Fans of the Mobile Suit Gundam series that were looking for a toy box approach to New Gundam Breaker are going to be incredibly disappointed. New Gundam Breaker is a game that loosely focuses on the Gundam model kit figures, which have become incredibly popular around the world. At first glance, things may seem to have a “small soldiers”-like approach with skirmishes between Gundam models, but what you get instead is a shallow and trope-filled anime story with GUNPLA on the side. Combined with a myriad of technical issues and non-existent online multiplayer modes, and what you get is a very disappointing Mobile Suit Gundam game.
The model kit building in New Gundam Breaker is only a small part of the game’s overall experience. You can customize your own model kit with various parts gained in every game mode, which changes up the attributes and abilities of your own Gundam model. There are a lot of different model kits included that span the entirety of the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise. However, don’t expect to spend a whole lot of time tinkering with the parts and look of your Gundam mode.
Instead, you’ll have to push through a boring and predictable story mode that consists of 30 repetitive missions. Rather than go further with the model kits coming to life in the real world, New Gundam Breaker opts to follow a story about a high school that is centered on GUNPLA building and battling. It’s a very cheesy story that has nearly ever anime trope you would expect and does almost nothing to compliment the GUNPLA concept.
But is the gameplay any good? Unfortunately, New Gundam Breaker suffers from many technical issues that nearly break the experience. Frame rate drops are abundant as more units appear on the screen, which can bring the action to a screeching halt. This is due to the matches being 3-on-3 battles, with additional neutral faction units appearing on the field as well, and everything becoming a mess on screen.
It can be hard to focus on one target, despite the auto-targeting feature, when so many units end up bunching up together and causing havoc. Hit detection for most attacks and projectiles can look completely off since most of the attacks done by you and other units can hardly be made out on screen.
This is made worse by the various GUNPLA parts you can gather on the ground dropped by enemies you defeat or allies that are destroyed in battle. This becomes a big problem when you can’t pick up parts or items while attacking or boosting around the map. Gathering parts in missions is important for getting new GUNPLA parts for your mobile suit, but when you can’t pick them up at all while attacking or moving around it can be annoying.
Completing missions does allow you to gain more parts at the results screen, especially if you’re able to get a high rating and defeat tough enemies during a mission, but this isn’t always the best way to get new parts. It feels as if something technical is off really badly that prevent you from simply picking up new parts or having them magnetize towards you as you get close to them. Either way, it becomes a real problem as you play through more missions and can’t gather as many parts as you should be.
The multiplayer modes of New Gundam Breaker are a complete disaster. It’s nearly impossible to get a full match started when the game can’t initiate one. Multiplayer sessions are done in the same 3-on-3 style matches, but only if you’re able to gather a team of three in the lobby and get matched up with another team of 3.
Instead, you’ll frequently be stuck in the lobby without the match starting, or in some cases boosted back to the main menu due to a network connection error. If you’re somehow able to get a match started with other players, you’ll be in for a very rocky experience that is nearly unplayable. This is a shame because the online modes for New Gundam Breaker become completely useless, leaving little to nothing else to do after completing the game’s single-player story mode.
New Gundam Breaker is a big disappointment. What could’ve been a great concept that was akin to either “Small Soldiers” or “Toy Story” with Gundam models instead becomes a real mess. The story mode is really out of place and trivializes what should be the main focus of the entire experience, the model kit building. The multiplayer can’t be started because of many connection issues, and the gameplay itself suffers from many frame drops and wacky bugs. If you were hoping for a new game with a great spin on the Mobile Suit Gundam series, then you, unfortunately, won’t find it here. Sadly, the Gundam series may need to go back to the garage for a long time, and ultimately the drawing board.
This review was based on a physical copy of New Gundam Breaker for the PlayStation 4, provided by Bandai Namco.