A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Gundam Versus is a fighting game between people in giant robot-like battle suits. The game is based on the long-running anime series that started in the 1970s, which covers movies, books, games, and more. There's no blood or gore, but there are frenetic melee and ranged attacks using weapons that include swords, guns, and energy blasts. Apart from the focus on battle, there's no inappropriate content to be found.
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What's it about?
In GUNDAM VERSUS, you'll climb into massive Mobile Suits from all across the series history and engage in epic combat across massive battlefields. And for the first time, you'll have a chance to engage in two-vs.-two or even three-on-three mech battles. Players can now team up to strategize and work together to destroy the rival team, using machine guns, energy weapons, swords, and more (including the option to call upon Striker support characters to assist you in the heat of battle). You can lock onto enemies, choose an ideal way to strike, and when. It also features several online and offline modes to indulge in for players of all skill levels.
Is it any good?
This sci-fi fantasy brawler is a fun, frantic, and good-looking game for fans of the franchise and newcomers to its robotic battles. The core gameplay hasn't changed much over the years: You take control of giant robot-like fighters and duke it out on various battlefields. But instead of only fighting against the game's AI (artificial intelligence) or against a friend beside you or online, the two-vs.-two or three-vs.-three play marks an evolution of the franchise, and is well-executed, for the most part. Along with unlocking and selecting your favorite fighters (a treat for fans of the franchise), you can choose between two different Awakening Systems: Blaze Gear and Lightning Gear -- each with their own characteristics that can be advantageous during combat.
Gundam Versus features online matchmaking via a worldwide server, so you can choose to play against those with similar skills, to ensure a good and fair match. That said, while the matchmaking lobby worked effectively, there's some difficulty in the multiplayer servers during gameplay, with some sluggish frame rates with two-vs.-two matches. It doesn't always happen, and the odd hiccup didn't take away much from the overall experience. Finding six simultaneous players for three-on-three matches can be tricky as well. The game is quite a looker, too, both in the detail (and animation) of the fighters and in the environment, including landscape deformation and lighting techniques. Well done. Too bad the shoddy menus and mostly Japanese text make this game feel like there was little effort put in to porting it over for western audiences. Overall, though, if you like Gundam games, you'll get a thrill out of this new "versus" exclusive for PS4.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in the media. Is it OK to play fighting games if it's giant robots (which are clearly rooted in science fiction) without blood or gore? Or does it not matter that it's fantasy-based, because violence is still violence?
Talk about merchandising in games. Do video games based on popular franchises motivate players to become more involved in those franchises (buying products, watching shows, and so on)?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Bandai Namco
- Release date: October 4, 2017
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Cars and Trucks, Magic and Fantasy, Sports and Martial Arts, Robots, Space and Aliens
- ESRB rating: T for Fantasy Violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.