Guilty Gear Strive | Preview from the closed beta

Guilty Gear Strive | Preview from the closed beta

When it comes to Guilty Gear, every fighting game enthusiast can do nothing but snap to attention, since it is a brand that over the years has well preserved its peculiar identity of an old-fashioned canon, made up of two-dimensional mechanics and a very high style of drawings. level. Well, with this new Guilty Gear Strive the creature of Arc System Works seeks that evolution that has interested other "colleagues" of the same genre, without betraying the tradition of this anime-fighter.

These days yes the closed beta for the netcode test has ended, a test with a very small number of participants from the press and influencers sectors and we could not miss the appeal for what promises to be the first true next-gen fighting game.

Guilty Gear Strive, the next gen hits hard on a great classic

From the first impressions of playing Guilty Gear Strive, it seems that this fourth installment of the series created by Arc System Works manages to carry a lot of luggage. from recent productions such as Dragon Ball FighterZ - with which it shares the impeccable anime style - and the technical spirit of the good 2D fighting game that we have known over the years, trying in this new episode to embrace an even more significant audience.

Let's see how.

First of all, by starting the beta we immediately jumped into training mode. This is because, (preserving us from certain fools), it allows us to become familiar with the new mechanics offered by the game. The training goes well with the section dedicated to the list of moves, which presents the repertoire of each fighter in the best possible way and thanks to the short related videos, making it more than sufficient for the first fights. Furthermore, in addition to being able to master your fighter well, this mode will help you a lot in studying the weaknesses of a particular opponent.

To complete the Guilty Gear Strive "school of struggle", in all probability, the Mission mode will take care of it, visible in the main menu, but still not accessible. In the past, this section has always introduced the player to the futuristic and dystopian history of Guilty Gears, characterized by energy crises, wars and the very powerful and very bad Gears ... but also accustomed the user to a growing and calibrated difficulty in the clashes, which we hope to find again also in this fourth chapter.

So, knowing the proverbial difficulty of the saga, everything bodes well for a flexible approach even for the most novice. With the training and the first online battles we immediately realized that from the point of view of the combat system we are facing a completely new game.

Online too good to be true

Before to talk to you in depth about the combat system, we want to dwell on the focus of this closed beta, or the online mode. Breaking the delay and premising that it is only a test of a non-definitive version, we immediately tell you that Arc System Works has developed one of the best netcodes ever seen in a fighting game.

The beta in analysis has welcomed a small number of players, however, being also forced to clash with users from all over the globe to bring us home a fair number of matches, the gaming experience has always been impeccable. And wanting to exaggerate, there was almost the sensation of playing locally. A truly exceptional job, which shows some small limit (completely negligible) if our fight has an opponent Overseas or in Japan.

After a first fight, the game places us in a sort of plan system, which does not allow us to go under the assigned floor, but to be able to compete in ours or on the upper floors by focusing on the basic rule of every good fighting game: if you want to become stronger, you must defeat someone stronger than you, thus respecting a good ranking already with this premise. Each floor can be explored by moving our avatar in pixel art, with a system of contact with other players that seems captivating, but which has proved to be impractical in the most practical sense. Specifically, the poses aimed at declaring their readiness to fight, their static nature and some imperfections of the lobbies always linked to the avatar models, makes the matching experience less immediate than it could be.

Complete the online experience a completely free lobby where it is possible to meet - and therefore challenge - opponents of any level, as long as it does not affect the ranking system with the accumulated wins or losses.

A Completely new combat system

Guilty Gear Strive could represent the keystone of this historic series, perhaps too long anchored to its original concept. In this fourth chapter Arc System has managed to make the classic combat system of the series usable and palatable to all, introducing mechanics that are simple to perform, but still complex to master properly, to the delight of the most hardcore players. In both cases, speed plays a decisive role.

In fact, the pace of the game is very frenetic, the swapped shots allow for combos with fairly modest hits - on average 5/6 hits for each sequence - with a faster pace, which requires a good dose of reflexes and mastery of your player's moves. So, forget about the long sequences and combo scenes known in Dragon Ball FighterZ. A peculiarity of the new control system is the dilation of the execution times of a shot: the development team, while leaving the game formula unchanged, each move performed has a much longer time which implies a reasoned study of the times related to the attack and counterattack. On the contrary, the slow motion effects seem decisive for this purpose.

Among the main techniques introduced, the Roman Cancel is the master, an action that allows you to suspend your attack, launch a wave of bump and slow down your opponent's movement. It can be performed to strengthen attacks or use it in defense to resist enemy attacks. Psych Burst, on the other hand, is a great counterattack system when you have been literally stunned by a particularly powerful blow or if you find yourself in the corner. Obviously, it cannot always be used: Psych Burst takes some time to be available again.

The saga has always accustomed us to a very appreciated graphic quality of two-dimensional models, but with this fourth chapter it was decided to really go big. The characters, as always, are excellently characterized, the anime style also used in the previous Dragon Ball FighterZ production is revived here too, reaching a technical level and peaks such as to make Guilty Gear's fighting game look like an authentic anime series. The evolution of a technical combat system like that of Guilty Gear and the visual ostentation of this work, lead to the desire to deliver the first true next gen fighting game to users.

The game has 15 playable characters at launch, plus five more that will be added as DLC in retrospect through the first Season Pass which adds a story continuum, two stages, and different colors for some characters.

Curious to see how such an evolution could come from a a brand that has not enjoyed the same presence on the market as its well-known rivals, as happened with Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, but perhaps this stagnation has helped to mark a change that fans have been waiting for a long time.


Guilty Gear Strive promises really well, trying to conquer an audience of players as wide as possible, made up of hardcore players and newbies. The only training mode available during the closed beta allowed us to understand the approach developed by the developers to administer the new combat system, a system that manages to perfectly blend classic mechanics and evolution thanks to extended execution times. , combo with short sequences, but which imply a really refined timing.

The netcode seemed to us practically perfect, with practically no lag and a particularly balanced ranking and matching system. We have some doubts about the interactions in the exploration of the lobbies, but from here to the exit there could still be some news on this. To learn more about the narrative plot that will once again see the threat of the Gears beings advance, we strongly recommend that you read the comics made available on the official website.

Guilty Gears Strive bodes really well for those looking for a new fighting game that starts to stand out from other big names, conquering all lovers of the genre.

Guilty Gear Strive will be launched on April 9, 2021 for PS4, PS5 and for PC on the Steam platform.

You can already pre-order Guilty Gear Strive on Amazon for PS4 and for PS5

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