It’s been nearly a week since the official release of Gundam Evolution for PC players. Bandai Namco’s free-to-play shooter has seen a reasonably successful launch, considering the delays and the fact that it won’t be available on console for a few months. Unfortunately, many fans of Gundam Evolution have speculated that the enthusiasm around the 6v6 first-person shooter will falter over the coming days when Overwatch 2 releases.
While Blizzard has had its fair share of controversies, it still has one of the most anticipated games of the year which is also free-to-play. At one point, it seemed that many Overwatch 2 players were intrigued by Gundam Evolution, but Bandai Namco may not be able to retain its player base with the way things are at the moment. Most agree that the gameplay itself is very fast-paced, enjoyable, and reminiscent of old Halo games, but many changes need to be made if the game wants to survive.
Game Progression and In-Game Currency Issues
The first big issue is the time to progress. Currently, Gundam Evolution has 16 available mechs, with 5 of these locked behind a paywall unless players are willing to grind heavy hours for them. Since it was revealed that Bandai Namco will be releasing two mobile suits every new season, players will only be able to unlock one per season, not counting season one, without pulling out their wallets. While Overwatch 2 is also going down a similar path with its battle pass, it offers a free track that isn’t as intensive to earn rewards which isn’t a great look for Bandai Namco.
Capital is one of the currencies that is used to unlock new suits, though it isn’t easy to get one’s hands on. In most free-to-play PVP games on the market, users earn an amount of the currency needed to unlock more items after every game, but not in this game. Loot boxes fair worse than in-game currency, with repeat items already occurring and astonishingly low chances of getting anything truly worthwhile even with the premium loot box.
Gundam Evolution’s Gameplay Can’t Keep Up with Overwatch
Overwatch prime fostered an incredible competitive system since it was released in 2016, but it doesn’t seem that Bandai Namco is following in Blizzard’s footsteps. Users have reported that placements feel unfair, as there are several elements they don’t think are fair when they are being placed in a certain skill level. Most players agreed that unless there is an unprecedented win streak, it seems that the placement algorithm is skewed toward the lower end of the competitive scale. Unfortunately, the consensus seems to be that it just isn’t enjoyable to grind ranked if there isn’t any meaningful progress even after multiple wins, as any losses are extremely penalizing.
The game’s own restrictions have also limited player growth. In order for Gundam Evolution to make it in eSports and mainstream popularity, they need to have a healthy amount of daily players. The game being region locked in several places including Australia, Hong Kong, and several countries in Europe doesn’t help this at all. Additionally, the shooter still won’t be out on PlayStation or Xbox for a few more months. By the time Gundam Evolution is finally available for console gamers, it may be too late to capitalize on the early hype, especially since Overwatch 2 will be free-to-play on all consoles, except mobile, on October 4.
Gundam Evolution is still a promising game, especially if the developer is willing to make the necessary changes to counter other fps games like Overwatch 2. This is the first title from the Gundam franchise to have a shot at making it into the competitive marketplace, so it will be interesting to see what becomes of it after Overwatch 2 releases.
Gundam Evolution is available for PC and will release on December 1, 2022, for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.