Street Fighter V wasn’t always the stylized fighter it’s known for today. The newly released arcade fighting game was originally conceived as a game with photorealistic graphics quite unlike any of the game’s previous iterations, which have always been highly stylized with anime-influenced art direction.
Speaking in an interview with Game Spark and translated by FGC community site EventHubs, the game’s producer Koichi Sugiyama said that at the beginning of the project, Street Fighter V was planned to offer lifelike visuals. This idea was soon scrapped as the developers didn’t really like it.
“In the very early stages of development, we actually put together a build of Street Fighter V that was rendered in photorealistic graphics,” he said. “But when we did, we realized that it just wouldn’t be Street Fighter without the bold, anime-esque look and feel to the game, so we decided to shelve the whole photorealism idea altogether.”
“This time around we were working with Unreal Engine 4, which is known for being particularly good at rendering photorealistic visuals, we had to work really hard to try and recreate that same anime-esque look for the game,” added the developer. “So once again we did a lot of experiments, before finally settling on adding ‘oil painting-esque touches.'”
Capcom revealed some of the early concept artwork they had for the game, including a work-in-progress screenshot of Ryu in action and some early character designs.
Sugiyama said of Ryu: “At this point in time, Ryu had just gotten back from training in seclusion in the mountains, so he’s grown a beard and is covered with all these cuts and bruises. The idea to make a ‘Hot Ryu’ battle costume came from this photorealistic build of Street Fighter V.”
The game is out on the PC and PlayStation 4. Be sure to check out our “Before You Buy” video to decide if it’s worth getting. It was recently patched to fix some of its matchmaking problems, although rage-quitting is still an issue.