If players could craft and send their own trials to others, however, they could easily share tech discoveries with the world.

Instead of seeing a particular combo route or setup on Twitter / YouTube and trying to recreate it in the game, users would be able to simply load a trial to learn what to do.

Them's Fightin' Herds smartly included this feature by sharing files on PC, but it'd be great to see that function available without needing to leave the game itself.

I don't really expect many fighting games this generation incorporating all of this tech though the FGC would be a lot better off if they did.

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