Guilty Gear Strive's launch may still be a ways off, but last night, developer Arc System Works committed to a much-requested feature for the game. Amid several announcements, the fighting game developer confirmed Guilty Gear Strive would have rollback netcode.
In a press release, Arc System Works announced that Strive would be using rollback for online, though it hasn't been fully implemented just yet. The studio also announced a closed beta, running April 16 through 19, but that beta will use delay-based netcode rather than the in-development rollback.
Rollback netcode, if you're not familiar with it, is a system for playing fighting games online that sidesteps the usual delays, or hitching, you might see. Rather than freezing the fight to let both players sync back up, it essentially predicts what your opponent might be doing by repeating their last input action. This video with Adam "Keits" Heart of Iron Galaxy is a great primer on the subject.
Rollback has been gradually implemented into games with surprising success. Street Fighter 5 currently uses a version of rollback, Rising Thunder popularized a now-public version of it, and even retro fighter Garou: Mark of the Wolves got an update adding rollback netcode earlier this year. It was pretty clear last night that the fighting game community was happy with the decision, too:
Yes! Thank you to everyone fighting the good fight on this. https://t.co/nMsfZpi602- Adam Heart (@TheKeits) March 19, 2020
it's something you have to take a wait and see approach on, to see how successful their implementation is, but the fact that they've come out and directly said this is quite encouraging- Infil (@Infilament) March 19, 2020
hoping for the best, and hoping this spurs on a culture shift in FG development https://t.co/pf3WBg34e4
Arc System Works also confirmed it was revamping both the character select screen and user interface of Guilty Gear Strive, answering another vocal concern about the game's early showings, and those changes would debut with April's closed beta. The closed beta will include seven already announced fighters, mostly a lineup of Guilty Gear's usual suspects: Sol, Ky, May, Axl, Chip, Potemkin, and Faust. You can sign up for the closed beta on Guilty Gear's site.
When we spoke to Guilty Gear creator and chief creative officer Daisuke Ishiwatari about Strive last year, he told us the user interface in particular was still a placeholder. With Strive, Ishiwatari says the goal is for every player to "be a 'newcomer,' so to speak."
Guilty Gear Strive is expected to launch for PlayStation 4 in late 2020.