New Gundam Breaker is supposedly a fresh start for the series, an overhaul that would improve the decent, albeit repetitive, gameplay of Gundam Breaker 3.
There is a new campaign mode for those (like me) who felt that Gundam Breaker 3 needed a more cohesive plot. Set in Gunbre High School, the story revolves around Kyosuke and team’s efforts to stop a corrupt student council.
The story is told like a visual novel, mainly to set-up fights at the end of the chapter. These fights are arranged as a duo or a 3-on-3. However, New Gundam Breaker isn’t made up of deathmatches. Rather, it’s a race to complete missions while scoring the most points.
Points are earned for completing sub-quests that randomly pop-up during a fight. One may involve killing a certain number of AI mechs, while some pit you against a special boss Gundam. The difficulty of the quest dictates how many points you’ll get.
To make things harder, the opposing team will also be vying for the same objectives. That makes it a hectic three-way with you, the enemy, and the quest mobs all fighting in the same space. It’s a radical departure from the stage-by-stage gameplay of previous Gundam Breaker games, and it’s much more fun for it. While the AI are pushovers in the beginning, they start putting up more of a fight as you progress further into the story.
While I love the quests system, some can be rather unclear as objectives aren’t highlighted on the HUD or the mini-map. As such, stumbling onto a target is sometimes a matter of luck than actual planning. Speaking of which, the minimap in horrendous. The icon depicting the player character is so nondescript that it pretty much blends in with the others during a busy battle.
Highly detailed cosmetic and skills part customization of your Gundam can be a game all by itself.
New Gundam Breaker nails the magic of Gunpla but fumbles combat.
As before, parts and components may be broken off and salvaged for your own mech, but you’ll need to actively go around scooping them. I’m honestly divided on this.
It’s a great risk-reward system. Do you risk the mission by depositing your items, or do you keep on fighting knowing that you may not get to stow your acquired gear? I often miss the old system where you get to keep everything that drops. There’s just something about sorting through massive piles of loot, rather than cherishing the handful of parts you managed to recover.
Luckily, you can also buy parts using the points you’ve earned from completing missions. These can be found in the Library mode, though Gundams must first be unlocked by encountering them in battle.
Each part comes with its own special skill you can utilize in battle. It’s another plus to the game that there are tons of parts you can equip. They give your Gundam a totally unique look, which may be customized even further with paint jobs. Don’t forget to admire your hard work in the Gallery mode.
You can also customize the inner frame, which affects your base skills and what your Gundam specializes in. In short, if you want to go up close and personal then you’ll naturally want an inner frame that enhances melee skills. New Gundam Breaker definitely deserves credit for the amount of customization it offers, which in turn honors the entire Gundam-building premise of this particular universe.
Still, even with three-way fights and scrambling for parts, the overall pace of combat feels incredibly slow. You start off with the iconic RX-78-2 but it never feels as responsive, even after improving your parts and stats. Jumping and dodging in particular feels floaty, as if you’re underwater.
There’s also an issue with the lock-on system against bigger targets like warships or Perfect Grade Gundams. Entering melee range will send the the camera panning upwards, making you lose sight of your own mech. This happens every time you face a huge boss or enemy, and it’s a major annoyance.
Thankfully, battles now seem to take place within recreated locations in GunBre High School or from locales from the various series instead of genericlooking stages. My favorite has to be the teacher’s lounge, with its oversized monitors and furniture in the background. Sadly, environmental destruction isn’t a feature.
New Gundam Breaker nails the customization aspect of building a Gunpla, but fans expecting a fastpaced combat system that the series was known for, will be disappointed.
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Huge boss fights are a visual treat, except that you can hardly see your own Gundams due to bad panning.
AT A GLANCE
DEVELOPER Crafts Meister
PUBLISHER Bandai Namco Entertainment
GENRE Action, Platform
PLATFORM PC, PS4
PLAYERS Single, Multi
PICTURES BANDAI NAMCO ENTERTAINMENT
By Salehuddin Husin (GameAxis)