Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 REView – Perfection²
Platforms: PS4 (reviewed), PS3, PC
Developer: Arc System Works
Publisher: PQube (EU) / Aksys Games (NA)
Release: 26th May 2017 (Consoles) / 1st June 2017 (PC)
Price: 19.99 (Upgrade) / 49.99 (Standalone)
Disclaimer: Review Code provided by PQube
Fighting games were always a special thing for me, invoking a deep love with their deep and challenging systems, yet punishing me over and over again for being so bad at them. Believe me, it was a joyful moment when I discovered Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator. A fighting game both accessible, yet able to evolve into one of the deepest fighting games to date, if you desire it. So, the arrival of REV 2 should be rather unsurprising, bringing us more of the same, the amazing same to be precise.
Once in the main menu, everyone unfamiliar with the series would probably try to begin with the story mode, hoping it would provide some sort of tutorial along with a neat little plot. However, like its predecessor, REV 2´s story mode is basically a long film, without any possiblity for player interaction. Honestly, that´s maybe Arc System Works biggest mistake in the whole series, asking the question, why bothering to implement it at all. Personally, I can´t even stand unskippable first person cutscenes, so I quickly abandoned the campaign in REV 1 but this time I wanted to change that, not only for this review but also because I always wondered if there´s actually something worth watching here.
Surprisingly, there is! Overall, REV 2´s story is actually really decent, mainly due to the really cool characters and not cliche clustered approach, for a fighting game and pretty nice animated as well. Considering, most players might not even bothering to watch this film a surprising amount of effort went in here. There were also quite big possibilities to implement some fights, sadly Arc System Works still somehow decided it would be best, to implement a film in a game.
As already said, REV 1 was one of the most accessible fighters of the last years and REV 2 follows this tradition, as well as improving it at every corner. You still have the choice between the “Stylish”and “Technical” mode, in order to grant even newbies the possiblity to learn the game without being completly destroyed. Stylish mode will give you a helping hand with combos, blocking and much more, yet won´t stand a chance against a Technical-user, due to the more advanced combos and removed limitations. While Arc System Works didn´t change much here it quickly becomes obvious how much effort went into the rebalancing, adjusting and enhancing of the established systems and fighters. Compared to the already amazing predecessor REV 2 somehow brings the experience to a whole new level, by changing minor things like animation times for example, to ensure a more fluent and even better feeling experience.
Additionally REV 2 brings two new characters to the roster, fan favourite Baiken and the strange Business-man Answer. Following REV 1´s tradition both can shine with their own unique moves and system, Answer in particular offers a whole new layer of depth with his teleportation cards and various scrolls. Together with Baiken they resemble great additions to the roster, offering you 25 characters to pick, yet making me question, if two new characters are really enough to justify the price tag.
Last but not least REV 2 copies the great artstyle and soundtrack as well. Especially the artstyle always caught my eye, since it´s so unique to the series, along with great effects, animations and special attacks, enhanced by seemingly better textures. The new tracks added to the soundtrack sound pretty amazing too, with the opening song just blowing me away everytime. Overall, the presentation does not only stay amazing but even gets enhanced in various ways.
All in all, Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 takes the cake, as the best fighting game of the last years, once again. It may be more of the same and may not offer enough obvious additional content for its price tag, yet it´s still more of the amazing same game bundled together with all kinds of enhancements.
It keeps all the things REV 1 did so well and improving them in every way, without ever making a mistake. The only thing I can criticise here would be the story or film mode, which is easily forgivable for such a great fighting game. Without a doubt, Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 is a truly flawless game.