A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Players must work together as a team with elements of coordinated movement and communication to win. Beyond this positive outcome of design, the Gundam universe serves as window dressing to this experience; story, characters, and themes aren't relevant.
Positive Role Models
While players can select unique Gundam units, they don't have their own human pilots. There's an assortment of voices to customize how you sound, so many of their lines are purely functional with surface-level personalities. Gundam units may look cool but are purely meant for the experience of play.
There's an equal distribution and fairly wide range of masculine and feminine voices that players can equip to each Gundam unit. Beyond some pieces of art with digital cosmetics, humans are never seen.
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Ease of Play
It takes time to adjust to teamwork and understanding which characters are right for you, but the game presents clear instructions and a largely consistent control scheme that translates well across all characters. Players can go into a training area to practice and remap buttons for more accessible or comfortable options.
Violence & Scariness
Players will constantly bash and blast enemy robots, which emit sparks upon damage and die in explosions of metal. Despite human pilots, there's no gore or blood of any kind.
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"Damn" is in some voice lines as well as "pissed me off," but both are highly infrequent.
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Products & Purchases
You can buy new Gundam units, along with digital cosmetics and currency, with real-world money. Some cosmetics can be bought individually, but others are exclusive to bundles or locked behind loot boxes, which don't guarantee prestigious items since they have very low percentiles of appearing. Different types of currency and loot boxes add layers of unnecessary complexity to the in-game economy. There's a season pass with exclusive cosmetics, but players can pay more to advance in level faster, which thankfully does not grant any advantages during play. Even still, earning currency to unlock anything becomes increasingly ridiculous with challenges that are timed and scale unfairly as you progress. Other challenges are locked behind the season pass. This creates a current in-game economy that subtly pushes players to spend money to save time.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Gundam Evolution is a free-to-play, multiplayer first-person shooter available for download for Xbox One, Xbox One X|S, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and Windows PCs. Players have a large selection of giant robots (Gundam units) to play as in small teams with different weapons and abilities, which must be harnessed with intentional teamwork and communication to complete objectives. Despite having human pilots, there's no blood or gore with the destruction of robots. Only sparks and explosions of metal and fire. Some voice lines contain infrequent uses of "damn" and "pissed." There's a massive push for players to purchase Gundams with real-world money, thanks to the confusing nature of the in-game economy and the methods used to acquire new robots. As things progress, it's clear that the push for the game lies in buying additional characters, though there's no particular in-game advantage to doing this.
Is It Any Good?
While this title tries to capitalize on the concept of the "hero shooter," its lack of content and microtransactions keeps it from standing out. In Gundam Evolution, your controls are conveniently consistent across the entire roster of Gundam units, even while weapons and abilities vary wildly. Some have long- or close-range energy firearms, while others have hammers and staffs for melee combat. A few units have healing or explosive equipment, but their ranges and effectiveness suit differing scenarios. No matter which character you pick, it's encouraged that you're familiar with each one so you can not only provide the support your team needs, but also capitalize on enemy weaknesses. The modes are objective based (rather than solely focused on kill counts) on defending or destroying enemy caches in the Destruction mode, or capturing specific areas across maps in the Domination mode. For a free game, the three core modes are good fun, stacked on top of 12 free characters that all feel good to play as with smooth aiming and straightforward controls.
This is a live-service title that will evolve in time, but as it stands, it's struggling. The Gundam units' strengths and weaknesses don't carry enough weight to feel like changing characters will shift the tides of victory or dynamics of teamwork in notable ways. Character mobility also doesn't factor enough into strategic play with a paltry three maps that aren't memorable. The game's glaring issues arise in its digital economy and leveling systems. New characters and most desirable cosmetics are locked behind loot boxes, microtransactions, and a season pass. Many challenges are not only kept behind this pass, but are also timed and restrictive so that you can only complete so many, or kept from completing more, while other bundles have ridiculous prices attached. Gundam Evolution has a lot to work out with its game balancing, amount of content, and progression, but could morph into something truly special with its fun gameplay and assortment of characters.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.