Gundam Evolution welcomes Gundam and Overwatch fans with big metal arms

Gundam Evolution welcomes Gundam and Overwatch fans with big metal arms

I don’t know if I should recommend Gundam Evolution to people. My feelings can pretty much be summed up in a vintage Futurama Fry meme: Not sure if Gundam Evolution is a good game, or if I like Gundam too much to see its flaws.

What makes my confusion harder to shake is that the other people also enjoy the game. People who may not even care about Gundam! Some of them even say it’s better that Monitor 2, another renowned hero shooter that will be released next week. Part of it may just be bitterness at the fact that Monitor 2 is not just a sequel, but a wholesale replacement of the original Surveillance.

If Blizzard’s decision has left you looking for a new hero shooter, then let me try to answer your questions about Gundam Evolution. Not because I know a lot about Surveillancebut because I know too much about Gundam.

It’s funny! (And free!)

I may not be able to say if it is “better” than Monitor 2but I can certainly report that Gundam Evolution is a good time. Although they are giant metal robots, these Gundams fight and die quickly. You’ll likely respawn frequently trying to capture or defend points or detonating and disarming bombs, so you’ll never run out of action. There are no strict character classes here, even the most favorable mobile suits offer enough firepower to make most 1v1s an even skill test. Best of all, it’s free and widely available on PC and consoles, so you can easily try it out.

Microtransactions are bad

Gundam Evolution may be free, but it’s also loaded with microtransactions. There are loot boxes, five characters you can pay to unlock, a season pass, and deluxe editions that include premium currency that you must redeem within 120 days or it expires! You can grind it in the free tier and earn enough non-premium currency to unlock a Gundam if you put enough time into it, but you’re going to have a very boring profile for a long time. At least it doesn’t lock new characters behind a battle pass like Monitor 2.

It’s more like Overwatch 1 than Overwatch 2

Gundam Evolution has teams of six players, just like SurveillanceMonitor 2 moves to teams of five. Contrary to Overwatch 2, the evolution of Gundam has stun attacks. Only five of the 17 mobile suits are locked at the start of the game, unlike the heroes of Monitor 2. Are there more similarities? Most likely, but that’s the extent of my Overwatch knowledge.

No, you cannot play as Deathscythe

Gundam Evolution not only lacks a playable XXXG-01D Gundam Deathscythe, but actually lacks references to the only Gundam series many American fans have ever seen. Big oversight, or a $20 purchase down the line? Who can say?

Deathscythe and all his cronies from Gundam Wing are not in Gundam Evolution (Again)
Picture: Sunrise

Playable Gundams include deep cuts

Gundam Evolution features a total of 17 playable mobile suits right now (all of these robots are considered mobile suits, but technically only some of them are really Gundams). This includes many popular mobile suits from the original series, including the Zaku, Guntank, and the original RX-78-2 Gundam, as well as modern suits like the Unicorn Gundam and Gundam Barbatos from Iron-Blooded Orphans.

More surprising are the suits that populate the early Zeta and ZZ Gundam roster, like the transformants Methuss and Asshimar. Another playable character only appears in manga and a Gundam video game. Best of all, the game has two costumes from the relatively obscure Turn a Gundamwhich was released in Japan around the turn of the millennium but didn’t come to America via DVD until 2015. That’s important because this Gundam features a mustache and you can play like that and that’s good.

A white Gundam with a blue and red torso leaps to the left, left arm extended behind him, the other arm cradling a very large laser cannon, which is aimed at the lower left corner.

The Turn A Gundam is the only Gundam with a mustache.
Picture: Bandai Namco

Playable characters aren’t always screen accurate

Gundam fans should be prepared for canonical inaccuracies from the start, and the game says as much about the character info screens. Gundam Evolution isn’t interested in a close adherence to the source material, and it’s frankly a better game for that. Sure, the oddly named “Gundam Hammer” Morning Star is far from the RX-78-2’s most iconic weapon, but it makes a fitting secondary ability here. Other units are given weapons and abilities they never had before in order to make them more balanced fighters.

You don’t need to know anything about Gundam to enjoy it Gundam Evolution

There is no story in Gundam Evolution. Unlike Overwatch, which has a single setting where all characters come from, Gundam Evolution looks more like Super Smash Bros. Where MultiVersus, where a group of characters from completely different series or timelines all fight for no good reason. The most important thing is to decide which character will be your first version of Gunpla.

Gundam Evolution is available now on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X.

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