Despite what its name might suggest, Guilty Gear Xrd REV2 isn't really a sequel to last year's Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR-. In fact, It's as much of an actual sequel as BlazBlue Continuum Shift II was a sequel to the original BlazBlue Continuum Shift. That is to say, it's a rerelease of the same game with a few new characters, a rebalanced roster, and some changes to how online lobbies function to theoretically make for a smoother online experience. Unlike the jump from Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- to the aforementioned Revelator, none of the previous game's story has been removed with this new release. At its core, REV2 is still Revelator. To that end, it's pointless to explain what sort of game Revelator is or was when we already put out a perfectly fine review outlining as such about a year ago. If you want to know how the latest Guilty Gear stacks up, you can read that review here. All of it's still applicable when talking about REV2.
Like I already mentioned, REV2 is less of a truly new entry in the Guilty Gear franchise and more of a rerelease of last year's title. It features the same story mode, the same tutorials (the only change being that the two new playable characters get tutorials dedicated to countering them, like every other character in the game), and the same menus - albeit with a different color palette. To highlight just how much REV2 is the same game as its predecessor, you even have the option of turning the REV2 improvements on and off via the settings menu. Instead of requiring players to purchase an entirely new copy of the game like in the jump from Sign to Revelator, players also get the option of spending $20 to download DLC that allows their already purchased copy of Revelator to run as REV2, complete with its enhancements. Heck, at the time of this review Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR- had already received a patch to allow players to pre-load the new REV2 content.
That being said, even if REV2 is mostly the same game, there is some new content in addition to the balance changes. Although currently there isn't much there, there is some new "after story" content for players to watch in the story mode - specifically, one extra chapter, or about half an hour worth of story (or less) for players to view. Arc System Works have also commented that they'll be adding more, free chapters to the story mode later down the line. Exactly how much will be added and when exactly it'll find it's way into the game, however, is still a little murky. Nonetheless, it is there, and along with the two new added characters, it's something being added to differentiate the game from a simple balance patch.
As for the new characters, you have Baiken and Answer. From my time checking out both of the characters, they've quickly become some of my new favorites in the game's lineup. Baiken's playstyle seems to focus on swiftly managing your placement on the screen, as well as delivering fast attacks and counters to the opponent. Answer is charming, with a lot of depth to his playstyle and the hilarious gimmick of constantly talking on the phone while he's fighting. Like Baiken, he excels at managing his position on the screen, but also requires players to manage his own drops that he litters across the battlefield. He can use these drops to his advantage in either attacking, evading, or countering his opponent.
Overall, while REV2 certainly comes with its fair share of improvements and QOL changes, I'm not entirely convinced that it's enough to warrant a better score than its predecessor. The game adds enough to justify its existence as both a rerelease of Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR- as well as an expansion of it, but that's really all it does. For anyone that hasn't yet gotten into Guilty Gear and wants to check the series out, then picking up REV2's retail release might be a no-brainer. Similarly, if you're already a fan of the series upgrading to REV2 is easy to justify.
Guilty Gear Xrd REV2 isn't enough of a change from its original release for any of the points that I made back then to have become obsolete. In the end it's just an expansion to an already great fighting game. No more, no less.
- Same Great Game
- Added Characters Play Great
- New Story Mode Content
- Expansion Rather Than Sequel