I was kind of half-heartedly excited for this: hero shooters kinda suck. The principles behind some of their abilities and stuff are cool, they definitely spice up multiplayer shooters in general, but to be honest, they don’t feel that satisfying to me. Gundam Evolution is essentially a hero shooter with a Mobile Suit Gundam skin, and…
It’s just that.
I was excited because Bandai usually does a decent job of characterizing Gundam pretty well and balancing mobile suits in a way that actually make for fun and fair fights, and it’s not that this isn’t fair – it’s actually pretty well more than reasonable across the board, it’s also just balanced enough to be dry except for the annoying stand-outs.
The mobile suit lineup is kind of just, slightly strange, alongside with what suits have what. I’m not sure how the Pale Rider ends up a Soldier 76 clone and the Zaku II pretty much Tracer, with a grenade. Everyone does have dashes, making mobility significantly nicer, but the characterization of different mobile suits is all over the place and in some cases, picking lamer gimmicks over the cool ones. The RX-78-2 Gundam’s using the Gundam Hammer for a moment of hit stun but I can’t even recall when that thing ever really got used in the animation. It’s really just here as that left-over reminder that Gundam is (and was) a toy commercial, not because it really defines the original Gundam.
Given this Overwatch emulation is right down to the UI style as well, there’s really not much one can say about this game other than it’s Overwatch for if you like Gundam enough to stomach what will clearly be a painful monetization system that has zero respect overall for its customers and audience.
Highs and Lows
The high point is probably that Gundam Evolution feels pretty well balanced. Barbatos and Exia both stand out as being a bit much, but in the former’s case, jumping alone is pretty stupidly effective. Every character has a dash because they’re mobile suits and health bars are similarly fairly small so time-to-kill is low enough that dodging and especially doing so with dashes is a key part of increasing survivability
This does making aiming feel slightly fruitless at times, and as you can see, I lean towards over compensation and probably even a full expectation that I’m going to miss more than a few rounds most engagements. I suppose that also happened in Overwatch, but in Gundam Evolution, it’s significantly different for the fact that most weapons are actually rifles and have decent lethal capacity past short range. Couple this with the fact that all players can revive friendlies – so long as the friendly isn’t destroyed by continued enemy fire – and there’s enough here to sort of differentiate it in terms of feel.
But how much from other modern hero shooters is honestly really very little.
If you like a low time to kill, some Gundam skins, and other things like that, Gundam Evolution is probably a nearly decent title to play; however, Gundam Battle Operation 2 is coming to Steam and frankly, it is an all around significantly better Gundam game that, for arguably being pay-to-win as a gacha game, is actually more consumer friendly: at least you can paint your mobile suits how you please rather than rely off of one-off skins.
But it is a Gundam game, it’s just that Bandai really needs to be rewarded for the right decisions and spurned over the wrong ones when it comes to this I.P. which is just being largely wasted as a whole. There are amazing Gundam games Western audiences usually completely miss out on, and on PC, there’s very little we really have at all that’s anything at all modern.
So do I recommend you put the time in? Not really. Not unless you really like hero shooters and slapping Gundam on as the branding is really your idea of a good time.