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Arc System Works’ latest entry in the Guilty Gear series, Guilty Gear -Strive-, is now in closed beta for players who got into the early access. Though only available for a limited time, the closed beta gives players a chance to get used to seven of the returning characters to the 22-year-old franchise. First revealed to be in development at EVO 2019, Guilty Gear -Strive- keeps the classic hard rock feel that the series is known for and combines it with an updated look.

Guilty Gear -Strive- is the next evolution

Classic characters Sol Badguy, Ky Kiske, May, Potemkin, Chipp Zanuff, Axl Low, and Faust are all playable during the limited beta. Milla Rage and Zato-1 are also confirmed to be playable characters but are not available in the closed beta.

The beta is open to online play only during limited hours. For all other times, players can practice against the AI in an offline Versus Mode:

  • 4/17 8:00 p.m. – 12:59 a.m. PDT
  • 4/18 12:00 p.m. – 04:59 p.m. PDT
  • 4/19 3:00 a.m. – 07:59 a.m. PDT

The official Arc System Works YouTube channel has been posting several guides and tutorial videos to help players become more accustomed to new gameplay elements. The guides walk through different strengths, weaknesses, and play styles of each character. 

The videos also do a great job of explaining new mechanics, like Ky’s Shock State mechanic. New to the game, when an opponent is in the Shock State Ky’s special moves get stronger and more effective. 

Series director Daisuke Ishiwatari broke down the core concept of -Strive-, saying that the game is “neither ‘evolution’ nor ‘returning to the roots’; nor is it an addition or subtraction of elements to the existing title.” Ishiwatari described –Strive- as a “complete reconstruction of the franchise.”

Guilty Gear -Strive- is expected to release later this year. The closed beta is only available on PlayStation 4 for the time being.