Arc System Works showed up in a major way back at EVO 2019.
Besides revealing new DLC characters/updated mechanics for BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle and a retooled series entry in the form of Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[cl-r], the Japanese fighting game development studio revealed something major. The massive announcement came from none other than designer Daisuke Ishiwatari, who let the viewing audience in the crowd and at home know that a new Guilty Gear was in development. Sol Badguy, Ky Kiske, and much of the anime fighter’s recognizable cast are returning for another round of metal-infused battles.
Before Guilty Gear -Strive- drops and blows everyone’s minds, let’s take a sneak peek at what this visually striking 2D fighter has to offer.
Guilty Gear -Strive- Release Date & Playable Platforms
Guilty Gear -Strive- will be available on June 11, 2021, for PS5, PS4, and PC via the Standard Edition. The Early Access portion of the game becomes playable on June 8, 2021, through the Deluxe and Ultimate Editions.
Guilty Gear -Strive- Reveal Trailer
Guilty Gear -Strive- features a fully animated story mode that places Sol Badguy at the center of its final conflict. Players will be able to watch the grand plot unfold without having to participate in any fights.
Guilty Gear -Strive- will release with a launch roster of 15 characters. That starting lineup will feature a mixture of returning combatants and brand new roster members. The new characters revealed thus far include Nagoriyuki and Giovanna. Longtime fans can look forward to the game’s roster expanding over time thanks to the inclusion of five additional DLC characters, who can be bought separately or as a group courtesy of the season pass. The season pass will also come with five colors for each new character, two additional battle stages, and an extra story scenario.
As for the fighters making their return to this new series entry, check out the list posted below:
• Anji Mito
• Axl Low
• Chipp Zanuff
• Ky Kiske
• Leo Whitefang
• Millia Rage
• Ramlethal Valentine
• Sol Badguy
Guilty Gear -Strive- is being described by the development team working on it as “a complete reconstruction of the franchise” that should appeal to series beginners and veterans. The phrases “full-frontal confrontation with the essence of the fighting game genre” and “high-risk move” have also been applied to this brand new entry within the visually striking, metal music-infused anime fighting game series.
Guilty Gear -Strive- looks even stronger than previous franchise entries and debuts new looks for existing characters as well. One of the game’s main aspects that has gotten a hugely positive response from fighting game pros is the implementation of rollback netcode for its online multiplayer mode suite. And American fans will be happy to know that the game will feature both a Japanese and English voice dub for the entire cast.
On the gameplay front, Guilty Gear -Strive- is bringing back its traditional button layout with a new button dedicated solely to dashing (L3). Forward + Forward can still be used to perform a dash, however. Legacy mechanics, such as the Tension Gauge, R.I.S.C. Gauge, Faultless Defense, and Bursts, make their welcome return. Throws have gotten a slight change in their execution – instead of landing like a normal attack, throws are capable of whiffing out of range just like any other attack.
Roman Cancels have also been altered – once activated, the screen will freeze for a split second, transition into a quick slow-mo mode, and give the player that activated it the chance to extend their current combo. Speaking of combos, the game’s Gatling system has also been changed in a major way – weak attacks can no longer be canceled into heavy attacks. Weak attacks can now be followed up by command normal/special moves.
Dust Attacks have been revised in two major ways. Players will no longer be able to shove the character all the way to the other side of the screen directly after a Dust Attack. And the signature air launching mechanic that came after Dust Attacks can only be done now after landing a Counter Hit. Landing a Dust Attack in the middle of a combo will only result in the opponent being knocked back. One way in which Dust Attacks remain the same is that they can still land as an instant overhead.
Guilty Gear -Strive-‘s newest mechanic employs the use of a wall-stick state. Whenever a character gets slammed into the corner of a stage and stuck in the air, the opposing player can continue attacking them and knock them onto another portion of the stage. This moment leads right into a pretty cool stage transition animation. The player that successfully pulls off this mechanic gets a huge Tension Gauge boost or a big damage increase to their combo. Another positive aspect that comes with landing a successful wall-stick state attack is a character-specific status effect, such as Sol getting stronger normal attacks for a limited time.
Status effects have been implemented in a manner similar to the way they were utilized in Persona 4 Arena. For example, Ky’s lightning-based offense can put an opponent into a “shocked” state. This status effect helps Ky build his R.I.S.C. meter much faster. Landing a counter hit now activates a huge visual trick that brings the actual word “COUNTER” onscreen, which leads to the action slowing down for a split second and giving players the chance to pull off an even flashier follow-up combo.
Chip damage is being included, but this mechanic can’t be used to kill opponents. Sweeps make their return, which can be used in the middle of a combo, and “bounce” an opponent on counter hit for a longer combo. If the player doesn’t follow up that bounced opponent state with an attack, the opponent will immediately be placed into a knockdown state.
Guilty Gear -Strive- is up for pre-order (right here) via the physical Standard Edition and Digital Deluxe & Ultimate Editions. Early purchases of any version of the game come with special colors for Sol and Ky that swaps their signature colors between them and even changes the color of their flame- & lightning-based attacks. The Digital Deluxe Edition comes with the game’s season pass. And as for the digital Ultimate Edition, that version of the game comes with the season pass, the digital soundtrack & extra artworks, and Ultimate Edition special colors for the entire roster.