We review Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator, now out for PCs after the initial PS4 and PS3 launch. Does it carry on Arc System Works’ excellent reputation, or does it fail to land a punch?
The Guilty Gear series has been one of the most prolific series of fighting games of the past twenty years, evolving past systems like the original Playstation and the Dreamcast all the way up to today’s latest consoles. Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator is originally an arcade game, ported first to the PS3 and PS4, and now available on Steam. It’s a direct continuation of Guilty Gear Xrd Sign, and I’m using the word continuation on purpose there.
To call Revelator a full blown sequel would be too much, since it’s better described as a major update instead. This of course means that those who already own Sign have something to think about, but more on that later. The good news is that Revelator is an improvement in many ways, and built on the foundations of an already excellent game. There have been improvements in terms of the game’s balancing, and there is an expanded roster available as well. Most importantly for fans of the story, Revelator picks up where Sign left off.
If it’s the story you’re after, then you’re best off playing the Episode mode first. This gives you a character-dependent breakdown of what happened after the events of the previous game, and helps set up the events in Revelator’s story mode. That means that story mode is best enjoyed after playing through Episode mode with every single character, since it increases your understanding of what is essentially a feature-length animated feature. In that sense, Episode mode is a lot more like what gamers traditionally experience as a story mode – with Story mode being the bonus feature you get as a reward.
The real star of Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator, however, is how extremely well done its tutorials are. Fighting games have had tutorial/sparring modes for a long time, but I’ve never seen one executed so well as what I’ve seen in this game. The game gently eases you in by teaching you basic movement controls first, but manages to strike a perfect balance between learning and fun in the process. You’ll learn a few new skills, and after that you get to tackle a mission or scenario in which you need to use that skill. It keeps learning fresh and fun, and because of that it makes you a much better player as well.
If you still don’t feel entirely comfortable after doing all the tutorials, or if you just want to dive straight in, then stylish mode is for you. It simplifies how combos and special moves are executed, although that functionality comes at a price. To make sure that not everyone opts for this route and becomes a master fighter without much effort, you become more vulnerable to (counter) attacks – so don’t expect to get to the top of the leaderboards using stylish mode because seasoned pros will make light work of you.
Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator allows you to unlock a lot of content by earning medals in MOM mode, but unfortunately the best unlockables (such as new characters) are only available as paid DLC content. This, with Revelator being a full price game, will make it a big investment if you want to enjoy everything that’s there – and an extra hurdle for those who already have Sign.
The artwork and animations are great, as we’ve come to expect from Arc over the past few years. You’ll get the best results when playing on a PC or PS4, but the PS3 version looks excellent as well – and it also allows you to play against PS4 players online. Cross-platform play between PC and Playstation isn’t support, unfortunately. The game didn’t receive English voiceovers, so subtitles will have to do. It’s a shame that there’s so much DLC that was left out, but Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator is one of the best fighting games on the PC and PS4 and easily one of the best overall PS3 games in the last two to three years. Highly recommended.