Gundam games are really a hit or miss, its perplexing to think that one of the best anime franchises just can’t get a break when it comes to video games. The latest game in the franchise, New Gundam Breaker, is definitely a miss in this regard.
If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It
For a game that proudly proclaims to be “New”, the new Gundam Breaker doesn’t bring new things to the table. If anything there are even fewer things for players to do in this game. Though they did keep a few things the same, namely the combat and the customisation options.
The combat can only be described as a clunkier, Musou game ala Dynasty Warriors. You have a heavy attack, light attack, and you can shoot with your gun; the basic actions of any Gundam really. It’s a pretty fun albeit simple hack-and-slash system that for the most part works, just like the previous Gundam Breaker game. Though like most Musou games, it can get stale pretty quick.
Customisation is still fun as well, though its not as diverse as the previous game. You can still work towards building your dream Mobile Suit, collecting parts with each battle encounter or buying them from the parts shop. Each part provides a different attribute or ability to your Mobile Suit and can make or break a battle. It can also make or break your Gundam as your parts can be broken off by enemies, meaning you’ll also lose the abilities tied to that part for a while.
Which leads to the biggest change in the combat, in the old games breaking parts was a key mechanic in achieving victory, for example breaking your enemies leg part was a guaranteed kill. In New Gundam Breaker, you’ll break your enemies’ and even your own parts in combat, parts can be dropped and can be picked up. Once you pick it up, you can change your parts on the fly, if you were lucky you could get a part dropped by your enemy that could work in your favor.
While it sounds good in theory, the whole parts breaking apart everywhere turns into a game where you would rather not engage in direct fights to not lose your precious parts, or it can just be a mad frenzy to get all the parts on the ground just to make it out alive. Basically, the whole design of this mechanic is flawed and really bogs down the combat and customisation.
Gundam, More Like Gundumb
One excruciating part of the game is the story, the Gundam series has always had pretty relatable stories, backed by the premise of giant fighting robots in a war between space colonies. It’s a space opera in every sense of the word. The current Gundam Build series, the new series aimed towards children that focuses on their Gunpla toys, this kid-friendly show merely pays homage to the lore and focuses on the joy of collecting Gundam. New Gundam Breaker is based on this anime, and yet does it all wrong with the story.
New Gundam Breaker’s story is more interested in being a generic, harem visual novel than it wants to be a Gundam story. You play a new boy in a school who has to impress a selection of girls by participating in Gundam battles with them. Riveting.
Not to mention, there’s no varied gameplay between the story fights. Basically, you fight your fellow classmates and their Gunplas, usually in 3v3 battles. The girls of interest will usually be on your side, fighting with their own customised Gunplas. Winning the battle can make them like you more and stuff, which can lead to other branching paths in the story. Basically, standard visual novel stuff.
Not Breaking Any Grounds
Overall, New Gundam Breaker is just a mediocre game, the old games did a decent job and there’s not much “new” in this game. If you’re a die-hard Gundam fan, you might have some fun with it, though it wouldn’t last long. Maybe get it when it’s on sale for a really, really low price. New Gundam Breaker is out now for PlayStation 4.