A school devoted to the development of Gunpla and battle tactics. Gunbre High School prides itself in guiding and teaching the Gunpla Battlers of tomorrow. Learn essential techniques such parts customization, painting, and of course teamwork. Find new friends in our many clubs that specialize in every aspect of Gunpla building. Participate in ranked matches where students battle it out for higher rankings. The higher your rank is, the more power you will have.
Go forth young Build Fighters!
Break… Build… Battle!
Platform Reviewed: PS4
Platforms Available: PC, PS4
Developer: Crafts And Meister
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Release Date: June 22, 2018
This review is based on a review code provided by Bandai Namco Entertainment.
New Gundam Breaker is a hack and slash game where players face off against each other in duos and trios. Each team’s goal is to accumulate enough points by way of completing randomly generated objectives. Set in Gunbre High School, you play as the new transfer student who quickly makes a name for himself by challenging the status quo. Your actions get the attention of the anti-fun student council, and now you and your friends must band together to take down the student council and restore freedom and fun to the school.
Gameplay and Features:
The game is broken up into several chapters. Each scenario starts with a brief visual novel intro that leads up to an eventual encounter with members of the student council and their affiliates.
The battle sections of the game are where most of the action takes place. Your team’s objective is to gather as many points as they can get before the time runs out or take down the enemy leader in order to get a quick victory. Randomly generated objectives open up as the match progresses. These range from collecting specific parts, destroying a number of enemies, or opening a number of boxes.
Opening enough boxes will allow you to increase your EX-skill level. EX skills allow you to perform powerful techniques or give support in times of need. Every part has an attached skill that can be activated by holding down R1 or L1 plus the corresponding face button. Some of your best attacks are locked behind skill levels. Making leveling a top priority in the match. Destroying your opponents’ gunpla also drops power ups for level gain.
With enough damage dealt, gunpla drop their parts. You have the option to swap out your current parts with parts off the battlefield. The same goes for when your gunpla sustains enough damage. But parts in your inventory will replace the parts that you drop. If your health drops to zero, you will have to wait a few seconds to respawn and lose all the parts you have collected off the battlefield. To secure your spoils of war, you can drop them off at your team’s parts collector. It randomly appears and disappears during the match, and knowing where it is all times can make the difference between a huge haul or a few scraps.
Customization plays a huge part in the game. Painting each part gives it that personal touch and installing addition accessories work on a give and take system. Collecting unique parts adds to your collection and swapping out parts opens up to new ways of playing the match. A number of builds can be saved at once, allowing you to make a wide and unique range of builds with corresponding strengths and weaknesses. Inner frames dictate the base stats of gunpla and come with their own EX-skills that can be used once your gunpla enters the Awaken state.
The Good and the Bad:
The inner frame idea is one of few bright spots in the game. The idea of dedicated roles is new to the series. Players can coordinate with their friends as what role they wish to fulfill on the team. One player can be the Frontliner, taking on the enemy head on. Another player can take the role of Gunner where he can shoot at targets from a far. Last but not the least, is the support player who provides information on the battle field and hands out healing when needed.
In games past, you just have to complete objectives and destroy the designated target in order to complete the level. In this game though, each start of the match carries with it the potential of different openers. You can choose to take the enemy team on in hopes of delaying them or open as many boxes as possible to have access to EX skills earlier on in the match. Personally, I like the idea of openers and mid-game tactics. I hope this idea carries over to the next game.
Battles are chaotic, at best. If you are not familiar with the names of mobile suits, you will have a hard time finding targets amidst the confusion of battle. A safer approach is to just attack everything until nothing is left standing. It’s not the most elegant of solutions but if that’s what it takes to get ahead, why not?
One of the newest features of the game is the ability to pick up parts scattered on the battlefield and mix and match parts on the fly. The only problem here is that not everyone is willing to just pick up and equip parts especially when you don’t know what each part does. Players tend to favor a certain playstyle and will, more often than not, stick to the parts they have at the start of the match. The mechanic needs some more work done unless you are the kind of player who picks up and equips parts for the fun of it. That might be a fun way of playing… until the frequent freezes occur.
The game is plagued with frequent freezes whenever you swap parts or when new objectives pop up. Some of these issues have been addressed since the game’s launch, but it seems to be a lasting problem that has no business being in a full release, and importantly, a full price game.
Play this game for what it is, a Gundam Builder-like game in need of care and attention. I want to believe that the idea is worth refining to a point where players can consider it truly fun to play. There is something there, it’s just that in its current form the game leaves a lot to be desired. All we can do now is to wait for more patches to arrive and hope that the game runs better sooner than later.
Sadly, this is a hard pass for players who covet the older Breaker games. The number of series on offer is a limiting factor and a far cry from the options offered in past games. For anyone who is looking for a fresh take on the series, this is it. I certainly hope that these rough beginnings will lead to better games in the future.