Mobile Suit Gundam is one of the most iconic mecha animes of Japan since 1979. Since the debut of the series, its popularity has exploded from not just successive animes but also into food cultures, cosplays, toys, and even the video game industry. Last year, Bandai Namco announced a new online FPS multiplayer game entitled, GUNDAM EVOLUTION. Recently, we were invited to be part of a closed beta test of the game on the PS5 and we will share with you all our experiences with the game after playing it for a few hours.
Gundam Evolution is a free-to-play 6 vs 6 online FPS multiplayer game. The game has 12 mobile suits so far and more are expected to come from different Gundam series such as Mobile suit Gundam Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans, Gundam 00, and more. The design concept of the suits are really interesting and are really nostalgic as these suits are some of the most iconic characters in the game. The shading and the texture quality of the suits are well modernized and have an impression that there will be tons of new skins we can expect from this game.
In terms of gameplay, each suit has its own style of being piloted. For example, The Barbatos Gundam specializes in Melee Combat using a large mace and is considered to be an assault-type unit that prioritizes offense rather than defense. Another mobile suit is the iconic RX-78 Gundam, which is also an assault-type unit, although it is well balanced in terms of offense and defense. It uses a beam rifle as its main weapon and a shield to bounce off enemy fire.
All the units in the game have a different style of fighting and each of them is somewhat similar to Blizzard’s Overwatch. The pace of the game is currently pretty fast, and the mobile suits handle so differently, offering something unique to each team’s composition.
Not only do these suits have their own set of skills but they have as well an ultimate move known as G-Maneuver. Players must fill up their gauge located in the center of the screen, and once they fill it up at 100%, they can unleash their unit’s ultimate skill. Each unit unleashed a skill that either deal great damage to your surrounding opponents, boost your party’s defensive skills, or boosts one’s self stats in both aspects of offense and defense. Needless to say, the G-Maneuver is a nice touch to add to this game as some unit like Exia Gundam uses the TRANS-AM ability as their ultimate skill to rush opponents.
And because of that, I am hoping to see more iconic units aside from what’s present in the BETA test.
The current map pool offers a good bit of variety. Some are very well made and in each corner of the map, players can find advantageous spots to set up defenses or take over a certain area of the map in an offensive stance. With that in mind, I am hoping that new original and somewhat iconic locations from the Gundam series can be featured in this game.
At the moment, players cannot choose between the 3 match types. This makes sense as the beta won’t get enough feedback if one game mode is heavily favored over the others. Among the game modes, I find the Point Capture match type to be the most fun. I recall a difficult match where we needed to outwit our opponents in order to pull a win. Our team did eventually win in the end, and I never felt happier doing so. The win made me realize these match types are good enough as a way to promote the game but I feel somewhat hoping they add more match types in the game if they want to prove the versatility of the game.
The BGMs of the game were somewhat nostalgic. When I heard the intro of the game, I am suddenly remembering an old Gundam game that I used to play on the PlayStation 2 titled, Mobile Suit Gundam: Climax U.C. The music used for this game made me want to replay some of my old Gundam games and even watch the series once more.
Overall, the game is good but I think it needs to work on its credibility and improve on its core gameplay. Even so, it’s in its beta phase but with a few more changes and more mobile suits, this new game from BANDAI NAMCO will become a very decent Gundam game that will appeal to a wide range of players.