Death has No Gender
Something wicked this way comes. As part of this weekend’s ARCEVO tournament festivities, Arc System Works revealed the fifth and final DLC character rounding out season one of fantastic fighter Guilty Gear Strive — Ask not for whom the bell tolls: Testament has returned.
A veteran character of Guilty Gear‘s deep, complex lore, Testament first debuted at the climax of the original Guilty Gear way back in 1998. Since then, they have made sporadic appearances throughout the series’ lineage — fighting it out in the ring or simply lurking in the shadows. Testament is a notoriously troublesome character to step to, capable of controlling the battlefield with their blood traps and reaping souls with their attractive but sinister familiar EXEBEAST. Most importantly, they like potatoes.
Testament’s new design is, to be blunt, fucking stunning. The previously sublime-yet-masculine character has fully embraced their non-binary nature, now adopting They/Them pronouns. While their alluring Gothic style remains — typically befitting that of the Grim Reaper — Testament has completed their new look with a show-stopping top hat and a redesigned Crimson Scythe.
I think they look amazing. Their redesign is one of the greatest fighting game glow-ups ever… Jesus Christ, I wish I looked that good.
Testament will launch in-game on March 28 for season pass owners, before being made available to purchase for all March 31. Until that day, Strive players will likely be waiting to explore Testament’s revamped gameplay — terrified that the nightmare matchups of yore will return to claim more hapless souls. Testament will also be accompanied by a brand new stage “White House Reborn”. So yep, you can now throw down with the GG gang on the doorstep of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
In addition to Testament’s reveal, ArcSys also confirmed that a second season, comprised of four more DLC characters, is set to kick off later in 2022. Regarding Strive‘s technical concerns, the developer announced that it will also be implementing crossplay support between PlayStation and PC platforms later in the year, whilst looking into connectivity and stability improvements for Strive‘s online dust-ups.
But that’s not all. As one final reveal, ArcSys announced that March 28 will see the arrival of an all-new “Digital Figure” Mode. This is, essentially, a sandbox for the Strive photo mode, and will allow players to construct fun dioramas out of Guilty Gear Strive characters, stages, and background items, adjusting poses, character layouts, and even facial expressions to create dynamic custom photoshoots.
This is a particularly neat idea, especially given Strive’s gorgeous visual design. I’m looking forward to seeing some of the awesome portraitures that will no doubt be created by the GG faithful. With a new character, a new stage, a new mode, the second season of DLC, an upcoming story expansion, and the much-requested crossplay tech, it seems Hearts will be Blazing in the remainder of 2022 and beyond.