Gundam Evolution review: a real Overwatch 2 contender, but not a flawless one

“Gundam Evolution is a hero shooter that provides Gundam fans and recent players a full product despite being free-to-play, though it isn’t without high item prices and tech quirks.”


  • Unique gameplay
  • Great fan service
  • Appears like an entire product
  • Large character roster


  • Lack of stage variety
  • Pricey microtransactions
  • Hitbox issues

It’s wild to think there would ever be a world where a game based on the Gundam franchise is seen as a real competitor to the hero shooter throne that Overwatch sat on because it released in 2016. The series is a juggernaut in terms of anime and model kits, nevertheless it has never delved into the mainstream gaming scene beyond just a few Dynasty Warriors titles. Nevertheless, this yr saw the discharge of Gundam Evolution, a Gundam game that looked to appeal to greater than just fans — something it definitely achieves. It’s a bit of fine timing, as the discharge is already overshadowing a number of the upcoming Overwatch 2‘s missteps. But that’s to not say Gundam doesn’t include just a few mistakes of its own.

Gundam Evolution delivers exactly what its title implies. It’s an evolution, not only for the Gundam franchise, but for the team hero shooter genre itself. The choices and unique flavor it presents aren’t limited to only putting players in mechs (called units and mobile suits within the Gundam world) and throwing them right into a game of Overwatch. It goes above and beyond to make the experience genuinely appeal to greater than just Gundam fans. That doesn’t mean it completely ignores the ingredients provided by Overwatch, nevertheless it puts its own spices within the stew on top of those


These mechs aren’t only for show

Gundam Evolution may appear like a basic Overwatch clone with mechs, but there’s way more to it than that. The shooter has its own unique flavor that neatly suits the hero shooter genre into the Gundam framework to invent something that functions as greater than anime fan service. After all, there are clear similarities to Overwatch, with all the fundamentals of the sport and even straight-up move-set copies of a few of its characters appearing here. Like Overwatch and the remaining of the hero shooter genre, Gundam Evolution gives players access to different heroes called mobile suit units. Each of those 17 units has its own special abilities and, within the case of Gundam Evolution, secondary jobs.

A Gundam Evolution battle between multiple units

I say secondary job because Gundam Evolution was created with a key gameplay philosophy: Every hero can fight. After I used Methuss, I discovered that the unit could do way more than heal. This mobile suit has impressive mobility (one ability lets it briefly transform right into a flying ship), packs superb firepower with proper aim, and is great at reviving at a distance with its healing ability. Each unit has that level of versatility, making more characters feel like viable options at present.

There’s even a Splatoon-like aspect to the gunplay because of jet boosters, which permit units to dash forward and hover. While it’s essential to get kills to further secure a match objective, a part of the strain comes from players’ ability to fly into a degree with a well-placed boost, land just a few key shots, and safely zip out. The dash isn’t infinite, so players must regulate their meters to make sure they’re using the tool at probably the most opportune moment, similar to abilities.

These changes to the hero shooter formula play a key role in making a match feel as fluid as possible …

In such a high-octane game, these changes to the hero shooter formula play a key role in making a match feel as fluid as possible, while opening the door for a great deal of strategy. As an example, in loads of games using Methuss, I’d run in to heal an ally. Right after that, I could get some shots in and protect them while they ran to safety after which use my ship ability to flee myself. These options aren’t widely available in other games of the genre that’s what sets Gundam Evolution apart.

This individuality doesn’t make the sport perfect though. The speed and movement tacked on top of its “jank” could make for a frustrating entry phase for first-time players and even quick learners. During my first days of playing, I bumped into instances of wonky hitboxes and peculiar buffers on different moves and dashes at times. One constant issue I’ve hit is just not with the ability to tell when attacks hit properly. It’s one in all those games where in case you can work past or learn to work with the problems you’ll find tons of enjoyment, nevertheless it’s definitely not for everybody resulting from these issues.

The stages could use some work

One area where it’s clear that Gundam could use a little bit of upgrading is the stage variety. I don’t entirely fault the team for the present stage selection, which features some repetitive design. Gundam is a series where tons of battles happen on desert-like planets, dark space stations, and machinery-filled bases. But once I have a look at each the locales within the Gundam anime series and diverse stages in other hero shooters, it looks like there’s still space for the live service game to expand in later updates.

It’s hard to navigate once I’m watching the identical metal and steel textures around every corner.

There are Gundam series that take the fights to cities, water-based areas, and beyond, but Evolution lacks that very same biome-trotting feel. While playing the initial betas, I discovered myself getting lost regardless of how over and over I played through certain battlefields, as so many pathways and lanes looked just like each other. It’s hard to navigate once I’m watching the identical metal and steel textures around every corner.

That’s to not say these stages are poorly designed. Each has great choke points and item placements, which helped me construct an eventual mental map of stages. Sooner relatively than later, I felt right at home. The sport’s three different modes: Point Capture, Domination, and Destruction, can change the texture of maps, adding some extra twists to the combo.

A first person view of a Gundam Evolution base.

In Point Capture, one team captures two different set objective points while the opposite defends. Domination sees each teams always traversing the whole map while attempting to capture multiple points. Finally, in Destruction, one team attempts to arm an explosive and protect it until it goes off while the opposite does the other. Each mode uses the maps in another way enough to make them feel recent. Nevertheless, the 6v6 player count in each mode (that’s a better player count than Overwatch and its sequel) may hit players in another way. For some, this larger spread may find yourself feeling a bit unbalanced for the objectives and the maps they’re played on.

Since this can be a game that’ll likely be supported for some time, it’s entirely possible that Bandai Namco could usher in some variation in recent seasons. Until then, I’ll be praying I’ll have the opportunity to fly the blue skies hanging over a city as an alternative of getting lost on a non-distinct space base.

It’s free-to-play, but…

I used to be shocked once I saw the variety of units available without spending a dime once I began up the complete version of Gundam Evolution. As soon as you open the sport, you could have access to all 12 of the units that were available in the sport’s beta freed from charge. This wide range of mobile suits allows tons of experimentation and grants access to an entire experience without forcing players to drop a cent.

It won’t empty your pockets or beg you to spend your entire life playing to get a great day trip of it, however the premiums might be a simple turnoff …

There are five extra units that players can unlock either with an in-game unlockable currency called Capital or through actual money, which might be traded for EVO coins. The unlockable currency is attained by completing challenges and leveling as much as fill out the free battle pass tiers. There are also paid battle pass tiers that reward players with the currency granted by paying actual money.

While the free-to-play roster has enough variation to deliver a full experience, those wanting the additional bells and whistles of the extra five units and skins could have to pay some extra. For instance, those trying to play completely free and unlock everyone else through the free battle pass will only accumulate enough unpaid currency to get one character to unlock per season.

Sazabi in desert camo skin.

The actual monetary purchases are not any joke either. Each premium character comes at a price of $10, meaning it’s $50 for the set. The skins add on an additional premium as well. A pack of 4 easy reskins got here at $80 (and what’s worse is that they aren’t precisely the prettiest cosmetics). There’s a minimum of solace within the indisputable fact that these skins and further characters aren’t needed to benefit from the game. One can easily jump in, ignore all this, and play the sport without paying a penny. But when you wish to play the complete game, either be ready for a slow and regular grind or pay up.

Gundam Evolution brings enough unique twists to make it a real contender within the team hero shooter genre. The sport switches things up enough that I’m confident it could attract players completely illiterate in Gundam series. For fans, though, it brings a wealth of exciting references to dig into like special VIP outros. It won’t empty your pockets or beg you to spend your entire life playing to get a great day trip of it, however the premiums might be a simple turnoff for those who desire a wider experience. The jank of the sport might also turn away potential suitors. But because of the promise of future updates and being free-to-play, Gundam Evolution might need the high ground in its war against Overwatch 2.

Gundam Evolution was reviewed on PC.

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