As of today, Bandai Namco''s new team shooter arrived for PC ten days ago, but things are already looking up. The play experience was much more refined, and it is remarkable how much it was spent on testing, and how it worked. It was well-known from the examples of and its many copycats, and refined the details.
Bandai Namcos is attempting to adapt one of the most famous anime franchises of all time to the demands of a free-to-play team hero shooter. Instead of secret agents, superheroes, or elite soldiers, the playable roster includes 17 mobile suits from a wide spectrum of topics. Twelve are playable from the start, and five more are also unlockable by various means (more on that later).
Every mobile suit (MS) is unique, with bespoke weapons, abilities, and tactics. Rather than a role-based system, it adopts a more freeform approach to team-building. Generally, there is enough overlap in style that youll discover something quite similar if you find your favorite suit taken. Even then, every unit is unique, and learning how to play as them and play them is essential to success.
The Mahiroo, a new unlockable suit, is quite popular due to its loadout and stats. Absolute units like Sazabi and the Unicorn Gundam enjoy pairing it up in team fights, while Sazabi out front absorbs damage with its shield and closing in to use its beam shotgun. Both are quite different, considering that the size and the limited capacity of Unicorn are limited to keeping an eye on aliens. Sazabi''s size and lack of a shield make it less susceptible in
The alleged size of its giant robot cast is astoundingly fast and deadly. Every unit has one or more boosts to quickly dodge out of the way, and many units have access to sharp hitcan weapons that reward efficiency (the Methus and the GM Sniper II can outright down the more fragile suits in a single headshot). And swapping suits may void your situation altogether.
However, some balance concerns have been raised. Although the previous dominance of melee Mobile Suits (Barbatos in particular) has been reduced, the three have an exceptionally high skill ceiling and, in the hands of capable players, are capable of maneuvering its way out of consequences without noticing any difference. Exia in particular is a little too capable to maneuver its way out of the consequences if its pilot makes a mistake. In a game with many sources of precision damage, melee suits must feel a bit too
The game''s monetization structure is more concerning than any other transient balance issue, however, it is important to note that the game is free-to-play, but those 12 initial suits are all available to new players for a lengthy period of time if they don''t want to pay up. Bandai Namcos has added a triple-threat of monetization methods to the game: a battle pass (with premium and free tiers), an item shop selling bundles of cosmetics and suit
Evo Coins, which is paid for with real money, is also used to buy things off the item store and roll the gacha. Freebies are quite limited and relatively far between. Even lower-tier games, players can unlock a new suit by paying Capital (a.k.a. blue points), which is earned from developing Beginners Challenge levels. Even at the bottom-tier bronze ranks, there are five unlockable suits. Similarly, players who upgrade their Battle Pass to Premium have a lot of experience but won''t
Even today, after some tweaks to the system, it may take a while to enter ranked matches above the first ranking tier. Generally speaking, if you just downloaded and want to jump straight into ranked play with all of the available suits, you''re in for a $60 USD outlay (50 in Evo Coins to purchase the Deluxe Pack that unlocks the five locked suits, and $10 to upgrade to a premium Battle Pass).
I personally do not believe that paying to a free-to-play game is unreasonable. At the moment, however, it feels like its potential is being undermined by its monetization. New players may be tipped off by the notion they have a second-class experience if they don''t pay up, and players who do pay don''t profit from the wide audience a free-to-play game can attract.
Bandai Namco will rethink some of these strategies as a long-term challenge. Fortunately, the moment-to-moment play experience is simply too much fun to merit to be reduced by the gravity of the business.