Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3 Review
What’s a Gundam? Who cares! Let’s smash some robots.
Maybe you’re like me and don’t really know what Gundam is. Maybe you’re a longtime fan and you’ve been waiting for this new entry in the series. Maybe you’re a fan of the Dynasty Warrior series and you’re looking for something new. The good news is you’ll all have a good time with Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3.
Why does this game have a weird name you ask? Well it uses the same engine and general style as the Dynasty Warriors series but the characters and setting are all taken from the Gundam universe. If you don’t know what either of these things is, that’s ok. Gundam is a series of anime shows, movies, manga, etc, about giant robots, or mechs or Mobile Suits as they call them here, that humans pilot. I’m not going to go deep into the back story since you will either know it already because you are a Gundam fan, will want to learn more and will go out and do that yourself, or you will just enjoy the game as a stand alone story. I happen to fall into the third group, personally.
So what if you’re not familiar with Dynasty Warriors either? Not to worry, the gameplay is based around hacking, slashing and shooting your way through hordes of enemy robots. Most will be fodder style and easy to kill but you will occasionally run into other Ace Pilots (the pilots of mobile suits). Your mobile suit is capable of melee attacks, ranged attacks and a special attack that will damage multiple enemies around you. Special attacks are used when the special meter is full and it can be filled by killing enemies or taking damage. You will also, in some missions, have a partner with you who will be off fighting in some other part of the map. You can call them in via the Partner Gauge for a Partner Attack where they basically come in guns blazing for a few seconds. The combat sounds simple but where the depth in this game really shows is the customization. Anyone who knows Gundam knows it’s all about customizing your Mobile Suit. There are 50+ different Mobile Suits to be found and there are a number of stats that can be upgraded, special parts to be added and upgrades to research.
Every aspect of Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3 is always much deeper than it looks. Missions are not simply ‘kill every enemy on screen then move to the next screen’, but are layed out as a series of battlefields that are connected by pathways. You fight to control an area and, when you have killed enough of the enemy, your friendly fodder units will move in and secure it. Each area you secure affects how the rest of the battle goes. Some areas are forward bases that affect partner attack frequency, some are catapults that let you instantly travel to another area, some are missile silos that will attack the enemy once secured. Each team has its own base area which they will need to defend or face defeat. Strategies change wildly based on the types of battlefields in the mission, number of enemy ace pilots and victory conditions. For a hack and slash game there is a surprising amount of variety. Also, aside from the story missions, there are a boatload of side missions and optional missions to take on. If you’re having trouble with a story mission you can always go grind a few side missions to level up your pilot.
While I would have loved to play through the story mode with some friends, Koei did add in a separate co-op mode. There are 15 co-op missions that are designed specifically to be impossible to complete by yourself. You must work together to hold the battlefield and advance your position. Take your tricked out Mobile Suit and meet up with three of your friends to take these on.
Quite a few of the achievements for Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3 will have you playing for a long time. Legendary Master Ace is unlocked for defeating 100,000 enemies. Good luck with that. I really feel the achievements will keep you interested for the entirety of the huge amount of content this game has to offer.
Koei have done a great job creating a game that people who are fans of neither Gundam or Dynasty Warriors can enjoy. The single player will keep you around for a while and the four player co-op is a great addition. A more coherent story and some cut scenes would have helped the presentation a bit but Dynasty Warriors Gundam is a solid effort.