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 gamers a good idea of what to expect. It’s a hero shooter similar to games like Overwatch, Team Fortress 2, and Paladins, but characters from the wildly popular Gundam series have been around for decades. In my test impressions of the Gundam Evolution network, I will talk about what I liked and what can be improved for the official version.
Gundam Evolution Network Test
The closed network test turned out better than I expected. Obviously, a lot of effort goes into recreating various Gundam suits for this. You start with the tutorial and it familiarizes you with the basic mechanics. You have thrusters that allow you to dash, sprint, or even stay in the air for a bit to float. Other than that, most of the mechanics are similar to other titles like Overwatch. You have a few active abilities that are unique to each suit and have cooldowns.
Currently, you only have ranked play which has a few traditional game modes including capture points, dominate, and destroy. The few maps were visually varied and the game looks quite impressive, especially with the settings increased. My favorite part is how distinct each Mobile Suit is and how much their abilities make sense with their design, size, and story in the anime.
Unlike Overwatch, the character selection screen does not exactly classify suits into their specific roles. You will need to experiment with each one and decide which one suits the composition of the team the best. I will say one thing though, most of the units you traditionally consider in the “support” category can also stand on their own.
There is also a sniper unit, the GM Sniper II, which I assume will be balanced in future patches. They can take out smaller units from a distance quite easily. Unlike, say, Overwatch’s Widowmaker, the sniper unit here doesn’t exactly need to charge up a shot to get the most damage.
Actual combat encounters rely on a lot of quick movement, and staying in one place is a sure way to get destroyed. When your health drops, you can be revived by your teammates for a few seconds, or enemy players can remove your disabled suit.
Firefights are a lot of fun and seeing different types of abilities on screen is exhilarating. While most of the attacks have great animations, I’ve noticed that some of the heavier units don’t have much of an impact in their melee attacks.
Thruster systems encourage players to rush and take cover. Some units can even transform into smaller forms that allow them to fly. Each unit feels truly unique, and I’ve picked a few favorites already, like the Asshimar for its speed.
There is also a sufficiently functional ping system, and I hope to see it improve as the game is fully released.
Now, it’s a free-to-play title, so yes, there’s a Battle Pass as well. There is also a version of loot boxes that will give you different customization rewards.
Each mobile unit can be customized and you can use different skins, ornaments, MVP animations, voices, stamps, etc. Most of the skins I’ve seen so far are basically different color accents, but some are cool too. We hope to see more customization once the game launches.
Some mobile units are also available for purchase. You’ll need to spend the main currency to unlock these, which can be obtained in-game by simply playing.
Also, quitting even just one game carries a pretty hefty penalty. This encourages players to at least complete the match they are in.
On the performance side, I was running the game on a 3600X paired with an RTX 3060. I had no issues pushing the game to ultra settings and also used DLDSR to run at higher resolutions.
It doesn’t have a ton of options to customize though, and that’s a bit disappointing. Regardless, the overall performance was solid. I think most users should get 60 fps with minimal settings.
Also, be sure to check the title requirements if you plan to play the PC version. Even though the full requirements mentioned 100 GB, this network test is only 11 GB.
What did you think of our Gundam Evolution Network test prints? If you have any questions, let us know in the comments below.