Guilty Gear Strive is almost on the horizon and I am excited about it for many reasons. For starters, let’s all admit, the game looks stunning with amazing visuals and a 2.5D style that Arc System Works has been perfecting over the years since Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign-. Also, the soundtrack is straight-up brilliant with a good few vocal themes that are absolute bops to listen to.
After playing many rounds of the most recent Guilty Gear Strive beta, this game features some very fast and frantic gameplay that retains the feel of the series even with the changes made to the gameplay systems to make it more accessible to newcomers. But accessibility is not the only thing that makes Guilty Gear Strive stand out from the previous iterations, which are known for have a high-level learning curve.
No, what shines brightest for me within this experience is the implementation of rollback netcode for the online mode. This provided me with a great online experience whether I was climbing the tower in lobby matches or just casually enjoy some matches with my friends. Online matches are typically something I have to compensate for, but this experience was better than I could have hoped for.
BlazBlue and other past fighters from the developer utilized a delay-based netcode that, while it worked decently enough compared to games from other companies that used a similar style of netcode, there were still some issues of lag and other problems cropping up depending on a few factors like your internet connection. Things such as whether you are on Wi-Fi or an Ethernet connection and of course the distance between you and your opponent in terms of location and region had an effect. It wasn’t a completely negative experience for me, but it was an issue that cost me a few matches.
Guilty Gear Strive’s implementation of rollback is very good. I didn’t encounter any lag issues when fighting with people from all over the world. However, the experience isn’t exactly flawless as I would run into moments where the game stops in its tracks to pick up with the opponent but I wouldn’t say that was the norm.
When it comes down to it, modern fighting games need to take this netcode seriously for online play as a bad experience in that aspect can keep players away. It’s even more important during a time when you can’t hold local tournaments, opting for global online matches. I’m glad Arc System Works nailed the implementation of rollback for Guilty Gear Strive especially as a fan of the franchise. All fans of fighters should keep this game on their radar.
Guilty Gear: Strive is coming to PS4, PS5, and PC-via Steam on June 11, 2021.
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