Despite the utter glut of fighting games out there right now, the sad fact is that things are winding down for most of them. Games like Street Fighter V, Mortal Kombat 11, Tekken 7, and Dragon Ball FighterZ are reaching the end of their post-launch content roadmaps, which means we need some new blood out there soon.
Luckily, Arc System Works has been teasing its next big Guilty Gear game for a while now, and now we know when we’ll be able to play Guilty Gear Strive. The game will be available on April 9 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Steam. The Ultimate Edition and Deluxe Edition will be available digitally on April 6. The news was announced in this trailer:
Last weekend, Arc System Works held an event called ARCREVO in Japan, which included online tournaments based on some of their kickass fighting games like Under Night In-Birth and BlazBlue: Centralfiction. There was also a Guilty Gear panel that revealed quite a few new things about the upcoming sequel.
First off, we have a character trailer for the brand-new fighter Giovanna.
While her backstory remains a mystery, Giovanna’s fighting style appears to be a mix of taekwondo (her moves are very reminiscent of Kim Kaphwan from Fatal Fury/King of Fighters) and a spirit wolf companion that she can weaponize against her enemies. It ooks pretty rad to me.
The end of the trailer confirms that there will be a total of 15 characters at launch and the next trailer – for the 14th fighter – will be released on New Year’s Day. That trailer will be for Anji Mito, a returning character who has missed the last couple of installments.
As for the 15th spot? My money is on That Man, otherwise known as Asuka R. Kreutz. Only hinted at during the first Guilty Gear game way back when, That Man has been a cryptic force hiding in the shadows ever since. While he appeared as an unbeatable boss character in the adventure game Guilty Gear 2: Overture, he’s otherwise only appeared in cutscenes, usually hooded or shrouded in darkness. He finally unmasked at the end of Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2, where he and Sol Badguy set the stage for their final battle.
There are other things of note here outside of the neat gameplay showcase (seriously, those visuals look so good). This game will have a story mode, much like the different editions of Guilty Gear Xrd. Guilty Gear’s story modes these days are a bit different from the usual cinematic narratives you’d see in Injustice or Street Fighter V. Instead of lengthy cutscenes broken up by gameplay, it’s just lengthy cutscenes. It’s less of a “fighting game story mode” and more like binging a season of an anime using in-game graphics.
Speaking of story mode, the Arc System Works YouTube channel has started posting chapters of the Guilty Gear Xrd story mode in daily installments. A good way for players to catch up to what’s going on in Guilty Gear Strive…as long as they can follow what’s going on.
Also, there are a couple clips of Daisuke Ishiwatari and his band rocking out. For instance, here’s them performing the game’s theme song, “Smell of the Game.”
The Deluxe Edition includes Season Pass 1 DLC, which comes with five more characters, additional color palettes, two more stages, and some extra story mode installments. The Ultimate Edition has that, as well as the soundtrack, digital art book, and special color schemes for Ky Kiske and Sol Badguy.
Welp. Time to wait out the next six months.