Review Armored Core VI is surprisingly approachable.

Review Armored Core VI is surprisingly approachable.

FromSoftware’s Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon

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Armored Core VI

In 2004, the gaming world was introduced to a young talent named Hidetaka Miyazaki, who joined FromSoftware. While he initially worked on the Armored Core series, it was his later creations, Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls, that truly put him on the map. Since then, FromSoftware has continued to build on the success of their Souls series, with the recent blockbuster Elden Ring. But now, after nearly a decade, the studio is revisiting their mech franchise with Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon. This new release marks the directorial debut of one of the studio’s rising stars, Masaru Yamamura, the lead game designer on Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and a designer on Bloodborne. While Armored Core VI is not a Soulslike game, it does incorporate ideas from Sekiro and Bloodborne, showcasing Yamamura’s potential as one of FromSoftware’s premier directors.

For those who, like me, have not played an Armored Core game before, fear not. Armored Core VI offers a compelling experience that can be enjoyed by newcomers. However, as with any FromSoftware game, patience is key. Prepare to be frustrated until you grasp the combat mechanics of the game. As a self-professed newbie, it took me several hours of trial and error to understand Armored Core VI’s interlocking weapon, piloting, and mech assembly systems. But once I got the hang of it, the game truly came alive.

Part of the intimidation factor in Armored Core VI is the sheer complexity of the gameplay. From the wide array of weapons available, each with its own tactical considerations, to the intricacies of mech movement, there is always something new to learn. The Armored Cores can carry up to four weapons, each capable of being fired independently. Choosing the right combination of weapons and using them strategically is crucial for success. Whether it’s firing multiple rockets at once or evading enemy fire while skillfully piloting your mech, every decision requires careful consideration.

Speaking of mech movement, it plays a vital role in AC6. Armored Cores have various boosts and movement abilities at their disposal, including dashing, jumping, flying, and even hovering. However, every advanced movement ability consumes energy, adding an extra layer of strategy to the game. Balancing mobility and resource management becomes key in battles. Additionally, the combat in AC6 offers a more vertical experience compared to FromSoftware’s previous games. Gaining the high ground on opponents is often the most effective way to dispatch them, adding another dimension to the gameplay.

The customization options in Armored Core VI are extensive, allowing for a high level of creativity. With hundreds of different mech parts to choose from, players can build their Armored Cores to suit their preferred playstyle. Whether it’s legs that allow for hovering in the air or tank treads that excel in ground-based combat, there are endless possibilities. Experimenting with different loadouts and discovering the perfect combination of parts is a rewarding experience.

While Armored Core VI does present its fair share of challenges, it is also one of FromSoftware’s more accessible games. The initial difficulty spike can be overcome, especially with the help of training missions that provide valuable mech parts as rewards. Furthermore, the game’s mission structure and checkpoint system ensure that progress is not lost upon death. Being able to modify your mech between deaths without restarting a mission enhances the gameplay experience, fostering experimentation and adaptation to different challenges.

Of course, no FromSoftware game is without its frustrations. The boss battles in Armored Core VI, in particular, can be incredibly difficult compared to other enemies. The complexity and aggression of boss movesets can feel overwhelming, serving as early-game skill checks. Additionally, the default control setup may not always be ideal for certain playstyles, requiring players to adapt or remap controls to their liking.

Despite these challenges, Armored Core VI remains a compelling and rewarding experience. FromSoftware’s attention to detail and thematic cohesion shines through every aspect of the game. Even in its most challenging moments, there are little victories to celebrate. With its August 25th release date on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC, Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon promises to be another incredible achievement from FromSoftware, and a glimpse into the future talents of the studio.

So, gear up, jump into your Armored Core, and get ready for an unforgettable mechsperience!

Are you excited for the release of Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon? Let us know in the comments below!

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