It’s time to suit up for Gundam Evolution, the multiplayer-focused free-to-play first-person shooter that aims to merge the giant robots of anime fame with game modes and a style akin to Blizzard’s Overwatch. A closed network test will run from June 23 to June 28, letting players on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, and PlayStation 4 pick their favorite mobile suit and team up with five other mechas in a six-on-six team competition. Registration for the test is open now, and those picked for access to the game will gain notice on June 16 and 17.
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It’s unclear how much content from Gundam Evolution will be a part of the multiplayer test, but the full game aims to satisfy fans of all ages. Mechs from across the history of the anime’s many incarnations will be available, including those outside the main Universal Century timeline. Bandai Namco has already confirmed more than 10 suits from the final game, ranging from the expected original Gundam and Zaku II to the more modern Gundam Exia and Gundam Barbatos. They have abilities and different weapons like the heroes in Overwatch, a comparison that is hard not to make, especially when looking at the game’s Overwatch-like HUD.
Executive Producer Kazuya Maruyama took to the game’s website to speak more about the test. While it is meant to iron out bugs, this specific test is also letting the team test console-specific features like aim assist and gamepad controls. The last test was on PC and the changes from that test won’t be in this upcoming console one. The console test also won’t have in-game voice chat, but the full game will.
Prepare to Move Beyond Your Limits again!
Our Console Network Test begins on 06.23.22 at 7PM PT!
— GUNDAM EVOLUTION (@gundamevolution) May 26, 2022
Three modes are set for the final game, namely Point Capture, Domination, and Destruction. All three should be familiar to first-person shooter faithful, with Destruction and Point Capture both featuring an attacking and defending team going after objectives on the map. The only twist comes in the scale of the battle, with players unleashing ultimate moves as giant robots navigating huge facilities rather than human-sized warriors on city streets.
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Despite its obvious influences, Gundam Evolution is certainly unique, especially since games based on anime franchises typically take on the fighting or musou genres rather than something as competitive as the shooter space. It’s a novel combination, and Bandai Namco has decades of history to mine for new mechs and map locales.