Gundam Evolution, Bandai Namco's free-to-play hero shooter set in the world of the wildly popular mecha anime, is set for a Steam release (opens in new tab) on September 22. The game will feature 12 playable mobile suits (those are the mechs, if you're a philistine like me), 6v6 combat, and three "objective-based" game modes. Also, one of the mechs has a glowing war axe and pteruges (opens in new tab) for some reason.
The game will be replete with all the various equippable bells and whistles we've come to expect from free-to-play shooters. You'll be able to acquire skins for your mobile suits and weapons, pick up emotes, and deck yourself out with ornaments as you proceed through the seasonal battle passes. The game will launch in its season 1 state, but more things will be added as the seasons progress.
Those things include new mobile suits. The original roster of 12 will eventually be expanded as time goes on, and you'll be able to buy new ones using either "capital points" (which you acquire through gameplay) or "EVO coins" (which you acquire with real-world cash). Each season is meant to last around two months, so it shouldn't be too long before a few new suits roll out.
From my limited perspective, it sometimes feels like we've hit the limit on hero shooters in this vein, but Gundam is mind-bogglingly popular, especially in Japan (opens in new tab). Perhaps the ability to pilot your own rock-em-sock-em robot will lure over players who might otherwise be uninterested and see the game join the hallowed ranks of our favourite free games (opens in new tab). And hey, isn't piloting a mobile suit in a hero shooter kind of like finally putting titans into Apex Legends, if you squint?
Fine, it's not, but if you're still interested in seeing what Gundam Evolution has to offer, you can check it out when it unlocks on Steam at 3AM UK time, 10PM EDT, 7PM PST on September 22.