Gundam Evolution from Bandai Namco's is free-to-play for PC players, with the developer confirming that the game will be available for console players at a later date, likely closer to the end of November or the beginning of December. The mech team-based FPS is being compared to Blizzard's Overwatch franchise by many because of the similar genre and objective-based battles. This is a large part of why some Overwatch players are flocking to the newly released Gundam Evolution over Overwatch 2.
The attention that Gundam Evolution is receiving was largely unexpected by many players, as most Gundam fans are attracted to certain features from the mobile suit genre. For example, typically Gundam games allow players to pilot a large mech, have a view of the cockpit, and utilize an intelligent aiming system. Of course, while the game is appealing to people who already enjoy the mecha genre, it's apparent that Gundam Evolution was overall created to appeal to FPS players, and to potentially introduce more people to the community. After all, many of the unique fighting mechanics are already drawing Overwatch 2 players to it.
Gundam Evolution is Keeping What Overwatch Abandoned
It's no secret that Blizzard has had a troubling past couple of years, from content droughts, employment scandals, and other controversies. Some of the changes that the developer has decided to make in Overwatch 2 have been mostly welcomed, such as removing stuns, having a singular tank, and a focus on higher damage output. Unfortunately, the recently announced decision to lock new Overwatch heroes behind the Battle Pass, free track or not, left many with a bitter taste in their mouths since the game has been known in the past for being dependent on counter-picking heroes to challenge a team's comp.
Furthermore, quite a few people were disappointed to hear that Overwatch prime's servers would be shut down when the sequel dropped, meaning that if any players wanted to return to the thrill of 6v6 on classic maps, they wouldn't be able to. Gundam Evolution could serve as an adequate replacement for the original Overwatch for many hoping to return to those bigger team fights, with 6 on 6 matches rather than the 5v5 format that Overwatch 2 has switched to.
Gundam Evolution Has Immense Potential
While Gundam Evolution has mostly flown under the radar in terms of mainstream popularity so far, a few big-name streamers play-testing the game during the spring certainly helped spark interest. YouTuber and Twitch streamer MoistCr1TiKaL was able to run the game in April this year, after which he brazenly called Gundam Evolution the "greatest Overwatch 2 of all time," though looking at the game post-launch will be the only way to tell if it is going to be successful.
It should be stated that Gundam Evolution, regardless of however Blizzard handles Overwatch 2, already has immense potential for success. The mecha franchise is already incredibly popular, featuring model kits, anime, and several games to its name. This title, according to Bandai Namco, is intended to bridge the gap between what fans of the Gundam franchise already enjoy and something entirely new.
Gundam Evolution is its Own Game in the End
The game also has features outside point-capture maps, such as an engaging destruction mode that is reminiscent of Bomb Scenario in Counter-Strike, or the Spike in Plant/Defuse game modes in Valorant. While Overwatch 2 has new game modes and maps as well, such as the Push mode which sees characters walking a robot as far as possible into enemy territory, it lacks anything similar to bomb defusal.
Bandai Namco's new fps is also truly different in its overall gameplay style, with emphasis on directional movement and a bit more of a free-for-all feeling, as there is a lack of shields like Overwatch 2, and less focus on holding teams at choke points. Mechanical skill will become more vital over players charging up their ultimate, though this ability is still important and can turn a fight when used at the right time.
Gundam Evolution is also focusing less on the importance of specific roles for its mobile suits, such as Tanks, DPS, or Supports, and is encouraging players to pick their favorite mecha instead. Each metal hero is equipped with the ability to deal massive damage, and while some might fit better in certain circumstances - such as GM Sniper for long-distance eliminations - each is able to handle themselves against an opponent when they need to.
Gundam Evolution is available to play on PC today at 7 pm PT. It will likely launch on December 1, 2022, for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.