At the press thingamajig on Wednesday, Bandai Namco showed off a little bit of Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3, and told us what’s so awesome in the latest version. I actually did my high school senior project on Gundam and model-making, so my ears tend to perk up whenever someone mentions Newtypes or the Universal Century.
Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3 doesn’t look like it makes any huge departures from the franchise’s formula -- you’re a guy in a robot suit and you beat up a ton of other guys in robot suits, why change that? Still, Namco Bandai has added some new stuff to the mix.
Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3 (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)
Publisher: Namco Bandai
To be released: Summer 2011
Most noticeable of the changes is the new cel-shaded look, which is a bit of a different direction from the two previous games. I thought it looked fantastic. It’s more visually dynamic, and it’s also closer to the appearance of the anime. I know cel-shading can be a tough sell in some cases, but I doubt this new style will bother anyone. Frankly, I think it looks badass.
Another addition is a stronger emphasis on strategy and tactics, with the addition of bases on the battlefield. Presumably this will mean more capturing/defending/attacking of specific locations. This time around, you will be able to heal your Gundam with the Recovery Gauge system, which doesn’t make any sense if you think about it, but it will probably improve the game, since playing a game is more fun than dying.
Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3 will feature improved enemy AI, as well as the option to call for backup with the Partner Strike feature. The Emergency Dash system will allow players to negate enemy attacks, and presumably make a counter-attack. This will be especially fun if you’re playing as Char Aznable, because Char has a great Counter-Attack.
Egghhh. Bad Gundam nerd joke.
Speaking of the Gundam universe, I should talk about story mode. When watching the footage, I definitely went “Why is the Wing Gundam fighting a giant horde of Gelgoogs and Z’Goks, and why does Dommon Kashu keep popping up and shouting stuff?” Story Mode returns for DW: G3, but it doesn’t fit into any particular Gundam canon or timeline. This might bother some purists, but the roster should make up for it. Also, that’s Gundam "canon," not Guncannon.
DW: G3 features over 50 playable and upgradeable characters from all ends of the Gundam multiverse, and over 70 playable and upgradeable mobile suits. Official Gundam canon be damned, that’s awesome. Meanwhile, offline multiplayer supports up to two players, and online supports up to four. This means you can get together with some friends and bash the crap out of a bunch of Zakus and Tallgeeses, and it'll be a lot more cost-effective than blowing up plastic model kits in the backyard.
Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3 is slated for a PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 release sometime in 2011. There’s no official date yet, but I heard through the grapevine that it’ll be this summer.