Gundam Breaker 4 Preview – Build It, Break It, Assemble It

Gundam. Even if you’ve never watched the multiple TV series, or even bought and assembled any of the plastic kits that are sold worldwide, there’s a good chance you can easily recognize that word. And indeed, the Gundam series has been around for a long while. I recently had the opportunity to participate in the Gundam Breakers 4 Closed Network Test, and here are some of the things to look forward to.

Gundam, to Battle!

Upon starting the game for the first time, you’re introduced to Tao, a young boy who pilots a Gundam that appears in the SD Gundam series. He then proceeds to walk you through the control scheme of the game. If you’ve ever played a traditional hack n’ slash game, you’ll feel right at home here. An interesting aspect is that there is no player avatar to speak off. Everything seems to pivot around your own Gundam, which definitely feels a bit weird.

The tutorial wastes no time in introducing the player to the gameplay loop of Gundam Breakers 4, which is honestly incredibly simple. Each of the missions can be played either by yourself or, by connecting to the Internet, you can play with up to two other players, for a team of three. The objective? Defeat all of the enemy Gundam waves as quick as you can, and rack up points.

Each Gundam has two types of skills, which change depending on which parts you have installed. Gundam Breaker 4 also has a brand new dual-weapon system and break parts off of your enemies and add them to your collection.

One of the skill types has you press R1, plus one of the face buttons, while the other type of skill, known as EX Skills, accumulate as you defeat enemies, and can perform several actions such as Repair, which recovers your HP and Combo Attack, which unleashes a flurry of attacks towards the enemy. After you’ve defeated all the enemies, you’re given a score at the end, which will rank you from Rank D to Rank S. As far as I could tell, this rank is purely for bragging rights, and there’s no penalty in getting a low rank.

Customize However You Like

Each of the enemies you defeat has a chance of dropping what are known as Gundam parts. By going to your Room, you can then customize your robot however you see fit. Head parts, body parts, backpack parts, you name it, there is a lot that is customizable. You can also paint these parts and apply decals to them, a feature that is reminiscent of real-life Gundam building.

It’s easy to lose yourself in this menu, with how much you can customize.

Through the My Room feature is also where you can access a Photo Mode, which allows you to take screenshots of your creations in various poses and backgrounds. You can also save your build as a Blueprint, and upload it to the server, allowing anyone to download your creation. Furthermore, you can also make Dioramas of your builds, which essentially has you build multiple Gundams together and posing them for the shot.

Lots of Possibilities Here

While many of the features in Gundam Breakers 4 have yet to be implemented other than a select few, there are a few mentions here and there from the tutorial that I believe we’ll be able to do in the full version. The first thing is that parts you’ve obtained in missions can be easily sold for a credit currency called GP.

While its usage is not explained at all, I have a feeling that this is where the red bear in the lobby comes from. Judging from his icon, which shows a Gundam box, and that he has several crates, he will likely work as a shopkeep, allowing you to exchange GP for parts, upgrades, or buy Gundam sets for you to customize yourself.

The tutorial also mentions Limited-Time Events, with a green bear on the top floor letting you know of a Gallery where you’ll be able to upload your creations following a certain theme, and all of the other players can then view it, give a thumbs-up, which will likely result in some sort of reward for the player.

You also have a purple bear, with its icon showing three Gundams together. My guesses range from this being some sort of place for you to hang out with friends, or some sort of private lobby you can create. Again, all of this is purely speculative, as you can’t even interact with most of the bears, other than the ones that handle online communication, but it does leave me curious on what they’ll be used for.

And finally, there is even a news program, hosted by Reko, which seems to inform about the top-ranked players, since Reko excitingly phrases such as “Who’s going to stop this Master!?”. You can also check your own personal ranking through the lobby, although I couldn’t quite understand what was the ranking criteria.

A Promising Gundam Experience

Though my time was very short, I enjoyed exploring what I could of Gundam Breakers 4. Practically zero knowledge from past games is required, and you can even play with zero knowledge of Gundam. My only main worry about this game is that it heavily relies on having people online to play together.

Unless the developers plan to flourish the single-player experience, the rather simplistic gameplay loop can quickly get boring, though considering that the game advertises almost 250 types of Gundam parts and kits to collect, there is an aspect of replayability here, though only time will tell what the developers have in store for the game.

Gundam Breakers 4 will be releasing on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 in 2024.