As has been made clear from early announcements surrounding Street Fighter 6, Capcom is designing the game with a surprising new creative direction. Visual are immediately recognizable as dramatically changed, not just stylistically but with familiar Street Fighter characters getting substantial redesigns, too. As dramatic as Street Fighter 6's visuals have changed from past games, the audio is even more of a departure. That idea is shown in the latest Street Fighter 6 reveal, which features Guile's new theme music.
Just seeing the words "Guile's theme" should conjure the song in Street Fighter fans' minds. It's one of the Street Fighter franchise's most iconic music tracks. It's been virally associated with the "Guile's Theme Goes With Everything" meme for over a decade, never mind being associated with patriotic American memes and fighting in general. So Street Fighter fans listening to the song will immediately recognize that Guile's Street Fighter 6 music is absolutely nothing like the original.
Guile's new theme, titled "Sharpened Sonic," is similar to much of Street Fighter 6's previously released music. It's electronic, mixing various samples to create a funky, upbeat track that is questionably associated with the character it's supposed to represent. Where Ryu's Street Fighter 6 theme song was also met with some confusion, Guile's theme change could trend into more controversial territory given just how dramatic of a departure it is.
Both Street Fighter 4 and Street Fighter 5's versions of the Guile theme song have taken their liberties with the song before, but have kept large portions of the music largely the same. That main Guile melody, specifically, pops up in both. Street Fighter 6 is easily the greatest divergence from Guile's traditional theme since it debuted in Street Fighter 2.
In all fairness to Capcom, the Guile from Street Fighter 6 is not necessarily the same Guile from Street Fighter 2. While his moveset may be similar, he's left behind his camouflage pants and tank top in favor of blue overalls and a gray hoodie. He still has his iconic flattop haircut, but it's now paired with a goatee. Capcom's even teased that, with Shadaloo defeated and Charlie avenged, Guile has settled down and become a family man.
Capcom has clearly decided that it won't be restrained by past Street Fighter design, even in areas that are incredibly popular. It's a bold decision to differentiate Street Fighter 6 from its predecessors. Whether that marks Street Fighter 6 as the start of a new era of Street Fighter, or a departure that's gone a step too far will only be decided when it launches next year.
Street fighter 6 releases in 2023 on PC, PS4, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S.
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