Guilty Gear -Strive- is a 2.5D sci-fi fantasy fighting game developed and published by Arc System Works for the PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and PC on June 11, 2021. An arcade version was later released in Japan on July 29, 2021 for Sega's ALLS UX hardware (digitally via the ALL.Net P-ras MULTI Version 3 service).
The eighth main installment of the Guilty Gear series (after Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- and its revision), Strive builds on the stylized 3D cel-shading of Xrd -Revelator- (with new effects from the upgraded Unreal Engine 4) to give the illusion of CG anime. It also adds a new ultra-stylized UI, a high-octane soundtrack, and revamped character designs.
The gameplay is also revamped, removing some mechanics from Xrd (such as the "Blitz Shield") while adding new ones (such as the "Wall Break"). As the title emphasizes the "IV" in Strive, it is inteded to be the fourth installment both with named installments (after Guilty Gear, Guilty Gear 2, and Guilty Gear Xrd) and "X" installments (Guilty Gear X, Guilty Gear XX, and Guilty Gear Xrd).
Similar to Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign- and Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator-, the game presents its Story Mode as non-interactive CG anime split into multiple chapters. The story itself takes place shortly after the events of Xrd -Revelator- and is intended to conclude the series' main plotline.
Much of the gameplay mechanics from Guilty Gear Xrd -Relevator- are retained, with some changes and additions:
- Continuously damaging opponents who are wallstuck can now "break" the wall (Wall Break), ending the combo with a stage transition. Performing a Wall Break improves the attacker's Tension Gauge gain for a short time.
- The Roman Cancel system was further revised, using four different color-coded RCs with different properties: Red (during an attack's recovery), Purple (during an attack's motion), Blue (while in a neutral state), and Yellow (during a blockstun). All RCs now use up 50% Tension Gauge. Yellow Roman Cancels are a replacement for Dead Angle Attacks.
- Players can now use a Dash shortcut button for dashing in either direction (f/b + Dash).
- Guarding an attack with a precise Faultless Defense (similar to an Instant Block) now performs an Instant Faultless Defense with increased pushback.
- The Instant Kill, Blitz Shield (w/ Blitz Attack), Danger Time, Homing Dash, Burst Overdrive, and Operation Type mechanics are removed.
The game includes 12 playable characters from Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- and three new ones (one of which was last playable on Guilty Gear XX Accent Core) for a total of 15. Additional characters were added as post-release DLC, with a Seasonal Pass system.
- Nagoriyuki, The Noble Vampire Samurai - An immortal Nightless and a noble samurai of large stature, armed with a large katana. Performing special abilities raises a special "Blood" gauge that, if not satiated by hitting certain abilities, drains his vitality and puts him into a temporary powerful "Blood Rage" state. He serves as the final boss of Arcade Mode (who is fought in easier difficulties in a 2v1 fight), with a unique boss version (with his "Blood Rage" state always active) as the mode's secret boss.
- Sol Badguy, The Ruthless Striker
- Ky Kiske, Almighty All-Rounder
- May, Relentless Girl
- Axl Low, Long-Range Specialist
- Chipp Zanuff, The Godspeed Ninja
- Potemkin, The Moving Fortress
- Faust, Underground Doctor
- Millia Rage, Forbidden Hair Assassin
- Zato-1, Technical Shadow Warrior
- I-No, Hard Rock Witch
- Ramlethal Valentine, Mid-range Brigadier
- Leo Whitefang, Twin Blade All-Rounder
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