Guilty Gear Strive has in many ways separated itself from its prequels, both design and gameplay-wise. But perhaps its greatest departure has been from its old character designs.
Nearly every character has been reworked in light of changes to the lore. This might be done to reflect changes in intent of the developers as well.
For a game that experiments with surrealism and is responsible for some of the most eccentric video game characters in history, characters tend to be extremely hit or miss as a consequence.
It's important to investigate these new changes and the new characters, as well as taking into consideration their gameplay.
Guilty Gear Strive: 5 Characters with the most exciting design
#5 - Sol Badguy
Sol is one of the more unchanged characters of Guilty Gear Strive, and the main changes for him are usually in terms of gameplay. The loss of his Dragon Install mode is one such example of the gameplay changes.
His personality and play style is extremely simple. He's a no-bullshit character, yet he possesses an incredible amount of flavor in comparison to protagonists of other Fighting Games.
Visually, it looks like almost everything that makes him look masculine and crude seems to be taken to an extreme. His attacks and walk cycle also have a thug-like demeanor taken quite far.
Yet, his motivations appear to be that of a generic fool in love. The man is the type to save the world not for the people, but for the love of his life. He’s the victim of an incredibly formulaic love story, and that just complements everything else about him. It gives him surprising depth.
#4 - May
The writers aren’t trying to impress an older fanbase and want to respect the world they’ve built by having the characters grow and evolve further. May is now a sassier, more responsible, and self-sufficient girl in Guilty Gear Strive. She isn’t screaming for help when she loses, and she isn’t as animated as she was before.
Even before this, her abilities and moveset were incredibly unique, with her ability to toss dolphins and whales at her opponents.
#3 - I-No
I-No was the subject of controversy a few weeks ago because old fans were disappointed she doesn’t strip anymore after winning a match. Of course, controversy like this is propagated and fueled by those who cannot appreciate good design choices and prefer sleazy shallow characters to get attached to.
The rock and roll queen’s updated look in Guilty Gear Strive has her looking much more grounded while retaining that extremely punk attire and attitude. She’s still quite playful and charming. This time around, it feels like more than just a gimmick for her character. Her rebellious nature finally feels justified.
She’s given much more well-defined motivation and identity now in the story of Guilty Gear Strive. Her design is a juxtaposition of a witch and glam star. It's really refreshing and overwhelming to look at.
#2 - Zato=One
More than Zato’s redesign, Eddie’s redesign in Guilty Gear Strive has blown many players away. Zato=One in the story is a character with a relatively low presence but the one thing that puts him on the list is his over-the-top gameplay.
Besides being one of the most difficult characters to play in Guilty Gear Strive, he is just a menace and incredible to watch when played properly. Eddie now looks far more comical and fluid in comparison to past appearances where he is depicted as a weird dog-like creature.
His color palette has significantly improved with a more radiant and glossy black-maroon gradient. The way Eddie manifests shows an incredible amount of energy and personality to try and push the boundaries of how extreme his character is.
#1 - Faust
Faust was subject to the most shocking and mysterious redesign in Guilty Gear Strive. His appearance is far more malicious and minimalistic and is almost void of the energy and positivity his former self had.
He has some of the most interesting gameplay next to Zato in Guilty Gear Strive. He still retains some colorful specials, but he is quite horrifying for the most part. He crawls and blinks like some evil creature.
This is fine because there was always a dissonance between the lore and his old design. A doctor turned serial killer turned messiah wasn’t quite the picture that player got from looking at him.
There’s no mistaking that something very wrong happened to this character in Guilty Gear Strive.