Gundam Evolution is an upcoming free-to-play first-person shooter from Bandai Namco Online. The title currently has a closed network test in progress and gives players a good idea of what to expect. This is a hero shooter similar to games like Overwatch, Team Fortress 2, and Paladins, but characters from the highly popular Gundam series have been around for decades. In my Gundam Evolution Network Test Impressions, I’ll talk about what I enjoyed, and what can be improved for the official release.
Gundam Evolution Network Test
The closed network test turned out to be better than I was expecting. Clearly, there is a lot of effort put into recreating various Gundam suits for this. You start off with the tutorial, and it familiarizes you with the basic mechanics. You have thrusters that let you dash, sprint, or even remain in the air for a bit to essentially float around. Apart from this, most mechanics are similar to other titles like Overwatch. You have a few active abilities that are unique for each suit and have cooldowns.
Currently, you only have Ranked Play which has a few traditional game modes, which include Point Capture, Domination, and Destruction. The few maps were visually varied, and the game does look pretty impressive, especially with the settings cranked up. My favorite part is how distinct each Mobile Suit looks, and how their abilities make sense with their design, size, and history in the anime.
Unlike Overwatch though, the character select screen doesn’t exactly categorize the suits into their specific roles. You’ll have to experiment with each and decide which is better suited for the team composition. I’ll say one thing though, most units that you would traditionally consider in the “support” category can stand on their own too.
There’s also a sniper unit, the GM Sniper II, which I’m guessing will be balanced in the coming patches. They can take out smaller units quite easily from a distance. Unlike say, Widowmaker from Overwatch, the sniper unit here doesn’t exactly need to charge up a shot to get the most damage out.
Fast Paced Combat
The actual combat encounters rely on a lot of fast movement, and staying in one place is a sure way to get destroyed. When your health goes down, you can be revived by fellow teammates for a few seconds, or enemy players can take out your disabled suit.
Firefights are a lot of fun and seeing different kinds of abilities on-screen is exhilarating. While most attacks have great animations, I noticed that some of the heavier units don’t have a lot of impact in their melee attacks.
The thruster systems encourage players to dash around and take cover. Some units can even transform into smaller forms that let them fly around. Each unit really does feel unique, and I’ve already settled on a few favorites, like the Asshimar for its speed.
There’s a functional enough pinging system as well, and I hope to see it improved as the game fully releases.
Now, this is a free-to-play title, so yes, there is a Battle Pass as well. There’s a version of loot boxes here as well that’ll net you different customization rewards.
Each Mobile Unit can be customized and you can use different skins, ornaments, MVP animations, voices, stamps, and more. Most of the skins I’ve seen so far are essentially different color accents, but some cool ones were there too. We hope to see deeper customization once the game launches.
Some mobile units are available for purchase as well. You’ll need to spend the primary currency to unlock those, which can be obtained in-game by simply playing.
Furthermore, leaving even a single match has a pretty hefty penalty. This encourages players to at least finish the match they’re in.
On the performance side of things, I was running the game on a 3600X paired with an RTX 3060. I had no problem pushing the game to ultra settings and made use of DLDSR to run at higher resolutions as well.
It doesn’t have a ton of options to customize though, and that’s a tad bit disappointing. Either way, performance as a whole has been solid. I believe that most users should get 60fps with minimum tweaks.
Make sure to check out the requirements for the title too if you plan on playing the PC version. Even though the full requirements mentioned 100 GB, this network test is only 11 GB in size.
What did you think of our Gundam Evolution Network Test Impressions? If you have any questions, let us know in the comments below.