I do not know much about Gundam Franchising apart from a few memories of older shows as they aired on Toonami that day. Young Zack liked big battles. And in 2022, I still like big mechs. I also like team shooters. So lucky for me, Gundam Evolution mix together famous mechs from Gundam franchise with gameplay very similar to Blizzard’s popular hero shooter, Overwatch. The end result is a lot of fun, but also a bit unbalanced.
Released last week on Steam, Gundam Evolution is a new free first person shooter set in the popular anime universe with a wide selection of iconic mechs from the shows. Each of these mechs has its own weapons, abilities, and super items. These super powerful attacks are unlocked in battle as you kill enemies and complete objectives. If this sounds like Overwatch, wait until you see the in-game HUD and the image. But hey, if you’re going to copy another game, Overwatch not a bad choice. And Gundam Evolution not just an anime series of Blizzard’s team shooter.
One of the biggest differences is Gundam Evolution there is a “Down But Not Out” system ala Gears of War or Battlefield. So when you crash you can ask someone to revive you and anyone on your team can bring you back to life. However, anyone on the other team can (and likely will) blast you open with a laser rifle and force you to respawn. This wrinkle makes big teamfights feel different than in Overwatch, when a player runs away and comes back to respawn a few people really quickly can turn a successful rush into a horrendous failure.
Although the respawn system has changed a bit, anyone who has played a lot Overwatch may feel comfortable participating in this Development. Many of the controls and even the in-game UI feel directly detached Overwatch. However, what is missing is Overwatch’s balance and polish.
Gundam Evolution not broken or anything. In my few hours with the game, it ran fine and I was able to find matches quickly with little or no lag. But matchmaking is not very balanced. Nearly every game I played was a total loss. Either our team will stomp the other team for a few minutes, or the opposite will happen. And this will lead to players getting frustrated and leaving, making things worse. It’s a pity because the few matches I played against balanced teams were really fun. There is a misfortune for the war in Evolution which I like very much. You both feel like a big, powerful mech but also feel fast and precise. It’s beautiful. But it’s hard to enjoy that when the game keeps throwing me and the others into one-sided carnage.
If some of the matchmaking issues can be solved and some of the more powerful mechs nerfed a tad to stop them from controlling matches as much, Gundam Evolution could end up being something special. As someone with basically zero interest in or knowledge of the franchise, I still had a blast playing Evolution. And I imagine megafans of the series will enjoy this new shooter just as much as I did if not more, thanks for their history with Gundam. But until things are a little more balanced and always fun, it’s hard to advise people to check this out. Evolution unless they don’t mind some slight disappointments and bad matches.
Gundam Evolution Now out on Steam. It is scheduled for release later this year on consoles.