Have you ever had a moment where, while playing a game, you thought that another series or property would work great in that same style? I have many times. Mobile Suit Gundam is one of those properties that has often come to my mind, mainly because I feel like its been a long time since a game has truly taken advantage of the Gundam IP. Sure, arcade fighters like the Gundam Vs. series are great games, but they hardly embody what Gundam is all about. Every Gundam series tells a story set against the backdrop of all out war(In the case of Build Fighters it’s a World Tournament and in G Gundam it’s the Gundam Fight Tournament.). For those of you not familiar with the series, Gundam features giant mechs known as Mobile Suits, which are used as tools of war.
The last game to take advantage of that was Mobile Suit Gundam: Battlefield Record 0081. Though if you don’t care for story, then there is one, technically two games that released within the last 5 years.
That particular game is called Mobile Suit Gundam: Battle Operation, released on June 28, 2012 in Japan. It’s a 5v5 free to play game on PlayStation 3, though it does suffer from the pay to win disease and an arcade style token system sadly(To elaborate on this, you get three tokens maximum and it takes three hours to regenerate one play token. You can buy more tokens with real money, or wait three hours to generate another token. Basically, either you pay real money to play constantly, or you only play nine matches a day.). I was able to play the game by creating a Japanese Playstation Network account on my US Playstation 3. To say that it wasn’t a pain to do would be a lie.
Anyway, I digress. The game lets each play choose a mobile suit from the One Year War arc featured in the original Mobile Suit Gundam television series. That’s no different than any other Gundam game. What is different, is the fact that you can exit your Mobile Suit at any point during the battle and walk/fly around as the pilot and even take control of things like tanks and hovercraft. This is useful for scouting out the battlefield and not risking your precious MS, though it does leave your MS open to being taken by a teammate or stolen by an enemy if they decide not to destroy it.
Battle Operation isn’t Battlefield, but it does a somewhat okay imitation of it. But it was that imitation that made me think: What if DICE were given the Gundam license to make a game out of it? Specifically, a Battlefield game with a Gundam skin. All the necessary parts are there. The Gundam universe has fighter planes like the Dopp, Core Fighter, and G-Fighter. It has tanks such as the Magella and Type-61, hovercraft for fast transportation, weapons for foot soldiers, and Mobile Suits acting like titan-class vehicles from Battlefield 1.
The reason I lump the Mobile Suits in with the Titans like the Zeppelin and Battleship from Battlefield 1 is because, if we’re talking strictly about the One Year War era, MS were common on Zeon’s side, not the Federations, at least not until later in the war, and even then no more that 12 were ever dispatched at any given time. So essentially, in the case of a large scale Battlefield-esque Gundam game set during the One Year War(Other timelines are an option, but I feel like they lose what would make a great Battlefield game, namely because land vehicles are uncommon and foot soldiers even more so as all battles are fought between warships and MS.), 32 players would be assigned to each team, however, only a limited number of them would launch with a single-use Mobile Suit which can be exited, allowing another player to use it. The rest of the team would spawn on foot and be able to use an assortment of weapons and ground vehicles to engage in all out warfare. Once a certain amount of MS on either side are lost, a reinforcement timer starts and when it strikes zero, fresh MS will be delivered to that side for use, though the enemy could destroy them before they have a chance to be used, and taking out the transport will permanently halt any further reinforcement to that side.
Of course, the MS themselves aren’t all powerful. They may be gigantic and heavily armed and armored, but they aren’t indestructible. Mobile Suit weapons are far more effective against other Mobile Suits and as a result is the preferable way to confront them. A cannon can blow them apart and a machine gun will penetrate thinner armor. Shields will hold up against heavy weapons, but they do have a breaking point. Body parts can also be lost. If the left arm is lost, so is the shield and the ability to wield heavy weapons. If the right arm is lost, all weapons become unusable aside from melee weapons. If the head/main camera is lost, then the players screen while piloting the suit will become fuzzy making it harder to see. Losing either leg is a death sentence since the MS cannot stand and it can only stay in the air for a limited amount of time thanks to the thruster pack. A direct hit on the MS cockpit that penetrates the armor will kill the pilot and cause the MS to become a heap of scrap on the battlefield. A direct hit to the engine will cause a massive explosion and the death of anyone caught inside it(It’s a fusion reactor, if you expect to survive the explosion, you better be on the fringes of it or flying with your pilots thruster pack to ride on the blast wave.).
If you’re worried about vehicles and foot soldiers not being very effective against the MS, fear not. While foot soldiers may not be able to kill it due to their lack of anti-MS weaponry, they can still disable parts of the suit. Foot soldiers have the advantage of being small and thus harder to hit, and they can more easily strike at the sensitive parts hidden underneath the MS’ armor plating. By firing rockets at the exposed joints, foot soldiers can disable the arms or legs, giving tanks and allied MS a wounded target to assault. They can even take out the main camera by firing at the eyes of the suit using explosive weapons, something the hovercraft also possesses and a tank would also work just fine. And for anyone wondering if those would be the only two land vehicles, rest assured that they wouldn’t be. There were also missile trucks and jeeps. The One Year War was really just a futuristic World War II.
As you rank up from battles, you’ll unlock new weapons for your pilot and new MS types to start battle with if you’re selected. That means that if the game decides that you get to spawn with an MS, whichever suit you have selected from your hanger will be what you spawn with. However, once destroyed you won’t be able to use it again for the rest of the match, as the reinforcement MS will all be base suits like the GM/Gundam Mass Production Type and Zaku I/Zaku II(Sorry I’m not providing images for those of you who know next to nothing about Gundam. Just google search the names and you’ll see what they look like.). Your MS will level up independently of you as you use it in battle and as a result you’ll unlock new weapons and equipment to give you an edge in battle or specialize.
If you’re wondering how this would all look in action, this scene from the CG series Mobile Suit Gundam: MS IGLOO 2: The Gravity Front will basically tell you all you need to know:
I would absolutely love to see this idea come to life, even though I know the odds of the Gundam IP ever being given to a western developer is slim to none, and the odds of a Battlefield game using the Gundam IP is even less. I’d attempt to make it myself, but I don’t know the first thing about coding, or modeling, or art, or music. I’m just a simple writer and an amateur voice actor. The most I could do is direct the project.
There’s probably a lot more I could say about this game to try and pique your interest in it, but if I haven’t by this point then nothing I say will probably sell you on it so I won’t ramble on even more. Hope you all enjoyed this blog. If not, well at least I tried.