It is currently underway (it was supposed to end yesterday, but has been extended until February 23, 2021) Guilty Gear Strive open beta, the long-awaited last chapter in the saga of Arc system works. By accessing it you can try 13 out of 15 characters available (there is only Anji Myth and the recently announced I do not) both in offline mode (vs CPU and Training) and in online mode against other players who have downloaded the beta for PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5. We tested the game for you and below you will find our opinion of what we saw.
Let’s take a step back for those of you who missed the flood of articles I wrote over the last year in Culprit mechanism. This saga of fighting games (born in 2D, but evolved to 2.5D) represents Arc System Works Master Series that from the beginning revolutionized the genre with its innovations. Guilty Gear X was the first to introduce high resolution 3D effects to increase the enjoyment of 2D fighting games and Guilty Gear Xrd was the first to push the use of cell shading to the limit to generate an absolutely stunning 2.5D.. Guilty Gear Strive promised from the first movies to go even further … Will it succeed? Let’s find out together.
Guilty Gear Strive Open Beta It does not include any information about the story, although it is clear that this will be very important. Not by chance on the official website, you can read webcomics and watch videos of that summarize and show what happened in the previous chapters of the saga. But for those who are already fans of it, it is possible to guess something from the short dialogue that opens the game’s tutorial. In it, Ky tells Sol that he is considered a hero after the crisis with the Universal Will and that, therefore, they must prepare to face “the Gear Maker”. The reference here is, of course, to “That Man”, Sol’s nemesis that he has been chasing since the beginning of the saga. Is it finally time for reckoning?
The overall vibe of the title, however, looks completely in line with what is seen in Guilty Gear Xrdeven if everything has been taken to the extreme. Loud hard rock music (complete with lyrics) resonates as two characters slam into each other at very high speed and light effects of all kinds, camera rotations, and full-screen writing fill the player’s attention. Guilty Gear Strive is an experience of pure adrenaline and frenzy not for the faint of heart., a fighting game that does not stop for a moment and is committed to filling every sense of perception involved. Arc System Works seems to have hit the mark again since this.
Heaven or hell …
At the beginning of the beta, having overcome the initial difficulties that forced Arc System Works to extend it until February 23 (let’s talk about it in conclusion), Immediately we will be invited to play a tutorial that, on paper, should explain the characteristics of the game.. This was the biggest disappointment of the beta version because basically this tutorial explains very little about how Guilty Gear Strive works and you will still need to switch to training mode or published guides his YouTube gives Arc System Works stessa to fully understand everything, especially if you are new to the genre and series.
Guilty Gear Strive’s controls are not in fact typical of fighting games and can be a bit confusing for players, especially those that may come from Street Fighter or Tekken. With the directional arrows you move (taking into account that most of the characters can jump back into the air or shoot forward and backward) while with 5 keys you perform the different attacks. 4 are the basic ones and by default they are: square for punches, cross for kicks, triangle for attacks with “fast, but less strong” weapons (called Slash) and round for attacks with “slow, but stronger” weapons (called Heavy Slash). Finally, there is a fifth fret which is the dust attack (by default R1). This can be used to grab, sweep, or throw the opponent into the air. In the latter case it is possible to follow him and prolong the combo by increasing the damage.
Then there are a series of special attacks, including counterattacks, special parries and most of all the Roman Cancel., a mechanic that allows you to cancel moves and moves to prolong your attacks. Finally, each character has its own list of special maneuvers that characterize its style, some of which work with their own game mechanics (see Nagoriyuki’s Bloodlust bar). In addition to the life bar (after which the round is lost), each player also has a tension bar that can be used to perform the strongest maneuvers (the aforementioned Roman Cancel, but also the Overdrive). On the other hand, the Instant Kill typical of the saga are missing for the moment and many wonder if they will be present or not in Guilty Gear Strive.
Most Guilty Gear Strive modes are locked in the open beta, but they look like typical Arc System Works games. In offline mode therefore we have the aforementioned ugly tutorial, training mode, and a mission mode. which will likely be a cross between a guided training with on-screen movements and a series of challenges, unique to each character, that require you to perform specific combinations or win matches with various modifiers. In the single player section it is also possible to see a story mode. (should be once again a long cinematic like in Guilty Gear Xrd), an Arcade mode and a Survival mode. Also noteworthy is the presence of a gallery and a glossary that will probably contain information on the entire saga.
Much of the pleasure of the Guilty Gear Strive open beta comes from playing online in 1vs1 mode. This is presented in all its power il rollback native netcode developed by Arc System Works, which makes playing online a simply perfect experience free from any kind of hassle. Throughout the duration of the beta, despite not having a huge data load from me, I never had the slightest problem playing online and all the games were very smooth., to the point that if I hadn’t been alone, I would have thought I’d have my opponent sitting next to me. A noteworthy job to say the least which already shows the very high potential in the esports sector for Guilty Gear Strive.
However, the highlight of Guilty Gear Strive is its art sector.. The characters and stage models are perfectly animated and full of detail. The lighting effects, above all, are impressive. Seeing the light from a stage reflect differently on the 2.5D based on where you are, seems like a trifle, but anyone with a bit of experience in the genre knows just how much this isn’t obvious. Playing Guilty Gear Strive is a bit like watching an interactive anime where it’s good to never get distracted Because between big screen writing, moving elements, explosions, and cameras spinning around the level, it’s very easy to lose sight of your opponent and suffer bitter defeat.
The soundtrack has always been the strong point of the Guilty Gear series and in the open beta, although there are very few tracks, each song is very nice. I’m talking about songs because each track present is also sung: Again, it seems like a small thing, but it is not a detail that is often seen in the genre.
Obviously, if one does not love hard-rock, the soundtrack is probably not the best, although this, however, goes perfectly with the soul of a video game series that is rock in the soul. Lastly, it should be noted that while the final game will feature a full Italian dubbing, for now the open beta is still in Japanese. (Fortunately menus and important dialogues have Italian subtitles).
Take the genre to the limit
Despite all the advantages listed so far, This Guilty Gear Strive open beta has unfortunately not started under the best auspices. During the early days, in fact, the game servers did nothing but crash continuously, making the de facto open beta unplayable for most aspiring players (this, in fact, is always connected to record match data). Fortunately, the situation seems to have normalized already on Saturday morning and the open beta has been extended until February 23 to make up for the lost days.
It should also be noted that these drawbacks are precisely the reasons why running an open beta is important. You don’t want similar problems to happen on the first day.
Beyond these line issues and a disappointing tutorial to say the least, Guilty Gear Strive’s open beta can only be promoted with great success. It is a very poor taste, it must be said, but performs its task, increasing the buzz in view of the official launch of the title, scheduled for April 9, 2021. While waiting for this fateful date, we enjoy these last days of online challenges, perhaps taking advantage of the game guides (which I have compiled and discussed in this article), while trying to keep expectations to a minimum to avoid being overwhelmed. It won’t be long.