Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn Preview: Relive the Universal Century timeline

The Dynasty Warriors Gundam series will be adding a new game to its line-up with Dynasty Warriors Gundam Reborn. This is the fourth game in the series, but is calling itself Reborn because the storyline will be revolving around the Universal Century timeline, which is the beginning of the Gundam series.

The Gundam series has a great following, but many have agreed that there are just way too many series to keep up with, and knowing the order of which to watch them can just be a bit overwhelming. Gundam Reborn aims to simplify this by offering a big chunk of the storyline from the beginning of the series, and staying true to the source material by letting players relive key moments from the anime.

Bandai claims that this will be their biggest Gundam title yet, and even though it's spanning the Universal Century timeline, it will feature over a 100 different Mobile Suits to play as, which is a first for the series.

Official Mode will be the game's main story mode, where players will be introduced to the Gundam storyline right from the beginning, and take part in battles from various series and movies like Gundam SEED, Gundam Unicorn, Char's Counterattack, and Zeta. Where the devs are able to take liberties with Gundams and various scenarios is the Ultimate Mode. Here, players will be able to play stages with Gundams that don't fit into the timeline, and we were assured that Mobile Suits outside of the Universal Century timeline will also be playable here.

Gundam Reborn

My biggest disappointment with the title mostly had to do with the game's visuals. Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3 had gorgeous cel-shaded graphics, which made the game look a lot closer to its anime source material. Gundam Reborn, however drops the cel-shading and instead opts for a more realistic look. This was apparently done to match the franchises' more gritty tone, but it seems like a big step back.

I did get some brief hands-on time with the game, and for the most part, I felt right at home with the controls. The first level I played had me mowing through hundreds upon hundreds of Mobile Suits while occasionally throwing harder enemies into the mix.

It was here where I was able to try out the game's new Burst System. When the Burst gauge fills up, I could activate it to completely change up my Mobile Suit's movesets and animations. At the end of the Burst, I could also tag team with a giant gunship, allowing me to take control of it for a few seconds, and unleash its massive firepower upon the horde of enemy Mobile Suits. It was pretty damn satisfying.

Gundam Reborn

I also couldn't pass up the opportunity to play a level as Big Zam, the giant Mobile Armor who doesn't happen to have arms. The Mobile Suit enemies that I was previously cutting down face to face now became small bugs underneath my giant robot feet. While the fundamentals of gameplay remain the same when playing as Mobile Armor, playing from a giant's perspective happens to be pretty awesome.

As is now common practice for spin-off games, Gundam Reborn will be released as a digital-only title on the PlayStation 3 and will only feature Japanese voice overs with English subtitles. Purists wouldn't have it any other way, but those that like to do a little less reading will most likely be disappointed by this choice.

Dynasty Warriors Gundam Reborn will be released in July, so you won't have to wait long to get your Mobile Suit fix.