Mankind knew that they cannot change society. So instead of reflecting on themselves, they blamed the Beasts.Tagline
Guilty Gear -Strive- is the eighth mainline installment and overall its twenty-fifth release in the Guilty Gear series, and is intended to be a beginner-friendly "complete reconstruction" of the franchise.
Announced at Evo 2019, the game was released worldwide for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and Steam on June 11, 2021, whereas the arcade version was released on July 29, 2021, and distributed via Sega Interactive's ALL.Net P-ras MULTI Version 3.
Guilty Gear -Strive- features three main modes: Offline Mode (which encompasses Arcade, Versus and Survival Modes, with a Dojo sub-menu that includes the Tutorial, Mission and Training Modes), Network Mode (Online Match, Ranking, and Quick Start), and Story Mode (Play Story and GG World). Other options include Profile, Collection (which encompasses Replay, Gallery, and Fishing Modes), Settings, Store, and Title. A number of achievements can be earned by the player as well.
The game retains the traditional five-button layout but adds Dash, although it still allows players to dash with the traditional input. In terms of mechanics, Tension and Negative Penalty, Faultless Defense, Throws ( + ) and Throw Breaks, Instant Block, Overdrive Attacks, revised Roman Cancels ( + + ), Psych Bursts (any attack button + ), the R.I.S.C. Gauge, Taunts and Respects remain mostly the same. However, Throws will miss out of range like any other attack, instead of a doing a normal attack as before. The Gatling system has also been changed: weak attacks no longer universally cancel into heavy attacks; rather, they combo into Command Normals or Special Moves.
It drops the Xrd-only mechanics Blitz Shield/Attack and Danger Time mechanics, as well as the recurring Dead Angle Attack and Instant Kills. In terms of status effects, only crouching or ground Throws can cause a hard Knockdown—otherwise, characters immediately roll and recover—, and Stagger now causes a gauge to appear above the affected character and can be escaped from sooner if the player times their button press correctly.
A new mechanic is the Wall-Break: When a character is in a corner and takes damage, they may get stuck to the wall; as they slowly slide down, they may openly be attacked, and each attack on the stuck character will damage the wall, cracking it. By continuing the offense, the wall may be broken, causing a stage transition, ending the combo, and giving the attacker a temporary Positive Bonus.
Three weeks after the Universal Will incident, the story begins when I-No breaks into former St. Maximus Ariels's prison at Illyria Castle to extract the mysterious Happy Chaos from her. Meanwhile, having surrendered to the United States government, That Man—or rather, Asuka R. Kreutz—requests to participate in the upcoming G4 Summit from within a safe room, intending to erase from the world the Tome of Origin and Sol Badguy. President Vernon and his staff agree to his involvement, while asking the other nations to help with security. As it turns out during Anji Mito's brief inspection on Asuka in person, with no hostility towards each other, there is another That Man besides Asuka, and is currently on the run at Illyria.
After a successful bounty run alongside Jack-O' Valentine, Sol heeds Ky Kiske's summons. Ky tells Sol about the I-No incident, the US request that he participate as a knight, and Asuka's part in G4; however, Sol decides to go on a vacation with Jack-O' to Iseo. But as they reach L'oro Di Illyria, Axl Low warns them that something bad will happen. Soon enough, Chaos releases Nagoriyuki (who reluctantly obeys Chaos) by destroying the building above. Axl saves the people inside, attracting I-No's attention; privately, she dares Axl to erase her, but Axl simply asks I-No to stop working with Chaos before leaving. I-No then lets herself be captured by Illyrian soldiers.
Suspicious of her, Sol notices Chaos' convertible and decides to pursue him. With Chipp Zanuff and Anji joining in the chase when they realize who Chaos is, Chaos uses Nagoriyuki to escape from them all, but not before introducing himself to Sol. Rattled by the encounter, Sol barges in Ky's interrogation of I-No, but she reveals nothing. Privately, Jack-O' tells Sol and Ky of I-No's origins, and her being incomplete. Sol immediately departs for G4 to keep Asuka's Tome safe, while Ky and Jack-O' remain behind to further interrogate I-No. After the summit starts, I-No opens up about her memories of "Will", and wonders if Jack-O' has a place for herself in the world. Ky then correctly surmises that there will trouble at G4 and, with Jack-O', departs aboard his airship.
The summit quickly turns for the worse when Chaos brainwashes all the guards inside the White House and takes the dignitaries hostage. Sol, though, rescues Vernon—the only one who can access Asuka's room. Evading guards as much as possible, Sol and Vernon make contact with Zepp, the Pentagon and Illyria Castle. Before they can escape, Chaos activates the White House's Tír na nÓg aircraft mode. Asuka determines that Chaos is, in fact, his former teacher (as well as I-No's missing half) and helps Sol from inside his room. Daryl, for his part, manages to convince Chaos to release them. Shortly, Chipp and Anji confirms their allies that Chaos is another That Man, and the true mastermind behind the ongoing tragedies since Crusades instead of Asuka. Everyone is on a time limit, for the White House is likely to be shot down when it reaches Old Mexico—just as Chaos wants.
While Potemkin halts the White House's advance, Asuka uses Sol and Vernon's arrival (made possible by Giovanna and Nagoriyuki, who lets himself be defeated) to trap Chaos in his PEOC safe room escape pod, allowing Sol to eject him. The allied forces thus gain control of the White House, ending the crisis. After Ky and Jack-O' arrive, Asuka announces that he will use Tír na nÓg to travel to the moon's colony to safeguard the Tome, but not before fighting Sol. In the end, Sol lets Asuka remove the divine seed within him, restoring his humanity. Unfortunately during a brief chat between Giovanna and Leo, the crisis is still not over, the return of Sol's humanity is on a bad timing when Chaos reveals his subterfuge—disguising himself as a guard and using a body double. Chaos reveals the real Tome had been fusing with Asuka, then use it to activate and restore I-No's true godlike power at his own expense.
In her godhood, I-No easily defeats everyone and uses the Tome to start a process that will grant humanity the same powers she has, and force evolution, likely killing their current world. Ky and Axl try to stop I-No, but Jack-O' intervenes, intending to sacrifice herself to turn I-No human; Sol, however, convinces her not to do it on behalf of late-Aria Hale's decision. Instead, while Ky and Axl distract I-No, Sol uses the Outrage to hit her weak point, which he learns thanks to Nagoriyuki coming to help. In her last moments, I-No finally understands who Axl is to her. In the aftermath, a state funeral is arranged for "Sol Badguy" the hero, creating something of an urban legend. Axl reunites with Megumi, who is I-No's last second legacy. Sol, now simply a human scientist Frederick Bulsara is now living with Jack-O' in Iseo and building a rocket, presumably to travel to the moon, where Asuka now lives as a radio broadcaster. Elsewhere, Chaos is revealed to still be around.
- Playable characters
- Boss characters
- Non-playable characters
Note: (*) Appears as a cameo in Story Mode.
Announced to be in development at EVO 2018 by Arc System Works CEO Minoru Kidooka, the core concept of Strive was neither evolution nor returning to roots, but rather a "complete reconstruction of the franchise". The goal was to create a game that both new and existing players alike would want to get their hands on, undertaking a "full-frontal confrontation with the essence of the fighting game genre" and "high risk move". The aim was to make it so that entry is simple, and were not trying to cut the depth of the game. During Xrd, it was more of completing what they had started with the original games, having a fixed goal in mind. The game design and art for Strive, it was trial and error until the very end, trying to find the best compromise.
At TGS 2019, general director Daisuke Ishiwatari and director Akira Katano stated that, as a new title, no parts of previous entries were re-appropriated, and that not all characters from Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2 would return. Hoping to fully take advantage of 3D and freely move the camera for dynamic angles, Team Red had to re-think how the models were created, in contrast to Xrd models which were designed to look good only from certain angles. Additionally, the team got many new members, due to those with the know-how moving to Granblue Fantasy Versus and Dragon Ball FighterZ to spread their knowledge of the "anime look" technique. To make the visuals happen through any means, the team sometimes even used analog rather than digital, to get the look they wanted.
On November 3, 2019, it was announced on an ArcLive stream that the game would have English dub option. Two days later, the song "Smell of the Game" was released for promotion. From the early stages of planning, the game was intended to use rollback netcode as its online play connection method, but it took a lot of time and effort to get it working, and was not available during the Closed Beta Test, which took place in April 16—19, 2020. To respond to feedback, the "Developer's Backyard" blog was created on June 1, 2020.
On May 15, 2020, producer Takashi Yamanaka made an official statement regarding the release date of Strive. Issues with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic caused delays at various points, pushing the date back into early 2021 to ensure quality of the game. On October 11, 2020, the release date for Strive, set for April 9, 2021 (early access on April 6), was announced, along with the contents of the Standard, Deluxe, and Ultimate editions. Its "Season Pass 1"—included with the Deluxe and Ultimate editions—was also announced: It will add five additional playable characters to the base roster, five extra character colors for all twenty characters, two additional battle stages, and an extra story scenario (Another Story).
However, due to player feedback from the first Open Beta Test on February 17—23, 2021 (which only featured Versus, Tutorial, Training and Network Modes), Arc System Works made the decision to further delay the game to adjust certain aspects, pushing the release to June 11, 2021, and the Deluxe and Ultimate editions to June 8. Due to the pandemic, the arcade version was also delayed without a set release date. A second Open Beta Test was held around May 13—16, 2021. On June 6, 2021, the post-launch roadmap was shown, including upcoming features via free updates: a Combo Maker, additional customization features for the player match room, and Digital Figure Mode. Distributed via Sega's ALL.Net P-ras MULTI Version 3, on July 29, the game was finally released for arcade.
- The official logo highlights the IV in -Strive-, and holds the meaning of four, being the fourth main series game (after 1, 2 and 3). Up until now, X, XX and Xrd all contained the letter X, so they decided to go with "STRIVE" to separate this title from those games.
- It is the third entry to feature an English voice cast since Guilty Gear 2 -Overture- and Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign-. This time, the English voice actors are fully credited.
- Strive marks the first time in the series that every playable character has a vocal theme (previously limited to Raven, and to Sol's "Ride the Fire!").
- In the English localization of Strive, some of the characters heights are listed as a few centimeters taller or shorter. For instance, Ky and Millia heights are 178 cm or 5’10, and 169 cm or 5’7”, respectively, but Arc System Works incorrectly converts their respective heights as 5’11” and 5’5”.
- Early Purchase Bonus – A color swap for Sol and Ky that alters the colors of their attacks.
- The Ultimate Edition includes, beside the game itself:
- Digital Soundtrack
- Digital Artworks
- Ultimate Edition Special Colors
- Dynamic Custom Theme (PS4-only)
- GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE- | ARC SYSTEM WORKS
- Guilty Gear -Strive- on PlayStation Store
- GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE- on Steam
- A New Guilty Gear Game Is in Development
- Creator Message
- New Guilty Gear – Famitsu interview with directors Daisuke Ishiwatari and Akira Katano at TGS 2019
- Daisuke Ishiwatari - Striving | 石渡太輔 - ギルティギアの一新
- The Guilty Gear Strive Interview: Why a Cult Favorite is Starting From Square One
- Interview with Guilty Gear Series General Director Daisuke Ishiwatari
- Arc System Works Q&A Interview On Guilty Gear Strive, Rollback Netcode, FGC, Esports, Baiken, And More
- New Guilty Gear Officially Named ‘Guilty Gear: Strive’ in Trailer
- New Guilty Gear's Rocking Theme Song 'Smell of the Game' Is Now on Spotify
- [PRESS RELEASE] Guilty Gear -Strive- Closed Beta Test Sign-ups Start Today! | Arc System Works
- Guilty Gear -Strive- Developer’s Backyard
- Guilty Gear Strive delayed to 2021
- Guilty Gear -Strive- Release Date Set for April 9, 2021
- Open Beta Test | NEWS | GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE- | ARC SYSTEM WORKS
- Japanese arcade version of Guilty Gear Strive delayed due to COVID-19
- Open Beta Test #2 Announcement | NEWS | GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE- | ARC SYSTEM WORKS
- Guilty Gear: Strive launch trailer, opening movie; post-launch roadmap announced - Gematsu
- Guilty Gear: Strive adds arcade version
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- BUYNOW | GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE- | ARC SYSTEM WORKS