A new game in the Guilty Gear series was announced at Evo 2019 on Sunday. The trailer premiered just minutes after the Tekken 7 championship and just before the Super Smash Bros Ultimate grand finale. The new game, currently titled simply Guilty Gear 2020, will be the first new game in the series in almost 5 years.
For the uninitiated, Guilty Gear is series of Japanese arcade and home consoles fighting games developed by Arc System Works since 1998. The games take place in a bleak future following a 100-year war between humans and Gears, an army of man-made magical creatures.
The story of Guilty Gear spans across 5 main games, 6 spin-offs, and a bevy of update titles. The games are dripping with anime charm and flashy visuals, featuring characters with names like Sol Badguy and Millia Rage and near constant world ending scenarios. Interestingly, the series has never been adapted into an actual anime, and only one manga exists as a bridge between games. For the most part the entire saga of Guilty Gear is contained just within the games.
Guilty Gear games are generally regarded as having highly technical gameplay, interesting visual style, and exceptional sound tracks. Speaking with IGN last year, creator Daisuke Ishiwatari admitted that the mechanics of Guilty Gear have gotten overly complicated throughout the years, a problem he associates with driving away new players. He plans to fix that issue in the new title, saying:
"But if we implement everything the game will no longer be Guilty Gear. It's hard to balance out all the improvements. One thing that we have to do in the next installment is to reduce the number of systems [mechanics]; it's too complicated for everyone. You can expect that in the next game."
The title, Guilty Gear (2020), would seem to indicate a fresh start for the series, and something designed to bring in new players. Not unlike Monster Hunter World, Ishiwatari seems keen on refining the systems and creating a new entry point in the series for older fans and new. Evo was without a doubt the best place to premiere the new title, earning a huge round of applause and all but guaranteeing that fighting game fans will embrace the entry in the series, no matter what direction Ishiwatari ends up taking with it.