One of the sad facts of 2020 has been game delays, and one of the hardest to bear has been the delay of Guilty Gear Strive. After we were able to go hands-on with the beta what seems like an age ago, we’ve been waiting with bated breath for more details of the game, which is now set to launch in April 2021. Arc System Works has been happy to oblige then with a seasonal treat of a brand new trailer that showcases Anji Mito’s new look and fighting style.
Fan-favourite Anji Mito is the 14th character to be announced for Guilty Gear Strive. Anji is one of the last few surviving people from Japan. He can be impetuous and hot-blooded, acting on his intuition rather than thinking things through. It’s easy to recognise his actions as direct and lacking foresight, but he isn’t an optimist, he just isn’t very careful. Although he doesn’t go out of his way to preach his sense of justice to others, he openly shows his dislike for anything he considers strange or unfair.
We came away impressed by the incredible new visuals in the closed beta, and at the time we were most worried by the game launching too close to the new generation of consoles. That danger has been removed, not entirely intentionally, and it’s new release date should give it the chance to shine that it deserves.
The biggest change to the Guilty Gear formula is to Gatlings, which are the series’ combo system. Previous games stressed the importance of chaining attacks together from cancelling normal attacks, but Strive seems to have de-emphasised this, limiting the potential of Punch and Kick as starting points and removing much of the fluidity that Guilty Gear was known for.
It feels as though there are going to be more ‘canned’ combos, similar to other recent fighting games like MK11, and less opportunity to find your own. On first impressions, the accessibility of the Gatling system has actually been dialled down, making the current build tougher on newcomers, and less freeform for vets. A tough sell to both parties. That said, there’s been lots of time since the closed beta for changes to have been made, and we’re quietly confident that Arc System Works will turn out another incredible fighter.
Guilty Gear Strive will launch on the 9th of April, 2021, for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and PC.