Gundam Breaker 3 is an action co-op game that was released on March 3, 2016 for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita systems. A special version called “Break Edition” would release in 2017, featuring the base game and including the five DLCs released for the game.
SYNOPSIS & STORY
Set in a present future at the eve of space development, you play a young protagonist who gets involved in the game’s Gunpla Battle. Gunpla Battle is a virtual battlefield where players utilize their customized Gunpla figures and enter them into combat with other figures, piloted by either AI or other players you meet in the different levels. After your first encounter in Gunpla Battle at the Ayato Shopping Street’s Arcade Center, you meet a girl name Misa, who ends up recruiting you into her Gunpla Team to revive the Ayato Shopping District. Afterwards, you get to meet Misa’s father Yuichi, who runs a Gunpla model store and signs you up for your first neighborhood Gunpla tournament.
The characters in Gundam Breaker 3 feel fleshed out even though the game’s audio is predominately Japanese. Having the Singapore version of the game with built-in english subtitles, lends a big hand in understanding the personalities of the characters that you’re introduced to, as well as some of the different events that are occurring, including some of their personal feelings and motivations. As far as the writing goes, the story itself feels like you’re watching a series of Gundam Build Fighters episodes crossed between a visual novel. For fans of the Gundam Build Fighters series, you’re perfectly in your home environment, however, the pacing of the story does feel odd-ball at times until you get into the DLCs. From there, the DLC portion of the game lends some background story info for some of the supporting and recurring characters that you encounter, as well as finalizes the game, keeping it open for a sequel. For players that are new to Gundam or even its spinoffs, the story isn’t going to win any awards, but it feels satisfactory enough to explain why you’re battling it out with other Gundam figures, as well as the people behind them.
Powering the visual fidelity of Gundam Breaker 3 is Silicon Studios’ Orochi 4 With Mizuchi graphic engine. Without having prior knowledge of this particular engine, I was quite surprised at the level of detail shown on the various Gunpla showcased and featured within the game. Ranging from rendering the glossy plastic look that is synonymous with model building, all the way up to weathering and damage effects, Gunpla are rendered with near lifelike ability. Even going with a more matte realistic finish, your Gunpla literally comes to life. With that thought, the level of detail continues to surprise me due to the fact that this is all done through a Playstation 4. Landscaping however, does somewhat take a seat back as some of the areas and arenas that you fight in are simple and almost reminiscent of older Gundam based games. Keep in mind that this game is also available as well for the Playstation Vita, which could be the main reason to keep things somewhat graphically streamlined for a decent balance between eye candy and performance.
Gundam Breaker 3 plays like a cross-over of different genres and titles under Namco Bandai which are mashed together. Combining aspects of a fighting game with a juggle feature, as well as a grindy loot system, players will find themselves progressing through the story, and backtracking through previous levels for drops from particular Gunpla. The controls feel quite simple on the PS4, and handles like a typical mech game that allows you to boost and/or run around on the ground. While much of the grinding can be done solo, you can play co-op with three other friends through PSN, and progress through the levels in force. While many of the stages in the story are repeated, Gundam Breaker 3 does throw some of the much larger variants of Gunpla found in the franchise at you as significant boss battles. Throughout the game, you do encounter other Gunpla teams in the different sections of the game, although they don’t lend too much details on their background as they just simply appear. The combat itself is somewhat repetitive but the constant grinding and refining lends a mean to further upgrade your Gunpla to perfection, a concept that would normally be outside of a traditional Gundam game. The limiting portion of the gameplay however is in the modes themselves, as Gundam Breaker 3 doesn’t possess any means of playing against other players or teams outside of its “Bounty Hunter” mode, which you fight AI versions of player created Gunpla. Although the game gets significantly harder as you unlock Extreme and Newtype difficulties for more legendary loot, not being able to play against a live person is a significant limitation that Gundam Breaker 3 possesses that prevents it from being a much more awesome game.
With all things considered, Gundam Breaker 3 is a game that Gundam fans will most likely have in their collection. With the amount of customization and personalization one can do to their Gunpla, this is probably the main feature of the game that makes this the most fun. Even if you’re new to Gundam, know nothing at all of the franchises that are associated in the game, or even know what a Gundam is, the game is simple enough to pick up to warrant a try. Otherwise, yes, this is definitely a must buy.