Armored Core 6 review

Armored Core 6 Review (PC)

Armored Core 6 is the first entry in the series in a decade and marks its entry into the mainstream. While the franchise wasn’t exactly niche before, it didn’t approach the notoriety that FromSoftware’s Souls games have achieved. However, it finally got a chance to shine by piggybacking on the overwhelming hype from Elden Ring. Suddenly, gamers who wouldn’t have looked twice at a customization-focused mecha combat game were ready to jump into the cockpit of an AC.

Armored Core 6 Review: Bringing a classic back to life

Armored Core 6 Review 1

Luckily, FromSoftware recognized a ten-year gap between games, which meant that Armored Core 6 would need to reboot the franchise. It makes a clean break with previously established lore. You’re not fighting on Earth anymore at all. AC6 is set on the planet Rubicon 3, where humanity discovered a substance called Coral. Coral was supposed to be a limitless supply of energy that would herald humanity into a glorious future.

Unfortunately, a massive cataclysm occurred dubbed the Fires of Ibis in which Rubicon 3 was engulfed in flames, and all the Coral was presumed lost in the event. Armored Core 6 starts 50 years later, and Coral has once again been detected on Rubicon 3. As a result, a “gold rush” is on, and all orders of mercenaries, corporate armies, and interest groups are trying to lay claim to what could be the last of the Coral. You play as a mercenary, C4-621, and start the game by illegally descending to the planet, which has been quarantined under the command of your handler, the enigmatic Walter. During your first foray onto the battlefield, you steal the license of a downed mercenary and take on the iconic “Raven” moniker.

Armored Core 6 Review 2

Fighting your way across the ruins of Rubicon is more reminiscent of Armored Core 5 than of earlier entries in the series. The ponderous robots of the original are long gone, replaced by speedy, maneuverable mechs that jet across the battlefield. Fighting is fast and fierce, and both your and the enemy’s Armor Points (AP) can be shredded in moments. Like other FromSoftware games, there’s a significant emphasis on loadouts and positioning here. Those who picked up AC6 because of their fondness for Elden Ring will immediately recognize this formula and relish the challenge that it brings.

Longtime fans of the series will be happy to see a few returning staples. You’ll find many options to customize your AC with icons and paint it with all sorts of patterns and materials. You’ll also get a chance to take on the most powerful pilots in the game in the Arena and become king of the ring.

Unfortunately, Armored Core 6 doesn’t do much to go beyond what we saw in AC5. Some new mechanics, like Core Expansions, are abilities that can generate extra offensive or defensive power temporarily. Additionally, combat now centers around a stagger system moreso than just chipping away AP until an opponent dies. However, for the most part, AC6 plays very similarly to its two predecessors.

The multiplayer also leaves something to be desired. Armored Core 6 features two modes. You can either duke it out in one-on-one or team up in a three-on-three fight. Compare this to Verdict Day, which had deathmatches, free-for-all, and objective-based modes, as well as an overarching war between three factions, which allowed you to capture territories on a map, and it’s a bit disappointing.

I understand FromSoftware likely didn’t want to rock the boat too much after the series was absent for a decade, and AC 6 is an incredible game. However, I hope the devs take more chances with the next entry in the series.

Armored Core 6 Review: Final Verdict

Overall, Armored Core 6 is excellent for newcomers and longtime fans alike. It serves as a great introduction to the series, and you don’t need to be familiar with past entries to have a great time. On the flip side, the gameplay and mechanics are familiar enough that you’ll feel instantly at home here if you played AC5 or Verdict Day. Given the positive response to AC6, I hope we see more of the series sooner rather than later. It deserves to be one of FromSoftware’s cornerstones as much as the studio’s Souls games do.

Positives and Negatives

  • An excellent return to form for a dormant series.
  • Great graphics and soundtrack.
  • Same amazing level of customization we expect from the franchise.
  • Great starting point for the series.
  • Doesn't offer many new gameplay elements over AC5.
  • Multiplayer is very limited compared to AC Verdict Day.

9

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An excellent return to form for a dormant series. Great graphics and soundtrack. Same amazing level of customization we expect from the franchise. Great starting point for the series. Doesn't offer many new gameplay elements over AC5. Multiplayer is very limited compared to AC Verdict Day.
An excellent return to form for a dormant series. Great graphics and soundtrack. Same amazing level of customization we expect from the franchise. Great starting point for the series. Doesn't offer many new gameplay elements over AC5. Multiplayer is very limited compared to AC Verdict Day.
An excellent return to form for a dormant series. Great graphics and soundtrack. Same amazing level of customization we expect from the franchise. Great starting point for the series. Doesn't offer many new gameplay elements over AC5. Multiplayer is very limited compared to AC Verdict Day.
An excellent return to form for a dormant series. Great graphics and soundtrack. Same amazing level of customization we expect from the franchise. Great starting point for the series. Doesn't offer many new gameplay elements over AC5. Multiplayer is very limited compared to AC Verdict Day.

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