FATAL FURY: City of the Wolves Preview – We’re So Back

    "C'mon, C'mon!"

    FATAL FURY is one of the most important fighting game series of all time. It’s the first fighting game that SNK ever created, with FATAL FURY: King of Fighters on Neo Geo. Of course, this inspired The King of Fighters series, which many recognize as one of the longest-running fighting game series ever. Without FATAL FURY, King of Fighters and each of the iconic fighting games from SNK would likely cease to exist.

    With the last series entry, Garou: Mark of the Wolves, arriving in 1999, it’s been almost 25 years since a new FATAL FURY title arrived. That changes in 2025, as FATAL FURY: City of the Wolves is set to make a major splash in the fighting game scene. After previewing the title this weekend at Summer Game Fest: Play Days, it’s safe to say that City of the Wolves is shaping up to be an exceptional game that I cannot wait to get my hands on.

    The preview build I was able to check out had five characters to choose from: Terry Bogard, Rock Howard, Preecha, Vox Reaper, and Marco Rodriguez. I spent time with each of the characters and came away equally impressed by all of them. Terry returns with his iconic Power Dunk, Burning Knuckle, and more. Newcomers Preecha and Vox Reaper are both extremely fun to play, with Preecha relying on strong kicks and the latter focusing on strong, karate-based attacks. 

    After selecting a character, you can set their Selective Potential Gear (S.P.G.) Bar to Accel, Flux, or Final. This system was formerly known as T.O.P. in the sixth mainline entry, Garou: Mark of the Wolves. Essentially, these each represent one-third of a character’s health bar. When your health bar falls into this range, certain effects and buffs kick in. Health starts to regenerate, and your attacks deal more damage. So, it’s important to strategize and determine where you need this most. 

    This S.P.G. bar works hand-in-hand with the all-new REV System, which can change the course of a fight immediately. You can utilize REV Arts, REV Accel, REC Blows, and REV Guards when the S.P.G. Bar is active. As you perform these REV actions, your REV Meter in the bottom left of the screen starts to build up. When it maxes, you’ll be forced into an Overheat stage. This means you won’t be able to use any more REV actions until the status goes away. Overheat is an excellent addition that makes every REV action matter, as too many can be costly.

    Of course, super moves are also present in FATAL FURY: City of the Wolves, now called Ignition Gears. Terry Bogard has both Power Geyser and Buster Wolf available, for example. One attack will cost one bar of the gauge, with a special Redline Gear attack possible when two bars are available. Finally, an ultimate ‘Hidden Gear’ attack is available for every character, but these attacks are only possible with two power gauge bars and S.P.G. active.

    In an effort to appeal to as many players as possible, City of the Wolves has two different control types available: Smart Style and Arcade Style. Smart Style follows recent trends in modern fighting games to include simplified inputs for new players. Instead of performing a traditional combo where you’ll need to utilize a range of motions of the D-Pad alongside button commands, you can simply press one button with a direction to activate an attack. This is extremely similar to Modern controls in Street Fighter 6 and Special Style in Tekken 8

    Make no mistake: FATAL FURY: City of the Wolves is an extremely technical game. While the new controls benefit new players and drop the learning curve, Arcade Style keeps the familiar inputs fans love and brings plenty of challenge with its combos. To truly learn and operate a character, Arcade Style is a must as you control every input. 

    fatal fury city of the wolves b jenet

    This amazing gameplay is complemented by gorgeous visuals that have such a unique blend of comic book and cel-shaded stylization. Each of the stages is vibrant and brimming with color, which allows each of the character’s flashy attacks to pop as particles fly across the screen. I’m pumped to see what other fighters will be available in the game at launch. Each of the five characters available in this preview demo was unique, and I expect that trend to continue as more fighters are revealed for this highly anticipated title.

    When the SNK team came over to tell me my time was up, I wished I could have sat and played another two hours. City of the Wolves is fun, fresh, and impressive, which is hard to do sometimes in such a packed genre. I’m excited for new SNK fans who might have only played The King of Fighters XV to try out this exciting new take on the company’s oldest fighting game series. It might have taken over 25 years, but FATAL FURY is back and shaping up to be better than ever. I cannot wait for 2025.

    For more on FATAL FURY: City of the Wolves, be sure to stay tuned for our exclusive interview with Yasuyuki Oda, Nobuyuki Kuroki, and Joshua Weatherford on the upcoming title. 

    Noah Hunter
    Noah Hunter
    Noah is Final Weapon’s Editor-in-Chief. He co-founded the website in June 2019 and has been writing for it ever since. In total, he has over five years of writing experience across many publications, including IGN Entertainment. His favorite series include Xeno and Final Fantasy.

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