It's been a long time coming, but Street Fighter V is almost here.

It's easy to forget that it's been years since the last entirely new entry in Capcom's long-running fighting franchise: while there were plenty of different editions, Street Fighter IV originally launched back in 2008. Basically, fighting game fans have been playing the same game for upwards of seven years.

Of course, the new Roman numeral isn't the only thing new about Street Fighter V. Capcom has changed a lot of what made the series so popular in the first place — while Street Fighter IV was built as a return to the classic fighting games of the arcade, Street Fighter V is aiming to be an evolution of those concepts.

As with any fighting game, it all starts with the characters — and Street Fighter V is no exception. With the game just a few weeks away from release, Capcom is introducing players to both new and old characters before launch. With Ken already taken care of, Capcom is moving on to three new characters, starting with an old standby:

As with Ken, Zangief has changed quite a bit since Street Fighter IV. The Red Cyclone is still all about getting in close and tossing your opponents around, but his V-Skill should help him deal with fireball spammers a bit more easily. In past games, Zangief was typically at a disadvantage — but that doesn't seem to be the case in Street Fighter V.

Following Zangief, Capcom is bringing back one particular fighter from a game that many fans may have missed out on:

Nash, once known as Charlie, serves as a replacement for Guile in Street Fighter V. That being said, he's far from a clone: while the two characters may share a move or two in common, Nash's penchant for teleporting and absorbing projectiles makes him a distinctly different fighter from his inspiration. Nash also has an incredible combo repertoire at his disposal — if you like applying pressure, look no further.

Finally, Capcom has detailed the most brutal character of the game's new lineup:

With Necalli, what you see is what you get: he's an absolutely vicious character, able to crush opponents if he manages to get in close. His V-Trigger both boosts his agility and combo potential, and anyone caught in a corner probably won't be conscious for very long. Without a proper fireball, he likely won't be able to do much at long range — otherwise, Necalli is a wrecking ball of a character.

At this rate, gamers will be fighting with Capcom's new roster of fighters in no time: Street Fighter V is due out on Feb. 16.

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