While her backstory remains a mystery, Giovanna’s fighting style appears to be a mix of taekwondo (her moves are very reminiscent of Kim Kaphwan from Fatal Fury/King of Fighters) and a spirit wolf companion that she can weaponize against her enemies. It ooks pretty rad to me.
The end of the trailer confirms that there will be a total of 15 characters at launch and the next trailer – for the 14th fighter – will be released on New Year’s Day. That trailer will be for Anji Mito, a returning character who has missed the last couple of installments.
As for the 15th spot? My money is on That Man, otherwise known as Asuka R. Kreutz. Only hinted at during the first Guilty Gear game way back when, That Man has been a cryptic force hiding in the shadows ever since. While he appeared as an unbeatable boss character in the adventure game Guilty Gear 2: Overture, he’s otherwise only appeared in cutscenes, usually hooded or shrouded in darkness. He finally unmasked at the end of Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2, where he and Sol Badguy set the stage for their final battle.
There are other things of note here outside of the neat gameplay showcase (seriously, those visuals look so good). This game will have a story mode, much like the different editions of Guilty Gear Xrd. Guilty Gear’s story modes these days are a bit different from the usual cinematic narratives you’d see in Injustice or Street Fighter V. Instead of lengthy cutscenes broken up by gameplay, it’s just lengthy cutscenes. It’s less of a “fighting game story mode” and more like binging a season of an anime using in-game graphics.
Speaking of story mode, the Arc System Works YouTube channel has started posting chapters of the Guilty Gear Xrd story mode in daily installments. A good way for players to catch up to what’s going on in Guilty Gear Strive…as long as they can follow what’s going on.